Maxime Lopez (23) confides his happiness at having joined Sassuolo at the start of the season and recognizes difficulties with André Villas-Boas, while saluting the honesty of the former OM coach.
Born, trained and started with the pros in Marseille, Maxime Lopez (23) has flourished outside the Marseille city since leaving for Sassuolo last October. If he recognizes that the city and some teammates like Boubacar Kamara miss him, the midfielder (22 games, one goal) does not regret his choice to have joined Italy where he should stay since the option to buy automatic (depending on its playing time) will activate soon.
If he regrets not having participated in the Champions League with his club, he comes back to Serie A after a complicated period last season with André Villas-Boas who preferred Valenton Rongier and Morgan Sanson. Lopez had to settle for crumbs, often at his bad post.
“Complicated with Villas-Boas”
“It was complicated with AVB but we had an honest relationship, he explains in an interview with L’Equipe. And the franchise in this environment, it is not always that. I went to see him many times. to ask him why I didn’t play. He always told me that he had found his type medium and that it was hard to change, even if I deserved to play sometimes. He tried to put me in other people positions like at Parc against Paris (1-0, September 13) or Lyon (1-1, October 4) .But I was not very comfortable and it was not doing me a favor either. . He ended up telling me that it was better for me to leave. There are coaches with whom I was closer like Rudi Garcia, who gave me my chance in pro and with whom I am still in contact , or De Zerbi currently. But I have no resentment against AVB. I even sent him a message when he left OM. “
“It was like redemption for me”
The recruitment of Michaël Cuisance accelerated his departure, as did De Zerbi’s contact on the eve of the transfer window. “Everything happened very quickly in fact, he explains. The first contacts between the clubs took place before the match against Lyon. After the meeting, I had De Zerbi on the phone for ten minutes. came in attacking right that night. He said: ‘It hurts my heart to see you playing at this position.’ We agreed (laughs). He assured me that if I signed to Sassuolo, I was going to have fun. The feeling has passed. I admit, I did not really know this team. The coach sent me in the wake of the training videos and the sequences of matches. (…) J ‘ suffered at OM not to play. I was buried a bit, I was forgotten. I showed that I was still there. It was like redemption for me. Now, my future is in Italy for four years. “