Seko Fofana, Artois and the way / Ligue 1 / J17 / Lens / Paris Saint-Germain (3-1) /

Seko Fofana, Artois and the way / Ligue 1 / J17 / Lens / Paris Saint-Germain (3-1) /

Indestructible and exhausting for his opponents, Seko Fofana put on his costume for the big nights to contribute to the convincing Lensois success against Paris. Courted last summer, finally extended, one of the best midfielders in France is a guide on a mission. This mission has a name, European Cup.

Live My Life by Seko Fofana. 8:45 p.m., December 31. The Ivorian international knows that 24 hours later, Paris Saint-Germain will be served as a digestive for a New Year’s Eve that he intends to celebrate soberly. “My phone will be off at midnightpromises the man with three lungs, who, if he had been a kid at the dawn of the XXe century, would have been the Stakhanov of the Artois mines. It’s going to be an exceptional match, after New Year’s Eve with the family, people will come to watch a great show, there’s nothing better. We will try to play a great game. » 7:30 a.m., 1er January. In the midfielder’s dressing room, the three-piece suit is perfectly ironed: pressing, broken kidneys, shoulders of a mover. The gear is out. Seko, though less prominent before the World Cup break, will be the beacon facing the city of light. It is promised, it is written.

“The coach listens to the players, there is a lot of communication. The objective was to press them well, we were rewarded. Everything that has been put in place, we have succeeded. » Seko Fofana

Big nights are his favorite treats. A year earlier, he had already sent Keylor Navas to pick up his dignity in the back of Bollaert’s net. But Paris had in extremis saved appearances (1-1). Out of the question, this time, to let go of his bone. 8:45 p.m., the boss is in the arena, nothing will stop him. 9:13 p.m. In front of his own surface, Fofana scrapes a ball, resists Soler, sees Verratti tackle like in a sandbox. The sequel is as tasty as it is quick. A laser pass of thirty meters towards Loïs Openda who spins as a soloist slamming the second. 10:30 p.m. After six duels won out of eight, 76% of successful passes and having disgusted Fabian Ruiz and Carlos Soler, Fofana (three goals and three assists this season) is replaced. Standing ovation. 10:35 p.m. Final dose of chicotage in front of an incandescent Marek grandstand. Seko, down jacket on her back, embraces Florian Sotoca and lets go, almost dumbfounded, ” it’s incredible ” . A few minutes later, at the microphone of Prime Video, he released his last facet, that of the analyst. “In training, the day before the match, we weren’t supposed to rush like that, but we made a change. The coach listens to the players, there is a lot of communication. The objective was to press them well, we were rewarded. Everything that has been put in place, we have succeeded. The third goal? We knew that the counter-pressing was important. They like to play short, they weren’t going to play long. That’s what’s good, we manage to communicate well with the coach. And he manages to find solutions to come out from behind. We are very happy. » Close the curtain.

Champions League level

So goes the daily life of the blood and gold Swiss army knife, a tireless all-purpose machine, dredged up by the Parisian leaders last summer while in Lens, we were burning day and night to make him stay. His potential departure has become the soap opera of the summer in Pas-de-Calais. “It’s always flattering that a big club is interested in you, but at the moment the reality is that I am a Lensois player, I like being at Lens, and I really like it.recalled the ex-scrap metal of Udinese, landed from the Italian Boot for 10 million euros in the summer of 2020. We have a project that is trying to establish itself, it’s flattering that they are interested in me, but it remains a fiction. » A few days later, with a final wink on the back of his jacket where it was written “Not from Paris Madame”, the native of the capital initialed, in the central circle of Bollaert, an extension until 2025. Not of emotions way telenovelas, but tears, real ones. That of a kid who went through the Manchester City locker room to become the responsible footballer on Lensoise land and the man he wanted to be. “I was convinced that the best decision for me was to stay here. People wanted me to continue. I felt like I wanted to continue. Even my colleagues asked me to continue. It was hard for me to leave. »

On and off the field, Fofana is on a mission. We could look for the pebble in the gears, there is none. The type is determined, and Franck Haise gratifies him in his device with a freedom which he likes to enjoy. The one who recently confided to the Spanish media AS having the level for the C1, a competition of which he only heard the little music from his sofa, wants to bring Lens back to the European Cup. “As for playing the Champions League or not, I know I have the level for that, but not being there at the moment is not a problem for me. I know it will come. I have other goals in mind at the moment, but everything will come one day. » Ultimate nod – and because in Lens, the symbolism is perhaps even stronger than elsewhere – this Sunday evening, Fofana wore a 100% gold tunic in tribute to minors. The last of its kind for the Lensois dates back to the 2002-2003 season. That of the club’s last appearance in the Champions League.

Marquinhos, as in 2022

By Florent Caffery