Robin Le Normand, on Spanish time


Spain faces Italy this Thursday evening in the semi-finals of the 2023 Nations League with a new kid named Robin Le Normand. “I saw the confidence of the people of…

Robin Le Normand, on Spanish time

Robin Le Normand, on Spanish time

Spain faces Italy this Thursday evening in the semi-finals of the 2023 Nations League with a new kid named Robin Le Normand.

“I saw the confidence of the people of the RFEF (Spanish Football Federation), my teammates and my family and everything was very clear in my head. I am grateful for the interest of France but it was clear to me that my idea was to play for Spain». These words come from Robin Le Normand, Real Sociedad defenderfreshly called up for selection by the Roja. In a last four of the League of Nations amputated bruisesone of the curiosities remained to follow the Iberian beginnings of the native of Pabu (Côtes d’Armor).

After Aymeric Laporte two years ago already, the Spanish selection once again grabbed a central defender born in France. Like the Basque, Robin Le Normand waited a long time for a summons from Didier Deschamps, in vain. “My non-convocation for the 2022 World Cup was hard. Especially after Presnel Kimpembe’s injury. Of course I thought about it because I was coming out of a season where I had done things wellhe regrets. After eight years on Iberian soil, the 26-year-old has now made his choice and will wear the tunic of the Roja.

Originally from Brittany (his little brother Théo currently plays for EA Guingamp), Robin Le Normand learned his trade near Brest. He lives his late adolescence in Finistère but fails to gain the confidence of the club. As proof, he only played one Ligue 2 match (April 15, 2016 against Sochaux). Barred, he was spotted by Éric Olhats, the “mentor” of Antoine Griezmann, went to San Sebastian and joined Real Sociedad. Initially confined to the reserve team, Le Normand waited before climbing the ladder.

In 2019, he returned for AFP to his failure in Brest: “It had been very hard to accept. Me, I saw myself going pro there, it was a bit my dream that was crumbling, I was at the bottom of the bucket. The years ped, the elegant defender imposed himself with the pennant team and the question of his national future naturally arose. AT brandhe declared this Sunday:I am French and I am very proud of it. But where I was trained and where I grew up was in La Liga. My dream came true in Spain“. After meeting with the Federation and then Luis de la Fuente, the national coach, the process accelerated.

Didier Deschamps’ phone call didn’t change anything…

“I talked about it with my family and I decided quicklyhe also clarified. A final call from Didier Deschamps, the tricolor coach, did not change anything. “He’s a very good person, but my idea was very clear and I had no doubts. I am very happy and convinced of the decision I made. I prefer to keep these conversations confidentialevacuated the player about this famous telephone interview with the coach of the Blues.

Centerpiece of Real Sociedad, Robin Le Normand has played 41 games this season and has been a great architect of the qualification in C1 of the Basque club. Diego Simeone, the tempestuous coach of Atlético Madrid even considers that he “is among the three best centrals in La Liga». In contact with Imanol Alguacil, the only coach he has known since his arrival in the Basque Country, he has made great progress. “Physically I had a good base, but tactically and technically I had weaknesses” concedes the player, “Today, I identify with what I was taught at Real Sociedad: the possession game, the technical quality“.

“Gratefultowards Spain, Robin Le Normand is very fond of Donosti (the Basque name for the city of San Sebastian) and can still see himself there for a while. “I like everything here. I really like the rhythm and the way of life. The people and the city have welcomed me in a spectacular way. They have always supported me, even in difficult times“He retraces for the Spanish daily.

Neophyte with the RojaRobin Le Normand is slowly getting his bearings: “I feel good in the group, but I don’t feel like a starter. It will depend on the coach“. The game against Italy will give an indication of the role that awaits him. Aymeric Laporte should be in the Spanish eleven. About the Manchester City defender, the Breton told Marca: “We took very different paths. I can’t wait to play with him“. The central hinge Le Normand-Laporte has many good years ahead of it on the other side of the Pyrenees.

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