He is the man of the match without a doubt! Nine months after a serious injury, Krépin Diatta signaled a real return against Strasbourg, to open the league season. Scorer of the opener with a fine volley, the Senegalese international guided AS Monaco to victory in Alsace (1-2). It was a goal and a result that filled him with great joy after the match as he spoke with the media.
Hello Krepin. How did you experience this return to Ligue 1?
Above all we are very happy, because the most important thing was to come here and win. We knew that the statistics were not in our favor before the game. But today we showed that we were a team, fighting from start to finish. Personally it was a joy to return to the pitch for me, because I’ve worked hard. Everyone was behind me, the Club put me in very good conditions. I knew I was going to come back strong, because I was very well supported, be it by my family, the physiotherapists… and especially Jérôme Palestri, with whom I worked for six months. I dedicate this goal to him and to all those who contributed to my return. My work alone was not enough. And I won’t forget that!
You showed a very aggressive side to your play collectively today…
I think we followed the instructions of the coach. We knew that Strasbourg are also a very aggressive team on the pitch. It was necessary to have respond to pressure, because when we lost here, it was often on these details that it was played. We wanted to show that we have character, that we know how to press high and play the ball. That’s what we did. Everyone is happy, this victory feels good.
— AS Monaco EN (@AS_Monaco_EN) August 6, 2022
The team has been very solid, despite the rotation. Is that your feeling too?
That must be AS Monaco’s strength this season. Last year also the substitutes brought a lot to the pitch when they came on, and it must be like that all the time. We have a good team, a big bench with lots of depth. When important players are not there, this match proves that there are other talented elements who are ready to return. And that is the strength of a team! Competition is everywhere and it must be healthy. If I’m on the bench, I pray whoever’s on the pitch plays a great game. That’s the Club, that’s reall what AS Monaco is.
Tell us about your goal…
Often when I was in Bruges, where I knew the coach and the same staff, they pushed me, because I often score when I try my luck in this situation. I scored a few volleys like that in Belgium. Yesterday in training I scored in exactly the same way. It’s something that comes naturally to me, and I’m very happy to have succeeded today. When I struck the ball, I immediately felt that it was going to go in! I had already started running to celebrate (smiles)!
We feel that everyone was happy for you in the team…
That’s exactly what I’m saying. This is the strength of AS Monaco. There is youth, there is experience, but above all you feel that you are loved! It is really very important, it is a point to emphasize. For me they are not teammates, they are all brothers! They showed it to me things were tough and I had my injury. They saw me in pain and said to me all the time: “Hold on!” I am touched by all the messages I’ve received. It feels good, I think that’s what made the difference! We love each other and we help each other, that’s AS Monaco!