Ludovic Blas: I was taken for a madman when I said Nantes have talents
After being named captain, Ludovic Blas promised Nantes manager Antoine Kombouare that he would win the Coupe de France, and he stuck to his guns.
Ludovic Blas, the skipper ofNantes
, said he was "taken for a fool" when he said the club had a decent squad last season, but he had the last smile after winning theCoupe de France
Blas' penalty early in the second half helped La Maison Jaune defeat Nice 1-0 in the final at the Stade de France.
After Hicham Boudaoui fouled, the 24-year-old playmaker powerfully blasted home his spot-kick, which was enough for Nantes to win their first major prize in 21 years and for the fourth time in their history.
“Last year, I persisted in saying that we had a good team. I persisted," Blas said after lifting the cup. "I was just saying that, and we had talented players. I was taken for a madman.
"Now, I would like people to remember that, and not take me for a fool. Frankly, it's the most beautiful thing that could happen. Being this close to going down toLigue 2
, and winning the Coupe de France shows that I really wasn't wrong about this team."
Nantes manager Antoine Kombouare was equally delighted by what he had seen, mentioning the club's path from near relegation to a spot in European competition next season.
"We had to stay strong, despite the pressure of what was at stake, we had come from nowhere," he told reporters after the game. "A year ago, we could die and end up in Ligue 2, and here we won the Coupe de France and we will play theEuropa League
"I was reminded that we [are] going to play the Trophee des Champions. Can you imagine the difference? It's hard to believe. It is something exceptional, unique, almost miraculous."
Kombouare also disclosed a chat he had with Blas before appointing him captain, in which the player appeared to foresee the future.
"I'm going to tell you a secret," he said. "During the first match at Sochaux, I gave him the armband in the locker room just before going to warm up, and he immediately said to me: 'Coach, I'm very proud, I will take us to the Stade de France and I will lift the Coupe de France'. I was a prisoner of these words."
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