INTERVIEW. Théo Chendri: “The Kings World Cup? An opportunity to have fun again” confides the Toulouse native, former FC Barcelona player

INTERVIEW. Théo Chendri: “The Kings World Cup? An opportunity to have fun again” confides the Toulouse native, former FC Barcelona player
INTERVIEW. Théo Chendri: “The Kings World Cup? An opportunity to have fun again” confides the Toulouse native, former FC Barcelona player

the essential
Summoned to represent France in Mexico during the Kings World Cup, a 7-a-side football competition, the former La Masia player wants to rediscover the joy of playing football above all.

Last summer, you came home to mom…

I’m only 27 years old, but I’ve always been far from my mom. Being able to live with her every day and share moments with her mother, even if it’s not the best period of my life, is a pleasure. She’s a huge help on a daily basis because she takes care of me, she’s still my mother. She cares a lot, and that’s also why I’m keen to find something and find my flight again so that she can free herself from this apprehension, from this daily stress.

It was also the time to treat the sores…

What happened was that when I returned to Toulouse last summer, I knocked on the door of Colomiers. Because my objective was, during the winter transfer window, to start again on a sporting project, to re-sign a contract somewhere and to leave again. It was September, I told myself that in 3 months I could leave. I hadn’t had any preparation during the summer, so I had been off for 3 months. I told myself that I needed to get back into a rhythm, to benefit from training… So who better than Colomiers? To be able to move forward. I just wanted to benefit from training, not necessarily matches. […] They made me sign a license. When I went up with the N3, after a week of training, the coach made me play straight away. A little too early I think, I had the training load, I wasn’t physically ready. I last the match, I play 90 minutes, it’s the only one I do with Colomiers. But from November onwards, I suffered all the muscle problems. I gave up everywhere: adductors, ischios… So, since November, I have had zero rhythm. This is why I couldn’t play more matches with Colomiers. I was never available, I had a series of muscle injuries. My goal, which was to rejoin a club in the winter, was dead. I had offers in Spain, but I was not physically available. I would have passed the medical examination, they would not have validated. I was injured, I had lesions, so it wasn’t possible. January, February… You had to take care of yourself. And that’s where the Kings World Cup project comes in.

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INTERVIEW. Théo Chendri: anecdotes with Neymar, training with the pros… The Toulouse native recounts his years at FC Barcelona

And yes, this project is coming…

I’m at home. I hadn’t taken it again. That was some nerve. I flipped the coin, not knowing if it would be heads or tails. When I applied, I was hurt. I’m at home, it’s 11 p.m. in March, and I see this ad from AmineMaTue (president of the French team Foot2Rue) with Neymar and Piqué. There was a link for applications, open for ten days, and to represent France at the Kings World Cup. I say to myself: “your season sucks, it’s white, it’s the worst of your life. I match the criteria” and I send the application. They had so many requests that my application fell by the wayside at first. I’m trying to get people talking about me. Because I tell myself that in terms of candidacy, I don’t think there are 60 better than mine: FC Barcelona, ​​French team (among young people, Editor’s note), FC Nantes, without contract today …I said to myself why not, it could be nice, you don’t have anything else to do from May to June. I then found myself in Paris, in the Jean Bouin stadium, where we were 40-45 players. There, I have no genes, but no rhythm either. I am not in full possession of my means. I knew I had to be good with the ball, because I knew they were going to put this “Barça” label on me…

Samir Nasri, your future teammate, notices this!

He specified it, yes, saying that it was legitimate that I was good, but he expected a little more. Afterwards, he didn’t know that I was coming off an injury, that I was coming off a sleepless season and that I didn’t know if my body was going to follow me. I got a lot of credit, and above all lucky that it went well. I had the opportunity to train with him. Samir, I’m not going to redo my career, he’s a player that I admire a lot. In training, I really find myself with him. Samir, football stinks. He could clearly have played for Barça, it wouldn’t have made a difference. We’ve already combined a little bit, swapped the ball a little… You talked about Pep He talked about it a little. I have a lot of questions to ask Samir about his footballing experience, his experience with Pep… He’s a coach that I admire. I am a big fan of Guardiola. For me, it’s the cream of the crop, it’s revolutionary. Since Samir is an open person, I know he will answer it. He is transparent on football topics.

