By Joachim González
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A few customers quietly drink their coffee, on this mild Monday morning, leaning on the bar counter The Prognosisat La Plaine-sur-Mer. Several newspapers are scattered on the tables of the establishment.
The sports daily The Team title into a “Successful launch”, echoing the landslide victory of the Paris Saint Germain against the FC Nantes (4-0) the day before (Sunday July 31), in the final of the Champions Trophy.
One week before the resumption of League 1playersAntoine Kombouarewinners of the French Cup in May, were no match for the championship juggernaut.
While serving a few regulars, Gérald Chauvin is not too moved by this inaugural defeat, heavy but rather expected.
The boss of Le Pronostic is also the president of the Canaris Retz supporters association, of which the bar is the main stronghold. Amandine, Agnès and Milan, gathered for the occasion, are eminent members.
“We weren’t going to hit Galtier twice (the PSG coach, who was Nice’s coach in the Coupe de France final won by Nantes)! they joke, almost detached.
Last season, which ended in apotheosis with this first trophy since 2001 – the Canaries had then won their eighth French championship -, raised new hopes.
“It had been 20 years since we had seen such enthusiasm around the club. Many young people had not experienced great moments, except perhaps the rise in Ligue 1. We are experiencing a real revival. »
Talking about the semi-final against Monaco (2-2, 4-2 on penalties) at La Beaujoire, Amandine still has stars in her eyes.
“The script was fantastic. And the end of the match… We were in the Loire stand, it’s going down, it’s going down… We found ourselves on the lawn! It was fabulous. »
Return to the European Cup
Thanks to the only goal of Ludovic Blas in the final, against Nice (1-0), the Nantes will also find the European Cup for the first time since 2004 and an anonymous passage in the defunct Intertoto Cup. A club-wide eternity.
“The Europa League is a tough competition, but we are ambitious. We want to have a good run, to attend great matches at La Beaujoire, ”hopes Milan, who already dreams of seeing Cristiano Ronaldo set foot on the stadium lawn, with Manchester United.
A bit nostalgic, Gérald recounts some memories of long European trips, such as those 16 hours on the bus to reach Turin and challenge Juventus in the semi-finals of the Champions League in 1996.
“When we embark on such an adventure, we experience an incredible atmosphere of solidarity, even if no one knows each other. We miss it, of course. »
At the dawn of this new season, the supporters expect new positive emotions, which have become too rare in recent years, according to a deadly spiral generated, among other things, by the mistakes of the presidency of Waldemar Kita.
Coach Antoine Kombouaré – who had for a time cast doubt on his desires to leave – declared himself at a press conference on July 30:
“Last season, we played with the idea of never reliving the season before. We left in this spirit, and this allowed us to make this championship (9th) and to win the Coupe de France, which is exceptional for us. No idea what the players are going to show me, what’s in their head, are they still strong and humble? »
A relaxation of the troops could be expensive, while the Nantes are preparing to discover a more sustained rhythm, playing regularly three times a week. Especially since in the league, four teams will be relegated at the end of the season, to allow the transition from Ligue 1 to 18 clubs from 2023.
“We remain confident, but we must not make a false start. The month of August will be important”, warns Agnès.
First elements of response on Sunday, with the trip of the Canaries to Angers (3 p.m.) for the first day of Ligue 1.
Canaris Retz is offering a trip to La Beaujoire on Friday August 12, for the match against Lille, for the price of €27 (transport, ticket, sandwich and drink). Registration at the Le Pronostic bar.
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