In a vast interview with El País, the president of Olympique de Marseille, Pablo Longoria, gave his vision of the training of young footballers in France. Comparing her to the NBA, where the model is more individual than collective.
Pablo Longoria did not wait to be propelled, at the end of February, at the head of Olympique de Marseille, to have his own idea of the situation in French football. And to believe the young Olympian president, 34, who spoke at length with the Spanish media El País, the training of young footballers in France lacks a clear collective model and a clear legibility of what is the essence of the French championship.
“We are at a time when we are looking for our identity as a championship: to continue to be a talent exporting championship in which the players leave Ligue 1 at 18, 19, 20 years old and therefore where it is difficult to increase the level , or to be a championship which manages to impose itself in the European top 5 with more seriousness “, launches Longoria first, before developing its vision concerning training in France.
“It is football that is still played in the street, it is an individual training rather than a collective”
While he believes that “French football is looking for a new direction”, the Spanish leader goes further in his explanation, and notes a real failure in the system of training young footballers. “All the clubs recruit in France because it is the exporting country par excellence, in Europe because of a mixture of cultures. But there is something fundamental that must be understood: training in France is comparable to training. training of basketball players in the United States. It is football that is still played in the streets, it is an individual rather than collective training. France in matters of football is the NBA of Europe. “
And to continue: “Players with a lot of personality are formed, not in a very precise idea of the game. In France, there is no ‘French’ model of the game. Objectively, if we analyze the whole in the world, it is one of the countries which exports the fewest coaches. They do not sell collective ideas. But individually, it is the country which exports the most players because the French player continues to play in the street, especially in many districts of Paris, Marseille and Lyon. There, the children continue to play in the street and this means that they have a training which helps them to make differences. They are not trained to be integrated in a game model. “
At the end of 2020, the CIES Football Observatory published a European ranking of the clubs having trained in 2019-20 the most active players in the five biggest leagues on the continent. While OL, PSG, Rennes, Saint-Etienne and Monaco were enthroned in the top 15, and that teams like Lens, Bordeaux, Nantes or even Toulouse and Sochaux were in the game, OM was not present in this top 50 training in Europe.