Interview: Romain Danze

Danze

After a draw in Nantes (1-1) and a win against Lorient (1-0), Stade Rennais are preparing to play their third Breton derby in as many games in Ligue 1. Romain Danze and his teammates travel to the Stade du Roudourou this weekend. Captain of SRFC, the full back knows by heart the importance of these matches. After returning from a winter break to the busy La Piverdière, he spoke exclusively to DieseFoot.

During the break, there were some great people at La Piverdière. Were you able to rub shoulders with the French team or Zidane?

No, I did not meet les Blues. I only saw the match against Albania, as a normal supporter. We did not see them in training … Zidane, this was not the first time he came to Rennes. It’s always nice to see people like that. But they were there for their work and not for sightseeing. We have not had too much contact with them, they were very focused on their work and mission.

You just played Nantes and Lorient. Now you face another Breton derby, with the trip to Guingamp. Why are these games special?

It’s a derby, they are always important games for regional supremacy. For our fans, too, they are important. Especially since we know that there are things to be forgiven by them. If we can win these games that matter to them, it’s always a plus. And, in our dynamic, it is always important to win. But, you know, a derby is always in proportion, throughout France.

Do you feel such importance in the week leading up to these games? The fans and media are they more prevalent?

This is especially the case in the derby against Nantes which is special. It’s really about this game that there is a real expectation from the fans. When the schedule comes out, people look for this date first. Playing at La Beaujoire is always a great moment for us and for them, because there is an atmosphere with a lot of tension. They are always good times to experience. Against Guingamp, there is less animosity between the two clubs, although there is always a supremacy to enforce.

Traditionally, Rennes do not succeed in Guingamp. How do you explain that?

I do not know (laughs) … It’s true that it’s been a while since Stade Rennais beat Guingamp in various competitions. There have not been many matches either, because they played a lot of their matches in Ligue 2 and even National.

Some Guingamp supports say there may be a superiority complex on the side of Rennes?

No! It is their source of motivation … Their slogan is “The peasants are back.” It’s their thing to motivate them and to make it that little guy versus the big man. But, we at Rennes, at no time was it in our heads.

Do you yearn to finish this run of matches undefeated against your Breton neighbours?

Yes. Especially that during last season we only won a single match of the six we played in derbies. We lost a lot of points in these meetings. If we can continue taking points in these run of match, it is always better, that’s for sure.

With you being from the region, are you more motivated than usual? Do you deliver a special message to motivate your teammates?

Yes, we explain the importance of these meetings, especially since the arrival of many new players this year. We also recognize that there are many teammates with experience and who have played in other derbies. They also know that there are three points at stake and ONLY three points!

You’re originally from Brittany. Rennes is in Ille-et-Vilaine, Lorient in Morbihan, Guingamp in Côtes d’Armor and Nantes, Loire-Atlantique. When you were young, what team did you support?

Rennes (laughs) … My first steps were at the stadium in Rennes. I never knew the golden age of Brest Armorique and I did not connect with the football in Brest.

You are currently seventh. What can Stade Rennais target this season?

There have been so many disappointments in the past that we will not set targets or shoot for the moon, because we are on a good run. We must remain measured and not forget what we have learned. We finished 12th and 13th the last two seasons, with a very complicated year last year. We will do the best possible and the statements will be made at the end. The season is still very long and a lot can still happen.

You have not missed a single minute this season. Mentally and physically, how do you deal with this run of matches?

In Rennes, there is no hassle of playing in Europe. We play one game a week, which I am able to cope with. In addition, the coach has not made me play in the Coupe de la Ligue. I stay on the pace of a weekly game. There are no worries, we all love to play football. In addition, we defenders in the course of a game rarely change, it is more frequently the attackers who are substituted. In my opinion, there are more defenders who play all the games than centre forwards.

 

Thanks to DieseFoot for their permission in publishing this translated interview. The original interview in French can be found here.

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Photo courtesy of beIN Sports

 

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Interview: Pedro Henrique

Henrique LeTelegramme.fr PSG

Interview: Pedro Henrique

The Brazilian winger has made a good start to life in Brittany.  Henrique spoke with the club for an interview published in the matchday programme ahead of the game against Paris Saint Germain.  The matchday programme is now available online via the official club website.

Pedro, what significant differences have you seen between Ligue 1 and the Swiss league?

In Switzerland, the top teams have a range of levels.  In France, the twenty clubs are very strong. I also feel more passion around the games in France.  In Zurich, the crowd was far from the pitch because there was an athletics track.  In Rennes, fans are very close and I like it!  The atmosphere is different.

Against Saint-Etienne, you came off for a few minutes to treat your nose which was bloodied by an elbow. You have experienced that Ligue 1 can be rough …

Yes, every game is a battle. In training, there is also a lot of intensity. But this is not a problem!

Against Paris, SRFC will need to raise its level of play to win …

Yes, we got results, as against Caen, but we realise that we must improve.  There were many arrivals and changes in players.  It’s not easy to get to the required level automatically.  But it will all come together.

