How do you judge your first season with Nice?
Andy Delort: I’m happy with my adaptation. I know I am able to do a lot better in terms of stats and performance. I knew I would adapt quickly. It’s a club that looks like me. We are in the South with people who have the same mood whether it is the fans or the people of the club.
What did you come to Nice for?
Very strong moment: when Kombouaré summons his players with tears in his eyes
4 HOURS AGO
AD: Finals, to be higher in the rankings. What we are actually playing: the Cup final and the Champions League.
Is this final the most important match of your career?
AD: Today yes. I had important games with Algeria during the CAN. But yes, there is a trophy to aspire to. An extraordinary trophy. It rises little by little.
Andy Delort is in the Coupe de France final with Nice (visual: Marko Popovic)
What is this type of game played on?
AD: It is played in the heads, in the preparation. The key is to see how we handle the pressure because there will be a lot of people at the Stade de France. It is up to us to be ready, to take advantage of it, to put the right pressure on it. This is what will make the difference.
Amine made a great start to the season, he got tired
Delort, Gouiri, Dolberg, Kluivert: your attack has a great cast but you only have the 11th attack in Ligue 1. How do you explain that?
AD: I have no explanation. There is the language barrier. On the names, on the quality of the players, we have to be better. There are more complicated times. I took it three months ago when I had less playing time and scored less. Amine and Kasper are also in a more delicate period. I hope you come back. Amine and Justin are future great players. Amine made a great start to the season, he got tired. It happens. The most important thing is the final mini sprint that we have left.
Nice, 11th attack of L1? “We have to be better,” according to Delort
Did you doubt in December and January? CAN argued without you, you were no longer owner in Nice …
AD: Are you no longer the owner? It was only 4 games… It was my fault, I was less efficient, less efficient. To doubt ? Never. I wondered, I worked. When I returned, I was decisive in the matches that had to be won. This is often the case for attackers.
What is the role of Christophe Galtier in your current success?
AD: We have wanted to work together with the coach for a while. In Sainté we were close, but it didn’t happen. I wanted to work with him. This is also what he brought me here.
As soon as I’m like this, I can score at any time and against anyone
What did you tell yourself when he benched you this winter?
AD: I told myself when I was about to return that things had to be changed. This is what I did. Against PSG, I scored at the last minute. He stole me, he knows how I am. That’s why he is a great coach.
What’s the recipe for having the best of Delort?
AD: The coach knows her. There was a period of adjustment. I feel better and better. We are seeing the real Andy Delort. As soon as I’m like this, I can score at any time and against anyone. It’s good to hear that. At one point, I was less involved.
Stay with 51 goals and 22 assists in the last 4 seasons in L1. In Montpellier you were like family. In Nice you have a coach who understands you, a healthy locker room. Do you need this cocoon to fully blossom?
AD: If I’m too lonely, I don’t have the same determination on the pitch. I like being close to the fans, to people. I also have to please those I love. After the game against Lorient, I knew I had a pétanque tournament and that I had to score to please the people I was going to play with the next day. And that’s what happened. That’s how I walk. It’s my mentality, I’m close to people.
Delort: “If I feel too lonely, I don’t have the same determination”
Basically, you need heat.
AD: Yes. I am a very simple person. If I don’t have it, I’m not fine.
Isn’t that an obstacle to success in bigger clubs with perhaps less welcoming changing rooms?
AD: Yes, maybe. But today, I’m 30, I feel good in Nice and don’t need to look elsewhere.
You have played for eleven clubs in ten years. How do you see your trip?
AD: It’s football’s fault. When I leave Ajaccio and go to the Tour, I finish top scorer of the season in L2, I should have signed for a L1 club but the Tour wanted to sell me to England. I wasn’t thrilled to go there… It’s because of football, my decisions. When you’re not ready, you don’t make the best decisions. But I don’t regret anything. I am proud of everything I have done. Honestly, with the life and youth I’ve had, I’m proud to have done everything I’ve done in my career. This is why the final is important: I can say that I have won a new title. It’s just a bonus.
Bringing the Cup back to Nice is a mission
So you have no regrets.
AD: None. When you see the career I made in Ligue 1 or even the title of African champion … I haven’t noticed this Coupe de France final yet … I talked about it with my wife and my father who still don’t they did not believe it. He invited all his friends from Sète to the Stade de France. He would never have imagined seeing me in the Coupe de France final. I am happy for my family. The most important thing is that she is proud of me.
Andy Delort after Nice’s goal against Rennes in Ligue 1 on 2 April 2022
Credit: Getty Images
More than the titles, you seem driven by the desire to convey emotions.
AD: I like to experience the moments, when I go back to the locker room, when my teammates are proud of me. I have only been here for 8 months and I am already very close to the fans. Bringing the Cup back to Nice is a mission. Scoring in the final, bringing joy to the fans… It gives me great strength. I like these matches, tense. If anyone has to rock in these games, I try to be the right one.
Even in your game, you often favor the nice gesture that triggers the emotion.
AD: I like to try scissors, to dare things. I like the beauty, the good ending, the good goals.
Sometimes even if it means jeopardizing realism?
AD: But you just told me my stats, it’s not that bad, is it? My love is to score good goals: volley, scissors …
Returning to your career, having never played in the European Cup, is it a real lack?
AD: Of course, that’s why I left Montpellier with a pang in my heart. I was attacked. Even today I am fully behind them, it is the club in my region that I grew up with. I made this decision to be able to play in the aforementioned places, to try to compete in competitions such as the Champions League or the Europa League.
What’s your biggest dream today?
AD: Win the Coupe de France and play the best competition with Nice next year.
What if you had to choose?
AD: This has already been done to me. I take everything there is to take. I will not be able to answer you. Impossible.
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