Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kanté, Presnel Kimpembe, Mike Maignan, Christopher Nkunku and very recently Karim Benzema… We’ve had him in the club for ten years but seen the scoumoune around the French team lately, we have, so as not to jinx Adrien Rabiot, waited for the first match of the Blues (this Tuesday evening against Australia) to evoke his little prophetic sentence.
Big spotlights split the dark night of Doha one evening in January 2012. The under-17s (U17) of Paris-Saint-Germain challenged Juventus Turin in the final of an international competition, a first in the Gulf for young shooters of a club recently acquired by the Qatari company QSI. The meeting is pleasant, the shots on goal decide the winner. Badly embarked after two failures, the Parisians finally win 5 to 4.
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Rabiot, Kimpembe, Coman, Maignan, golden generation
What is striking that day is the superiority of number 8 of PSG. During the whole match, we only see this big pole, silky left paw. Around him, however, there are other titis who will break through: in goal, Mike Maignan (today at AC Milan, number two in the France team, absent from the World Cup due to injury), behind, Presnel Kimpembe (2018 world champion and also currently injured), ahead of Moussa Dembélé (striker in Lyon) and Kingsley Coman (with Rabiot and the Blues in Qatar). Many nuggets – the PSG U17s and U19s were reigning French champions at the time – but Rabiot was far above. Almost never a bad choice, he is everywhere, in front, in the middle, behind, one has the impression of seeing a professional who comes to have fun among the cadets of his training club for an end-of-season gala meeting during a ‘a tournament with beer bar and barbecue at the edge of the field and which tries to make almost everyone play so that no one is frustrated.
Adrien Rabiot, 16 and a half, sparkles in the eyes of his opponents (Juve will finally manage to recruit him in 2019 after several attempts). Also in the eyes of the two hundred, three hundred spectators present, including twenty recruiters from major clubs (some said, before the meeting, to come and observe the Parisian striker Hervin Ongenda, who plays today in the Cypriot championship).
“At 26, 27, the career is well underway, my goal is to go there with the France team. I believe it “
The summary of the match does not pay tribute to the almost perfect copy of Rabiot, only keeps bits of action and forgets the two red cards received by the Parisians (perhaps one for Rabiot at the very end because he is in the stands for the penalty shootout). But if you want to see the blunder of Maignan at the start of the game and the faces of Rabiot and Kimpembe at 16…
The public less, the trophy award ceremony, disproportionate, does not have much to envy to that of a cup among the greats. Golden party favors, fireworks, it shines, we are in Qatar.
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Business, packages, boycott: the blues of the Blues before the World Cup
It sings, it showers, it starts to get on the bus. Adrien Rabiot stops at our request, even if the Parisian management advises him not to do so. Character, already, in an environment where obedience is nevertheless de rigueur, under penalty of sanction. It goes quickly in the training centers, a match on the bench, it’s 90 minutes during which no observer can notice you, and where a guy of the same age takes your place and will not want to let go. In short, he has guts, the young Rabiot, he knows what he wants and what he is worth. And when we talk about the World Cup in ten years and while he is still far from signing his first professional contract, no stars in his eyes, no tremolos in his voice, a serene Adrien: “At 26, 27, the career is well underway, my goal is to be there with the France team. There is still work. Off the field, knowing how to manage what you eat, sleep. And then on the pitch, of course, there are a lot of things to improve, technique, physique, but hey, I believe in it! »
The bus waited, Adrien Rabiot got on. He will come down. Feet on the ground, with a career plan, and ten years later, in the World Cup, a starting place.