Is this Kings World Cup project a small part of your dream coming true?

To be honest, the world of streaming is a world that I don’t know at all. It’s not my world. We’ll see how it goes, when Amine is there. They anticipate 200-300,000 people on Amine’s stream during the Kings World Cup. That’s 3 Camp Nou’s, anyway. It is enormous. We don’t realize it. Already when I’m on the field, I quickly ignore what’s around… The stream, I don’t really realize how many people there will be. What can be interesting are the final stages. They will take place in the Monterrey stadium. This is the stadium with the Mountain behind. It’s magnificent, this stadium is an incredible spot. I believe it has 55,000 seats. They will fill it. I followed the Kings League in Spain for a bit. They filled the Camp Nou, the Estadio Metropolitano… It could be nice. What I love more than anything is football. I am in love with football, with its emotions. As an actor on the ground, being able to do it in front of 55,000 people is the ultimate dream. Being able to do it in front of people at the Kings World Cup, in a slightly more entertaining format, my pressure is not going to be… Be careful, I’m going to be very, very competitive. I’m going there to win. When I enter the field, I switch mentalities. I’m going to be out there to be a competitor. The players and Samir Nasri are in the same vein. We’re going there to compete as far as possible. If there can be that reward of playing in front of people, that will be super cool.

You are one of the 10 players chosen to represent France…

With the season I’m having, mentally, it wasn’t the best. The mind took a hit. I’m getting to an age where I know the player I am. I know myself almost by heart: I know what I can do, what I can do less well, and what I can’t do. I tried to do what I knew how to do well. I am honored to be part of this selection because there were a huge number of applicants. It’s great to be among the “chosen ones”. Casually, we are going to represent France in an international competition. It is an honor.

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“It’s a project that is close to my heart,” confides Théo Chendri, the Toulouse native trained at FC Barcelona who will participate in the Kings World Cup

Is this competition right for you? Like Barça was back then…

The format of this competition is a reduced format, with a small scope, where you have to do everything quickly and be very comfortable technically. I knew this format (famous in Spain, Editor’s note). I know it’s a format that suits me. Small spaces are not a problem for me. Technically, it’s part of me.

It will also be an opportunity to reunite with Gérard Piqué and Neymar… Will they recognize you?

I don’t know. Neymar, in all honesty, I don’t think so. These are people who see a lot of people in their lives. At Barça, there are a lot of young people who will train with the pros. I even have a photo with Ney in the locker room when I trained with them. Maybe he’ll be able to find out… Gérard, I think he’ll remember it when he introduces himself. By saying that I was the young Frenchman at Barça, he will know. If I meet Gérard, I will go talk to him.

Read also :
Young Théo Chendri, from Colomiers to Barça

What do you expect from this competition?

I see it as an opportunity to have some fun again in a different format. Without the fuss. Resume some competition. Having fun there, having fun again, putting in good performances to bring home the win. What I want is to be at 100% of my abilities to help the team perform. There is a significant amount at stake. There is a million dollars to be shared between the games, which is not to be neglected. We are all in “precarious” situations. That would be the icing on the cake. After the competition, we’ll see how it goes. I think this can get people talking about me again to put my name back in the spotlight.

This won’t be your first competition in Mexico…

With Barça, I went to Mexico in U17, already to Mexico City. We played the America club tournament, which plays in the Asteca stadium. We had the tournament there. What was complicated was that Mexico is at altitude and it’s quite difficult to breathe.

Read also :
At Barça, Columérin Théo Chendri plays with Neymar

Your first match will be on May 27, the day you turn 27… How do you see this sign?

Because of my season, it’s a bit of revenge. Only on my season, I think. I am not rereading the Kings World Cup and 11-a-side football, they are two different formats. In the future, maybe we will have a 7-a-side championship in France. I’m 27, so it could also be a turning point… But I remain very focused on 11-a-side football.

The meetings of the “Foot2Rue” team will be followed on the AmineMaTue Twitch channel. First match, this Monday May 27 at 10 p.m. Meeting also broadcast on M6 or RMC Sport.


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