The reputation of a gruff man has stuck with him for years. He doesn’t care. Nicolas Pallois does Nicolas Pallois and he does not seek to please. Neither to journalists, nor to supporters, some of whom like to cheer on his coming up from the field, ball at his foot or his often well-felt sliding tackles. At 34, the defender has been able to adapt to the waltz of coaches at FC Nantes to remain essential in defense. Some 370 professional matches including the starting point was 2010 and Quevilly’s career in the Coupe de France, remembered. « It was a competition that launched my career« , don’t hesitate to let go of the former Niort native who recently extended his lease on the banks of the Erdre until 2024. Portrait of a man whose destiny is intimately linked to the Coupe de France and who has the possibility, on May 7 at the Stade de France, of going to glean a first trophy.
« We had a great journey, I think the region still remembers it »
Usually very reserved and modest when it comes to expressing himself to the press, Nicolas Pallois changes gear when it comes to discussing his relationship with « the old lady« , nickname given to the Coupe de France. How could it be otherwise, he, the carpentry graduate who then did odd jobs while continuing to pursue his passion. His life before is now far away but he doesn’t forget where he comes from. « It was thanks to the Cup that I signed as a professionaldelivers the native of Elbeuf. I made the semi-final against PSG in 2010 and immediately signed for Valenciennes. Maybe I’ll break through too, but that springboard was much faster. »
For the region, the supporters, the club, the players trained in Nantes like Quentin, these are wonderful moments to share.
A time when the number four of the Canaries did not yet sport an impeccably shaved head and a neat salt and pepper beard. From that time, only two Quevillais have made a career. He is part of it. « I still have a few on the phoneconfides the ex-Bordeaux between 2014 and 2017. Two years ago, the president of Quevilly had a meal with a small match for the tenth anniversary of the Cup. Everyone got together, we had a great time and of course it’s engraved. That year, we had a great course, I think the region still remembers it, it marks the spirits and the small clubs. »
In search of a trophy that would be « a great reward »
After three semi-finals, the « rock » Pallois will finally taste the happiness of treading the lawn of the « Stadium of all the French« . Returning in extremis after his knee injury in Troyes, the 30-year-old feels good. And he is especially looking forward to it. « I only approached the Stade de France as a fan, a few times, but I never touched the pitchassures the defender. It’s going to be a party, there will be a great atmosphere, and we’ll have to be present and celebrate after the match.“An impatience he shares with the supporters he has met since the Yellows won their ticket to the final.People tell me you have to win a title, it’s been 20 yearshe recalls. There is a generation that has not known a title at FC Nantes. For the region, the supporters, the club, the players trained in Nantes like Quentin [Merlin, ndlr]it’s wonderful to share these moments, in your club of hearts. »
For Nantes to be written on the cup would be great
The man with the imperturbable face, who does not hide the fact that he does not watch football or hardly any once the gates of Jonelière crossed, wants to relive what he experienced in Beaujoire, on March 2, when fans invaded the pitch. « I was jumped on it was greatrewinds Nicolas Pallois. We sang and danced with them, we enjoyed it. We felt we had to win this final« 90 minutes or a little more from a title that would magnify more than a decade as a professional. »It would be the firsttries to imagine the left-hander. It would be a small reward. For Nantes to be written on the cup would be great. In 20 years, we will no longer remember the names of the players but we will remember that we won the Cup and we will do everything to make it happen.. » With, as a bonus, the first goal of Nicolas Pallois in this competition?