With a clenched fist, Willy Sagnol jumps off his sofa: “Well done my little one! » The exclamation comes from the heart and echoes in the Georgian coach’s high-ceilinged apartment. On this first day of the Champions League, September 7, the former coach of the France Espoirs team (2013-2014) chose to watch Naples-Liverpool (4-1) and the « Kvara » festival.
On his left side, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia turned the head of Trent AlexanderArnold and left Joe Gomez on the butt several times. At the end of the match, Gary Lineker, the former England international turned star consultant, will say: “Defending against him is as hard as saying his name. »
“Leaders (of L1) told me that they could not take the risk of recruiting a Georgian”
The 21-year-old striker is the Georgian nugget that the French coach continues to polish. Of his 17 selections, « Kvara » – trained like 60% of Sagnol’s team at Dinamo Tbilisi – has already scored 8 goals, including 7 with his tricolor mentor. He is also one of the top scorers in Serie A (4 goals in 7 matches). Before landing in Naples this summer for €5 million (with as many bonuses), he went through FK Rustavi, Lokomotiv Moscow, Rubin Kazan, then broke his contract in Russia in March because of the war in Ukraine and finished the season with Dinamo Batumi, crowned champions of Georgia.
“’Kvara’ was affordable for all L1 clubs. There, only PSG can afford it. »
Naples smelled a good deal. “I had spoken to French clubs about itbreathes Willy Sagnol. There is only one who was really interested in him but his sporting director left in the middle of the transfer window. Other managers told me that they couldn’t take the risk of signing a Georgian or that it wasn’t ambitious enough for their supporters. A club even suggested to me that we should perhaps try to « South Americanize » it! Financially, « Kvara » was affordable for all L1 clubs. There, only PSG can afford it. »
An L2 match, a goal for Davitashvili
The 2006 vice-world champion regrets that the big leagues like Italy, Spain or Germany are interested in his Georgians snubbed by France. Bordeaux has nevertheless just taken the plunge with midfielder Zuriko Davitashvili (21), who scored in his first match, as part of a loan. Born in Lyon, passed by the center of OL before being loaned to Seraing (BEL) by Metz, Georges Mikautadze is also part of the revelations of L2 with the Grenats.
“Players consult me and I advise them to go to clubs where they have a chance to playspecifies the former Bordeaux coach. It’s a win-win for them and for our team. They must leave, often young, to grow up. I know the L1 well. I know that many can pass in our Championship. Le Havre almost signed our defender Azarovi (20 years) who eventually left for Red Star Belgrade. All these prejudices in France escape me. Other European clubs are less cautious. »