Interview with the MHSC striker who signed for two seasons with Angel City.
What is your assessment of the six seasons spent at the MHSC?
I arrived at 20 years old. I was starting to rub shoulders with the France team. I landed from Guingamp in a really professional and structured club with a training center. I consider my arrival in Montpellier as a trigger for football to become a way of life. I was focused on my performance, I got totally involved.
I was immediately very well received, I felt at home from the first days. We had a superb first season (2016-2017) with qualification for the Champions League. I grew over the years, I evolved in my personality and in my game. I was very involved in the MHSC. I was not an average player but rather an important person within the club.
For a long time, you had the idea of going to play in the United States where women’s football is an important sport?
Already when I was little, I wanted to go and play in the USA. Women’s football there has a good image. The fact of no longer being in the national team made me lose hope a little. I always kept in a corner of my head the idea of going abroad, of experiencing something else. I did 13 seasons in D1 with a good evolution.
At 27, either I signed up for the long term in Montpellier or I went elsewhere. It was unexpected, an offer fell, I liked the project. The train arrived and I didn’t want to let it pass.
So you join Angel City, the Los Angeles club…
It is a club that was recently created by American actress Natalie Portman with 99 investors. The initial idea is linked to the conditions of sportswomen and their retraining. Abby Wambach (double Olympic champion and world champion with the United States) is also in the project, which is made up of women in all positions.
The structure is crazy, it’s even above what you can see in boys in France. On April 30, the first official NWSL Championship match in Angel City’s history will take place.
Did the fact that the club is run exclusively by women count in your choice?
This is a plus but not a prerequisite. To say to yourself that you are coming to a new project is exciting. There are a lot of goodwill. I will live the first moments of the club by being, in addition, the first French. I didn’t want to miss my chance.
So you are going to go from Montpellier to Los Angeles…
It’s going to be crazy especially since I’ve never been to the United States. I’m going to take a slap, I’m in a hurry to go there, to see and discover the city. It will have nothing to do with Montpellier and with everything I have seen in my life.
These two seasons are going to be a crazy experience both humanly and sportingly. We are going to play in a big stadium with 25,000 seats. All tickets are already sold for the first game.
Have you ever talked to Natalie Portman?
Not yet (laughs). But I do not despair. I am in daily contact with the club and Vanessa Gilles, a Canadian player who speaks French.