“We left as if we were Real Madrid, by car, 5 km away”

André Dussollier was the guest of Dimanche Ouest-France, this week, on the occasion of the release of the film « The Tiger and the President », in which he plays the character of Georges Clemenceau. The editorial staff took advantage of his visit to ask him about his relationship to sport, to which he has always given an important place. The most faithful will not have forgotten his role in La Gifle, where he played a football player, and more recently in Ant, where he played this time the coach of a team of young footballers.

André Dussollier, what is your relationship to sport?

I was born in Annecy, I grew up in Cruseilles, a small village of 1,000 inhabitants, hilly since it is Haute-Savoie. I practiced two sports fairly regularly. The first is the bicycle. I was maybe twelve when I started. And I’m talking about cycling, with a real racing bike. Today it probably wouldn’t be considered as such, if only for its weight, but I already felt like a runner (smile). I loved fighting with myself. I also went to see the tests everywhere, I really loved that. But my first passion is football.

TO LISTEN. PODCAST. Dussollier the elegant plays the villain

Why football?

It really opened me up to social life. It was for me the possibility of meeting people of my age and who belonged to completely opposite social strata, that I did not meet and that I met thanks to football. It was a dream moment for us. Sunday matches, we left as if we were Real Madrid, by car, to go and play five kilometers away. It was a real expedition, a real party. Football is both the pleasure of being with friends and a social openness to the world. I come from a region that encourages sport, with Lake Annecy in particular. The sport was an evidence that was not always well supported in the studies. I have always regretted that in France, unlike Anglo-Saxon countries, sport does not occupy a place from childhood.

“I will always be grateful to football”

The social openness of which you speak, you did not have it in the bike?

Nope ! It’s an individual sport already. I didn’t have any friends who rode bikes either. I had the mountain climbing, it was the battle with myself to go as far and as quickly as possible.

You are therefore a collective more than an individualist.

I love the collective, I love the others. I am an only child, I was really frustrated not to have brothers and sisters. Football was an opportunity to live collectively. It annoyed me that someone could stand on the sidelines, watching others play. For me, everyone had to participate. Often, people select each other by affinity and it can happen that some remain alone, a little abandoned. I didn’t want that. In football, there is the notion of collective life, possible especially among young people, which…

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