What is needed to beat the Parisians?

I have great respect for Paris but at home, we should be able to beat all teams.  The hardest part is finding the right balance.  It will take not too much defending or attacking.  Paris have great players, but there is also the quality in Rennes.  We can compete.

There are many Brazilians in Paris (Lucas, David Luiz, Maxwell, Thiago Silva …).   Do you know them personally?

No, but I focus on the path of Lucas.  I love his style.  He plays in the same position as me.  I appreciate his style: he is an incredible dribbler.  I am trying to get a bit of inspiration from him.  I think he has a very great future.

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Q&A

Your favourite movie?

Gladiator. I love epics and this one is very successful.

Your favourite music?

Brazilian music … There are obviously many artists. I cannot highlight one!

The best player currently playing?

Cristiano Ronaldo.  I love players like him.  He has exceptional technical qualities.  He can do everything: dribble, pass, score … and each time, he does it with a smile!

The best player of all time?

Ronaldinho.  For the same reason as Cristiano Ronaldo.  He, too, is always smiling.  For these players, football is a pleasure.  It shows on the field.  He is a fantastic and complete player.

Do you follow footballing news?

Yes a lot.  I look at all championships: Brazilian, German, English, Spanish …

Henrique skysports

Your best friend in football?

In Zurich, I got along well with Davide Chiumiento.  He also played in Ligue 1 with Le Mans in 2005.

Your favourite gesture on the pitch?

Ronaldo and his dribbling manner: to the body!

Your favourite sport outside of football?

Just football!

What would you like to do after you retire?

I’d like to stay in football. coach, manager, director or educator!

What would you have done if you had not made it in football?

I really do not know … (silence).  I always wanted to be a pro.  I thought only that!  Football, football and more football!

 

The original interview can be found in the matchday programme available via http://www.staderennais.com.  Photos courtesy of http://www.letelegramme.fr and http://www.skysports.com.

Interview: Sanjin Prcic

Courtesy of www.staderennais.com

Interview: Sanjin Prcic

The official Stade Rennais website has published an interview with Bosnian midfielder Sanjin Prcic.  We have translated this below.

Sanjin, how did you experience your first games in “Rouge et Noir”?

It went very well since we won the first game 6-2 at home.  It was a very good game with a great atmosphere, the crowd was behind us, it was really great.  The second game was still positive in Saint-Etienne.  We are very happy with the result.  More generally, since I arrived, I am very happy with my integration.

In the matches against Evian and Saint-Etienne, you played well, did you expect such a rapid acclimatisation?

I did not.  Stade Rennais is a great club and we can still improve.  We see it every day in training.  You really feel the potential. The whole club is responsive which puts us at ease.  This is what has allowed me to integrate myself.  I really want to thank them.

Against Saint-Etienne, we saw you play on the right wing …

I’m more used to play in the centre.  It’s my job in training.  Moving on the right side did not bother me.  We must be able to strive, to make sacrifices for the team.

Courtesy of www.staderennais.com

We saw you take the set pieces.  Are you used to that?

As soon as I arrived at the training camp in Germany, the coach encouraged me to take them.  He told me not to hesitate to do so.  This is something that works a lot in training, it is important to find automation with the other players.  These are very important phases during the game where you can score a lot of goals.  From a young age, I love doing it and so I try to take corners and free kicks.

Against Evian we especially saw Gelson Fernandes speak often to you …

Gelson has great experience.  He helps us a lot and gives us advice that we try to follow.  This is only my second season in Ligue 1, I need advice from experienced players.  There are players like Sylvain (Armand) who have played for big clubs.  We observe, we take example from them.  It is important to have experienced players to guide us and help us in everyday life.

Courtesy of www.staderennais.com

You’re going to have your first cap for the Bosnia and Herzegovina national team, how do you feel?

I am very proud because it has been 5 years since I was selected (note: in the youth teams).  This is my first call up and I am very happy because the next matches are qualifiers for Euro 2016.  This is another major step taken forwards by me.

What do you think about the selection of Bosnia and Herzegovina?

This is a very good team, which gained momentum in the last 5 years and obtained their qualification for the last World Cup.  This was a first and historic moment for the country.  They failed to produce great games but it proves in the selection that Bosnia and Herzegovina is becoming a great team.  We also feel an enthusiasm around this selection.  All Bosnians are attached to the national team.  So we try to make them happy and give them emotion.

Interview and photos courtesy of www.staderennais.com.  www.staderennais.com are not liable for the translation.

Interview: Benoit Costil

Interview: Benoit Costil

Caen native and former Stade Malherbe Caen player, Benoit Costil has been interviewed for the official SM Caen website ahead of the game on Saturday.  Below is the translation.

How do you rate the start of the season for your team?

“Encouraging.  Our record in the last two games is positive. We responded well after our setback in Lyon in the opening game (0-2) by showing the value of efficiency against Evian (6-2) and solidity against St. Etienne (0-0).”

