The immense challenge of Lucien Favre

At 64, his passion for football has never been more passionate. She urged him to return to Nice to face a major challenge: elevate Nice among the top three teams in Ligue 1, whose three shots will be awarded this Friday. Yes, Lucien Favre wasn’t afraid to put himself in danger.

Lucien Favre and Nice start their championship this weekend.

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The challenge is damn tough for someone who has established himself over the years as the best Swiss coach in history. The competition that OGC Nice has to face is tough. There is, of course, Paris Saint-Germain preparing to skim the league bolstered by three of the best players in the world. Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé form a trio that is second to none.

There’s also a Lyon seeking revenge after a disastrous season, a Monaco hoping to ride the same wave as last spring, a Marseille and its impressive crowd, a Rennes climbing a notch every year , and undoubtedly a team or two – Lille , Strasbourg? – likely to thwart all predictions.

A waiting attacker

Despite Ineos’ unwavering support, Lucien Favre and Nice are delayed in launching their campaign. The Azureans’ transfer window is taking place in small mode, while Paris, Monaco and Lyon have already practically closed it. If Kaspar Schmeichel’s arrival compensates for Yann Sommer’s last-minute refusal to join Nice and Aaron Ramsey’s looks like a fun bet, Lucien Favre is still waiting for the attacker who must allow him to raise the cursor . The Nice side have their sights set on Alassane Pléa, a former member of the house, or Marcus Thuram, two players who probably rightly think that Borussia Mönchengladbach is no longer a very good address in the Bundesliga.

After two and a half years in Dortmund, where his successor Marco Rose didn’t last long, Lucien Favre allowed himself a long break despite offers from Marseille and Crystal Palace in particular. This spring he postponed those of Borussia Mönchengladbach, where his return was hoped for by all fans, to write a new page in Nice. The first, marked by that great third place in the 2016/2017 season behind Monaco and Paris, left an unforgettable memory for the fans of Nice. They quickly fell under the spell of this coach, who sometimes had a Vaud accent, who was adept at playing polished, attacking games and, above all, a master at developing his players.

“Invent” a new Super Mario

Owner of the club since 2019, but a little dissatisfied with the choice of his first two coaches – Patrick Vieira and Christophe Galtier – Ineos handed over the keys to the truck to Lucien Favre with the idea of ​​giving back to the team the attractive face of the 2016/2017 season . We can never reiterate it enough but Nice, carried in particular by a found Mario Balotelli, had lit up Ligue 1.

Today, Lucien Favre dreams of “inventing” a new Super Mario so that Nice can once again be at the top: with Andy Delort, the Sète-born striker who plays for Algeria, and Amine Gouiri, the jewel of Lyon who did that two ago years ago The Vaud coach has two players in his squad who, like the Italian six years ago, can make the difference.

The expectations on the shoulders of a coach who in the past has too often been ridiculed for the extreme caution of his speeches are therefore enormous. But today the former Servette FC strategist wants to “let go”. Hadn’t he surprised his executives during his induction with a declared desire to see his team among the top three in France? His words were measured, dictated by the belief that he could indeed achieve something great at Nice. Now it’s his turn to play!

ld, ats


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