THE SPORT SCAN – Boiling on the sidelines, Jorge Sampaoli is just as much in training. Mattéo Guendouzi and Valentin Rongier could see it during a simple game of tennis-ball.
Since Jorge Sampaoli took over Olympique de Marseille, new energy seems to have been infused into the Olympian collective. If he advocates an open and attractive game, the Argentine coach remains a competitor at heart. On the benches of Ligue 1, its volcanic character detonates and in training also visibly. In the first episode of the series “Goal Match»Proposed by Olympique de Marseille takes place a fun sequence between Jorge Sampaoli, Mattéo Guendouzi and Valentin Rongier. The first two face each other in a tennis-ball match and the least we can say is that the Olympian coach is not a good loser.
I will never play against him again
Valentin Rongier about Jorge Sampaoli.
During this match between him and his own player, we can see the OM coach finding all possible excuses in order not to concede a point or to win one. When he sends the ball into the net on engagement, it has to be redone “because he was talking“. We can also see him claiming imaginary faults or even refusing a beautiful, claiming that he won on goal difference. A match that takes place under the eyes of a hilarious Valentin Rongier and Jacques Abardonado, Sampaoli’s deputy. The first was also already aware of the difficulties of playing a ball tennis match against Jorge Sampaoli. “When I saw that he was trying to catch Mattéo (Guendouzi) to tell him “come on we are going to play a match», I said to myself that I had to stay, because Matteo is going to go wild and I know exactly how it will be […] Once the coach was in the gym and he told me “come on, let’s have a tennis ball“. I couldn’t run away but I can tell you, I’ll never play against him again“, Confides with amusement the midfielder of OM in the video.
The streak ends with Sampaoli asking Rongier to arbitrate a point, but when the latter gives his verdict in favor of Guendouzi, the coach shoots him with the ball. A good-natured moment between the players and their coach which testifies to the relaxed atmosphere that reigns today at OM. This friendly relationship between Sampaoli and his players is reminiscent of Samir Nasri’s statements towards him. “He was a friend, not a trainer. He told me : “You can drink, go out, do whatever you want, I’ll cover you“. He only asked us to be good in the field on weekends. If I wanted to go see my family on a weekend when I wasn’t playing, Sampaoli would tell me that he would take care of my dog“. The former Marseillais and the Argentinian coach had known each other at Sevilla FC during the 2016-17 season.