Ludo, Saturday’s match in Chasselay will be a bit special for you, in a stadium that bears your name …
It’s funny, my little story with this club continues. It was there that I started and finished my career and that I had the opportunity to play in this very special match for me, against AS Monaco at the Stade Gerland, in January 2014. Many aspects of my career were united that day. The club of my debut, the scene of my professional debut pros, and AS Monaco where I lived and experienced so much. Unfortunately, this event was spoiled by Falcao’s injury.
Let’s go back to this club, MDA Chasselay, to which you have always remained attached …
I grew up there, before me there was my father, who is still MDA’s sporting director. I have a real history with this club and the men who make it what it is. During my career I promised the iconic president, Mr. Gérard Leroy, that I would come back and that he would one day be my president. Unfortunately he left us before that happened, but I kept my promise.
What does one feel when one enters a stadium that bears his name?
It’s definitely something powerful to have such a level of recognition and it’s even more so when it comes from the club where it all started for me. It is an honor and a matter of pride wrapped in a very strong friendship for this club and its team, even if Saturday I will not be there to make them happy.
Exactly how do you see this match?
Like an important match against a direct rival, with a coach, Cree, whom I know very well. I hope we will play a competitive match and that the players will make every effort to do that. If we win, I’ll be even more proud. If “my” team can win in “my” stadium, I will be the happiest.
Are not you afraid of getting angry with your friends?
Certainly not ! That will not stop me from going to eat with the MDA president the day before the match. Jocelyn Fontanel is a long time friend. He knows my commitment to the club, but also to the values of sport. Once on the pitch, there is only the match that counts. I have always worked like this. For example, when I played in Monaco and we beat Lyon, the club where I trained, I was the happiest. Not out of malice, but out of respect.
What do you think of AS Monaco II in this group D of National 2 so far?
The results and the current ranking of the team do not correspond to its real potential and the work being done. In terms of the game, it is not too bad, but it still lacks some ingredients for it to be seen in the results. We must have more of killer instinct, find a balance in the phases of possession, which allows us to avoid being hit on the counter, as was the case in the last match against Moulins-Yzeure.
A match in which the team showed good mental strength without being rewarded …
Exactly. It’s annoying to come back twice, to make that effort, and then to be surprised in this way, even against a very good team like this one. You have to learn from those games, to not give up and keep working. This is David Bechkoura’s message to players every day and I try to support him in this task.
Can you tell us a bit about this new coaching experience?
It’s going well, even though I have to admit that it’s really a lot, a lot of work. I did not imagine it was so high of energy level. You have to be tough, be there every day behind the guys, something you never really realize when you’re a player. But I am happy because I missed the pitch. I graduated to this because it was important to gain theoretical knowledge , even after my career had finish. Now, as we say, we must also “get our hands dirty” to learn.
Does your former status help you pass the right messages to the players?
My status is less important than my daily job. It is not enough to have a name for the message to be passed on. It’s like that for everything you do, not just on the touchline. If I come up and tell them “I’m Ludo Giuly listen to me,” I’m going crazy. We must adapt to the role, but also to the younger generation and its way of being to succeed in this work of coaching young professionals. After all, it’s like tat everywhere. Some will always be more sensitive than others to the messages they receive. Some are very attentive, others much less so.
Does it take you 20/25 years back when you were in their place?
No because it’s really too different; everything is very different. For example, when I started with the pros, with the other young people in the group we were responsible for picking up the equipment after the training. It was like that and even if we did not like it, we complied. It was a reflex because it was institutionalized. Today, we are no longer in this type of relationship. If we imposed now what was imposed on us at that time, it would not work.
By joining the Academy, you followed the same path as three former teammates, Gaël Givet, Flavio Roma and Sébastien Squillaci. Without forgetting Manu Dos Santos, what does it inspire in you to see the “elders” participate in the development of future red and white talents?
For me, it’s a great test of the club’s recognition for what we have done, but also for what we can still do by sharing our experience and values to help these young people progress. We all have different backgrounds, profiles and goals, but we all share the same passion for our sport and for our club.
For your part, you have also been ambassador of AS Monaco for three years. Looking back, what is your perception of this role?
I am proud to have been able to represent AS Monaco for three years, to help the club, the associations that the club supports, the supporters, the partners, but also to initiate this initiative of the club to value its former players … At the beginning of June we did a charity match on Lefkada Island in Greece; it was a great moment. This is something that was missing at AS Monaco and that management is putting in place today. I can only congratulate them for that and it is a real pleasure to add my hard work to that.