In the book he has just published, Patrice Evra, the former captain of the France team, dismissed after the Knysna fiasco in 2010, looks back on the relationship, according to him difficult, that the Blues had with Yoann Gourcuff
Despite his talent and despite his 31 selections, Yoann Gourcuff has never really been accepted as a part of the France team. The former Bordelais notably lived his most difficult moments in blue during the World Cup of sinister memory in 2010 in South Africa. A world that ended with the Knysna scandal, where French players refused to train to protest against the exclusion of Nicolas Anelka. At the time, Gourcuff was 24 years old and did not display the same codes or the same assurance as the Henry, Ribery or Captain Patrice Evra. The latter is currently on a media tour to sell his book « I love this game ». In the « good sheets », published by Le Figaro, the former Mancunien returns to the integration of Gourcuff in the blue collective and instead gives it the beautiful role … Yoann Gourcuff, he never officially announced the end of his career and has not played since his time in Dijon in 2018-2019. He now lives in Morbihan. Extracts:
In the France team, he remained shy and preferred to eat alone in his corner rather than with the group. One day when he was sitting with us, Henry said to him:
– « Manchester City wants you. You should come to the Premier League, it’s hard but you could be successful there. «
He replied with his small voice:
– « I am well in France. I have to keep working. I don’t think I have the level for City yet. «
We couldn’t understand that, this lack of confidence. Ribéry, Henry and I put him up – he was really too tender. The story came out in the media that we had bullied him. Reading them, they looked like black scum terrorizing a white goose. I absolutely deny this version. In truth, a lot of players had a problem with Gourcuff – not because of his personality, but because they wanted him to play better. We could see, in training, that he didn’t want the ball, and several players asked me to intervene. I don’t particularly blame Gourcuff, because the France team is a merciless universe for everyone. Missing a pass in training? The other players yell at you directly, just like at United. It’s very hard, the high level, and you have to accept it. But Gourcuff took refuge in his shell.
[…] One player in particular came to me and said:
– “Patrice, you have to go see the coach to tell him that Gourcuff shouldn’t play. «
I was really fed up.
– « Stop pissing me off, I said. » I’m a captain, but I will never go to the coach and say that someone shouldn’t play. Is it wrong to ask me that? «
But it did not stop there. He told other teammates about it, and soon I had three or four players on my back, asking me: « Why are you protecting Gourcuff? » It’s a fool. « I just said, » Guys, don’t talk to me about this. «