He could have claimed to be at the Euro with the France A team. But Dayot Upamecano will be one of the leaders of the Espoirs, who play a quarter-final of the Euro in the category against the Netherlands on Monday. For RMC Sport, he talks about his arrival at Bayern, with Julian Nagelsmann, his coach in Leipzig, who will also join Bavaria from next season.
Dayot Upamecano, can you explain to us why you chose to sign for Bayern?
When they approached me, along with my agents and my family, I felt I was an important piece. We had a very good discussion. For me it is the best club in the world. It was not difficult, although there were other clubs on me.
What arguments were presented to you?
Quite simply sporting arguments. They had already been following me for a while… when I was 16-17 years old. They know me very well, they gave me a fairly clear, well-structured career plan and for me, going to Bayern was the best decision.
Do you live it as a consecration?
Of course! I can’t wait to start with them, to be able to train with them. When you play against Bayern, you kinda see how it goes. It’s a club where you feel that the players are confident, that everything is structured… it makes you want to.
There are a lot of French players at Bayern, was that something important in your decision?
Yes that was important too. I played with them in the France team. I’m very happy because I’ll be able to stay with them, but I also think it’s important to speak German, to communicate with everyone. We have a lot of talent in France and I think that’s why Germany is attracted to the French.
Did you speak with Deschamps about this choice?
No, I couldn’t speak with him. But it was someone who came to me when I made my first selection. He gave me a lot of advice, he talked to me. The players too. I hope they will win this Euro. I am going to concentrate on what I have, that is to say the Euro Espoirs.
You will find Nagelsman at Bayern, was it important for you to have a coach that you knew?
Yeah, we talked together. We make a lot of videos together. He asks a lot of us but he also helps us a lot on a daily basis. I am very happy that he was able to sign for Bayern and I hope we will bring success to the club together.
How important was he in your career?
It was very important. Especially in the use of video. He always told me what I was doing right and wrong and that’s my favorite thing about a coach. He knows how to show you your flaws. He is very intelligent and he has a vision of the game that I like.
You were not selected for the Euro, was it a big disappointment?
I’m a little disappointed it’s true, but that’s how it is. I can’t focus on things that I don’t have. I want to try to help the Hopes as much as possible now and that we will manage to win this title.
Do you feel that you have the means to earn this Euro?
Of course ! We have everything we need, we have all known each other for a while now, there is quality to make it happen. There is also competition in this team and we will fight to take this title.
What have you learned from your time in the France A team?
A lot because I was able to speak with the guys and Didier Deschamps. The coach took the time to speak with me. Now I know I have to do better. I will continue to fight to come back.
We would like to talk about your personality, because we don’t know you well in France. Some people call you shy, is that right?
No, I do not think so. We must not confuse shyness and calm. I am not shy, I am calm. I try to take my time before I say or do anything. But I am not shy. In addition, at my post, we have to talk in the field. And I do it because it is very important.
You stuttered when you were young, has that become a strength?
I think yes. When I was young, people tended to laugh at me. I went to work with my mom in the market every now and then, and it was kind of the same. Often mockery. In the end, it became more of a force than a problem
Football has helped you overcome that …
In U15, I started to be captain and when I went on the field, I released something else and finally I was able to draw strength from it.