Football: The 10 in the back, Alexis Antunes, now has to assert himself on the ground

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SoccerThe 10 in the back, Alexis Antunes, now has to assert himself on the ground

The 22-year-old from Geneva has played 50 Super League games. He now has ambitions to establish himself as an element that counts for Servette.

Alexis Antunes scored his first goal of the season against Grasshopper last Saturday.

BASTIEN GALLAY/LPS

He prefers to say that not much will change. This number 10 is not considered any different than any other. There is a certain modesty in the speech of Alexis Antunes. She is commendable. Even if the Servettian playmaker actually tells a slightly different story, a bit more ambitious. It traces the fate of a boy who decided to really assert himself in the Super League with Servette, his training club, who is moving to Lucerne this Sunday (2.15 p.m.).

Since this summer, the 22-year-old from Geneva has worn the shirt number previously worn by Alex Schalk. And when you know what the 10 represents in football history, it’s hard not to see a sign there. Antunes tells the process, he, who wore number 27 last season: “The players started talking to me about it. Miroslav Stevanovic was very insistent that I take it. I offered to take it but he didn’t want it. I then discussed it with the staff and it was done. What does that say about his motivations? “I wanted to show that I’m confident, that I can show my qualities to everyone. It’s also a form of club trust,” he notes.

Better in an offensive servette

The one who scored his first goal of the season against Grasshopper last week is also claiming a role in Servettian animation. At a time when the Garnets have signed two attacking players (Crivelli and Kutesa) in a matter of days, he doesn’t want to be forgotten: “I’m not afraid for my place, he assures us. This competition is good for the team because it brings more quality to training. She will be healthy. I will do anything to have my place.”

Maybe he’s starting to find her, in a position more akin to what he always was in his youth: a number 10, as his number indicates. “I have the chance to develop in the last games in the axis in 10 or 8 years, Antunes is satisfied. The coach gives me enough freedom offensively to project myself into the penalty area and touch a lot of balls. Alain Geiger agrees: “Against GC we did very well with both Antunes and Stevanovic that when Rodelin lifted the zone someone had to take his place in the area. This made the team more complementary, all areas were occupied.

“In those last couple of games we played, we had the ball, we showed we could create chances and be dangerous and that’s where I felt best.”

Servette playmaker Alexis Antunes

This also assumes a more anticipatory servette, like in that final game. Antunes was pleased. His best performances correspond to this playfulness. “My performance has improved over the games, observes national player M21. At the beginning of the season we drove more defensively, which doesn’t necessarily reflect my qualities. But in those last few games we played, we had the ball, we showed that we can create chances, we can be dangerous and that’s where I felt best. Not without restrictions: “I have to work on my negative points: I have to be more solid in the duels, also when finishing in front of the goal. I have to create chances, be able to give goal balls. I can still do more there.”

The Imeri Inspiration

At 22, nothing is too late for the one on temporary (2019-20) loan to Chiasso. Even if he suffers from the comparison with his ex-teammate Kastriot Imeri, with whom he grew up in Servette. Same flock but later hatching. “I can take inspiration from him,” confirms Antunes. Even if we’re not necessarily the same type of player. Me, I will complete my season, I will give myself the opportunity to score goals and provide assists and we will see how it ends.

It’s time for him to turn the corner: Alexis Antunes played his 50th Super League game against Grasshopper. The end of learning, the beginning of validation. With the 10 behind.


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