Patrice Neveu, the white panther

Patrice Neveu, the white panther Patrice Neveu – photo credit: Icon Sport

Published on : / Through Fabrice Fouda

Football is not just a physical activity. Mentality and attitude are also part of this sport that has become king for those who have understood it best. In this case a certain Patrice Neveu, who succeeded gave the Panthers of Gabon their devouring appetite.

Patrice Neveu, an honorable footballer

Modest footballer, Patrice Neveu was born on March 29, 1954 in Pré-Saint-Évroult in France. Strong character, often captain, he will spend 18 years of his life, from 1971 to 1989, on the ground, oscillating between the D2 and the French D3. Its different clubs will be: OC Châteaudun (1971-1975), AS Angoulême (1975-1976), VS Chartres (1976-1980), ES La Rochelle (1980-1988) and ES L’Île-d’Elle (1988-1989) ).

Patrice Neveu, a trainer, four continents

At the end of his playing career, Patrice Neveu will logically become a coach. A tactician who has traveled a lot without ever altering his temperament as sincere as he is fiery. He will start in France at AS Saint-Martin-de-Ré, at Fontenay-le-Comte VF and at AS Angoulême Charente, before going into exile abroad.

In Niger, Patrice Neveu therefore arrives to start a new life. In Niamey he will settle not as a coach, but as National Technical Director in 1999. A position that he will finally occupy for a few weeks, the time to join the bench of CA Rabat for a new departure as a technician. A journey that will include 12 different destinations and two new continents.

After Europe and Africa, Patrice Neveu will discover Asia through the Chinese clubs of Dalian Shide and Shanghai Liancheng, and America through the selection of Haiti. He will even participate in the Copa América with the Haitians by becoming the first French coach to lead a team in this tournament.

Patrice Neveu, the coach

As a club coach, Patrice Neveu has never really shone outside the European continent. Starting from the lower divisions of France, his experiences at CA Rabat and MA Tétouan in Morocco, at CO Médenine in Tunisia, at Ismaily SC and Smouha SC in Egypt, or at Horoya AC in Guinea, did not bear the expected fruits. . Only a Guinean Supercup title in 2018 with the HAC is to be noted.

However, these many trips will allow Patrice Neveu to deepen his knowledge of African football and produce great services at the helm of the African selections he will lead. Particularly with Pascal Feindouno’s Guinea, DR Congo and especially Mauritania, which he qualifies for his first international tournament: CHAN 2014. To this end, he will also declare:

“When I arrived, I had 90% of the sports world against me. I was a foreigner and it bothered those in place and changing mindsets was frowned upon by local coaches. I brought rigor, discipline, but also respect, pleasure and, above all, it was necessary to combine football and religion, very strongly marked in this Muslim country. Today, on the Nouakchott market, grannies kiss me on the head. I am also recognized as the head of state who has done a lot for football. A statue ? I don’t think I will be a statue, but here they will remember me. Everything was very hard to get there. But this success gave me a boost. It is the most difficult experience I have had to carry out. Psychologically especially « 

Patrice Neveu in Gabon

In 2022 in Cameroon, Patrice Neveu will begin his third year at the head of the selection of Gabon. A record for him in a national team, which is none other than the consequence of the excellent work he has done with the Panthers since 2019. “It seems logical to me to stay in the country of which I am the coach, in order to ‘be as close as possible to the federation and its leaders, he will say. I also want to stay close to Gabonese and local footballers, if only to maintain a certain cohesion ”.

Craftsman of the return to form of Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, captain of the Azingo National and the Arsenal Gunners, Denis Bouanga, Guelor Kanga and others Aaron Boupendza, Patrice Neveu is a man who relies on discipline to help his teams win. “To obtain good results and advance a team, he explained, whatever it is, you need an irreproachable state of mind within the group. This is the reason why it did not seem wise to me to return to France during this difficult period for the country and for the world in general ”.

Sources: Gabon qualified for CAN2021, Patrice NEVEU: The key man for the success of the Panthères. – GabonSportEvents

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