What ambitions do Stade Rennais have?

“We did not finish where we wanted to last season. Our objective is to play more consistently and avoid a scare like last year.  After that if we can snatch something interesting, we’re not going to deny it.  But do not forget that we face another season of transition with many departures and arrivals within the squad.”

Has last season left any traces?

“Not necessarily in the league. For the players who were here, it was especially the defeat in the final of the Coupe de France against Guingamp that made an impression.  Since I’ve been at the club, I already have had two failures in the final of cups.  But one of the qualities of top footballers is knowing how to rebound.  Moreover, the high turnover of the squad has also been used to trigger a new momentum.”

Courtesy of FFF

Courtesy of FFF

What is your mood ahead of the game against Stade Malherbe?

“First of all, I am disappointed not play at d’Ornano.  When I checked the calendar, I hoped one thing: we would not be one of the two matches to be played at Le Mans, however this is only a postponement, I will come back next season.  Otherwise I am very happy to face Caen by defending the shirt of a very good Ligue 1 club.”

What kind of match do you expect?

“Given their good start to the season, Caen will not have much to lose.  So I think while remaining organised, they’ll play a pretty game.  From what I’ve seen, their plans for the game are very coherent play.  Their coach has established an excellent organisation.  Then there’s my friend Julien Feret.  It’s already established that I get his shirt, but I hope he will not hurt us too.”

Have you kept your links with former club?

“If the pill was hard to swallow at the time of my departure, I found that in the last few years I now have some support.  My whole family vibrates “bleu et rouge”.  When I joined Malherbe, my father become a steward, my mother regularly volunteered and my big brother, Eddy, who joined me at the club a few years later and played until CFA, is now responsible for the goalkeepers at the training centre.”

Interview courtesy of SM Caen – Costil Interview.  www.smcaen.fr were not liable for the translated version.

Interview: Julien Feret

Interview: Julien Feret

Julien Feret has conducted an interview with http://www.staderennais.com.  Below you will find the translated version of this.

Now captain with Stade Malherbe de Caen, the former Rennes midfielder welcomes his former teammates on Saturday night to the MMArena.  Although his last season in “Rouge et Noir” was not memorable, Julien Feret is still attached to Rennes.

Julian, how have you started in Caen?

It’s going well.  I was well received by the club.  My pre-season preparation was complete.  I have not had any physical problems.  I played the first three games.  It’s started pretty well.

Have you more responsibility in the Caen dressing room?

The coach wanted me to take the armband.  My role has not changed.  I’ve always had the habit of speaking quietly.  I try to bring my experience of professional football and Ligue 1.

You have already rubbed shoulders with Patrice Garande, your coach …

This is someone I knew when I was in Cherbourg in the National.  He is frank, wholesome, right … he does his job thoroughly.  He is capable of being a good coach in Ligue 1.  He was a major factor in my coming to Caen.

How are you approaching the game against your old team?

I approach in the same manner as the others.  There will be of course a somewhat larger share of emotions.  My departure from Rennes is still fresh.  But there is no more at stake than another game.

The meeting will be played on neutral ground at Le Mans (the World Equestrian Championships are currently being held at Caen’ normal home, the Stade Michel d’Ornano – Ed), do you feel like losing the advantage of playing at home?

We are trying to take over this ground and to act as if we were at home.  This will be the second game and the last at the MMArena.  Even if there was no result here this worked pretty well against Lille (0-1 defeat).

What are the ambitions of Caen this season?

The main objective is to stay in Ligue 1.  This is the one and only objective.  Each week we will spend together and focus on the games that we will be playing.  It is important for the club.

Are you confident?

I find that there is quality.  This feels like a totally focused group.  We know it will be hard and we will fight to the end.  I think we have the weapons to fight until the end.

Are you still in contact with some players at Rennes?

I speak to Benedict (Costil) fairly regularly, Sylvain (Armand) and “Ladanze” (Romain Danze) too.  These are the people I spent the most time with.  I may speak to them on the phone before the game.

Benoit Costil, does he try to profit by getting news from Normandy?

He pays attention to what you do. He came to see us in pre-season. I think he is very happy that I came to his first club (laughs).

He puts pressure you?

He wants me to be performing with Caen.  This is normal . He wants to see the Caen continue in Ligue 1.

Do you have any regrets since you left Stade Rennais?

I do not have one.  There is no nostalgia.  I spent two great seasons and a more complicated one that I want to forget.  I am always attentive to what the club does.  I spent six years in total at the club, which is not insignificant.

Among the young players that you knew at Rennes, which do you see at the highest level?

Steven (Moreira) really is the future.  For Cedric (Hountondji), it is more complicated because there are people in the centre of defence already.  But if his future it is not with Rennes, it could be elsewhere.  And I think Wesley (Said) is able to prevail.  He needs to click.  I see him at a very high level.

 

Interview and pictures courtesy of http://www.staderennais.com.  www.staderennais.com were not liable for the translated version.