The best quotes from Téléfoot at the RLD

14 may 2018
Adam Geigerman
Photos © 
Eve Folcher
Olympique de Marseille hosted an exclusive Téléfoot on 13 May from the Robert-Louis Dreyfus Training Center. These are the best reactions from les Olympiens players and coaches:
Garcia : «We have 2 finals this week»

"There are two finals for us to play, actually against Atlético (Madrid) and on Saturday against Amiens, because everything is wide open for us in the league. Even if we are in our bubble and sometimes we must watch the analysis of the Marseillais in France and in Europe on Telefoot last Sunday, it was quite moving indeed, to realize the affection that the players have earned from our fans around the world.

I always said it wouldn’t be settled until the last day and that's what will happen. We already have beaten Amiens, it's really remarkable that they have maintained, it was still their first season in L1.

“Atlético is a favorite, it's a great team, they are used to these massive matches, finals. We luckily have some players who have had great moments as well. Be it Steve (Mandanda), Dimitri (Payet), Adil (Rami), Rolando or Luiz Gustavo. Luiz has won the Champions League and Rolando and Adil have won the Europa League, these are the experiences they will share with the younger players who do not know these moments. Atlético is richer than us in terms of experience, but again it's a final — and in a final anything and everything can happen. We intend to take advantage of our chances to raise the trophy.

They have a rather exceptional tactical organization. It is a team that has similarities with ours in terms of character, especially. It's a team that gives everything on the field and everyone works. They are the obvious big favorite, now it's up to us to beat the odds.

“I’m not biased (laughs), I would like there to be more OM players in the French team than any other club. Didier Deschamps will make his choices in good conscience. Over the course of time, OM has also shown that we have a history of great French players. Our great players have responded on the international stage, in 2018 especially with Dimitri. After the European Cup, we will all be supporters of France. We hope all the people from Marseilles will be as well."

Payet : «We will play with our heart»

"We have seen a lot throughout the European course. From the quarter-finals and that crazy return match against Leipzig, there has been an incredible atmosphere — both in Marseille and also throughout France. Of course we feel the 12th man.

“I had a small scare the day before the match against Guingamp, and we did not want to make it worse. We preferred to have me sit out and I am currently working hard through care and fitness to be ready for Wednesday.

“I knew with the love story between the club and the supporters and the support for the European Cup, if we could go far in this competition the fans would answer magnificently and that would help us fight for the lead in the league as well. We’ve managed to navigate the two, which is not easy. We still have two games to play for everything, so we're getting ready for that.

“We believe against Atlético because this season has shown that we are a real team, we’ve proven that we could overcome some steep challenges. We have the chance to play at home — in our country — with a national fervor. Today, of course, Atletico are favorites. They want to win the Champions League and the Europa League. We will play with our heart.”

Thauvin : «I am impatient»

"It's true that Wednesday will be the biggest match of my young career. I can not wait to start this game. It is very important, I hope we will have a great surprise for everyone in the end. I am very impatient.

“I’ve given it all the season, I’ve given the best of myself. That’s all I can do for those that will ultimately make the decisions. We will see what happens, the coach will make a decision and I will respect whatever happens.

“We will give everything, even die on the pitch if we have to on Wednesday.

“The state of mind of this team is remarkable, we will not let go from the start to the finish. It is a game man-to-man for us, with a great coach in front, inevitably we will be OK.

Mandanda : «The supporters have been huge»

"The fans have been huge for us since the beginning of the season, and now we want to return the favor. I am 100% physically ready to do my best for the team.

“The medical staff is doing everything to ensure that Dimitri (Payet) is ready to be with us for this final.

“Griezmann is a very complete player, not very big but with great timing, very intelligent. He has great moves, in front of the goal he is very, very, very tricky. He is a player who is one of the best in the world today, it will be very difficult.

“Adil has summed it up well, today Atlético is favorite. We will have to be focused, determined and 120%. The slightest mistake can cost us the match. It will also take fun anyway because it is not every day that we play a final.”

Rami : «Atlético is the favorite»

"I think our mentalities will be the biggest factor in the match. We know very well that Atlético is experienced, they are favorites. Our strength of character is mental. We will stay true to our strong points. My advice is to believe until the end. I remember with Seville, we played the final against a big Liverpool team, we were losing 1-0 at half-time, and everyone believed in ourselves. That's how we managed to win. I hope we will all believe until the end.

“There will be a lot of pressure, it will be — for the most part — their first final, with a great atmosphere and at an extraordinary level. In addition Olympique de Marseille is the most popular club in France. We're going to be watched, so I think that really plays on the mind.

“Yes I believe, mentally, I'm also preparing to play the World Cup. I miss playing internationally and I really want to play this year.

“I know Antoine (Griezmann) well enough, I will have to remain focused for 90 minutes. He is always moving, he has extraordinary vision of the game and he is a very opportunistic player. For me, the secret will be to stay focused and concentrate on my match, because I know that Costa is also a special attacker. He likes to hurt, lay blows, I'll have to avoid getting into it with him this game.”