10 years of the title – Rémy Cabella: “This goal is the most beautiful feeling of my career. Boy, we all dream of it”

2012: MHSC ODYSSEY. Rémy Cabella is Louou’s bud. Launched on the ceasefire with Benjamin Stambouli, he changed his career. This creative environment symbolizes the grafting of the gym. From the famous Gambardella generation.

Cabella is also the bet with Loulou. That of the emblem that will cover President Nicollin the day after the title.

Do you think back to the title and this season that is so special to you?

Continually. When I start a season, I will relive the same adventure with my new team. In Saint-Etienne (2017-19), when we started our comeback, I had in mind I said to myself that anything was possible. I had experienced it that season.

It’s the best memory of my career. At first I did not play too much, then I started to come back before I became a starter. The last few matches I even played instead of Younès (Belhanda suspended). It’s such a busy season, with so much going up and up, it was magical.

Is there a key moment in the season?

She rocked several games. In Nice, for example, “Olive” (Girod) scores at the last minute. He touched a few balls in this match, scored a “freestyle” goal and sprinted to the fans at the other end of the stadium. With his particular style, “Olive” had evolved in a crazy way. He was monstrous.

The coronation of Montpellier ends in two acts: Lille and Auxerre. Which image do you keep?

The little game is everything. We have 0-0 to the end. The goal shows that we can overcome the fatigue of the match and a season if we are mentally ready. We do not give up, we score, we have a killer spirit.

And the goal. Stir for them. We get the ball back. Long ball from John (Utaka) to Olive. He’s going crazy. Karim arrives in madness and scores. I had the impression that it was the whole of Montpellier who scored, a whole city that jumped.

The explosion of joy is still, still inside me. “Benje” (Stambouli) screams, Olive explodes, Pioneer arrives … It was beautiful. When we see the goal, we still have chills. This goal is the most beautiful feeling of my career. Boy, we all dream of that. From a goal to the 93e, who wins the game. The title.

Especially since it is Karim Ait-Fana who scores

Karim, who is just a year older than me, was an example when I was at the gym. We were together all the time. As a 17-year-old, he already played in Ligue 2. I went to the stadium just to see him play. I loved his game, of such quality, I took his example.

EIs there a specific moment in the season for you?

The game in Rennes. It’s a complicated and crucial game. It is a beautiful stadium, a beautiful atmosphere. Paris and Lille could come back to us. I score the second goal with some success. On the bus, I asked the others. “Oh guys, for sure, we’re going to the Champions League”.

When we were with the “sisters” (Institute of the Child Jesus), at 2 pm, we watched the Champions League matches. First during the break we were going to bed. With “Benje” we locked the door to watch the second half.

Eight years later we play the Champions League. Then we are champions in France. Who could have imagined that? None. Especially with so many young people from the center: Mapou, Karim, Jourdren, Jamel, so our gang: Benje, Younès, Abdé …

I play to relive it. When you see Real, Liverpool, Chelsea, it’s beautiful to see, it’s even more beautiful to meet them. I want to relive the Champions League.

Without Loulou, without his mentality, I’m not sure Montpellier will become champion in France

What was your relationship with the President?

For me, it’s still there. I was close to him, but also to Laurent. Without Loulou, without his mentality, I’m not sure Montpellier will become champions in France. This title is in his picture. It’s a family club, but with this Paillade spirit. I forged myself with this spirit, it has followed me throughout my career.

Loulou was special to me. Without him, I do not think I would have started at the end of the season. During the ceasefire, René Girard wanted to recruit experienced players (departures to CAN from Belhanda, Saihi, Camara and El Kaoutari).

Only, Loulou told him: I have the two children Benjamin and Rémy, I believe in them, trust them. From the start, we showed in front of Lyon that we were there. For both of us, for me, it was gone. I thank him. For me, it’s still there.

What Loulou has done for the club, but also the city, it’s beautiful. Applause at La Mosson, at 74and minute, are important and deserved.

Did Louis Nicollin start your career in full?

Many people helped me, but two more than the others. Him and Erick Mombaerts. When I was loaned out to Arles-Avignon (2010-11), where I did not play too much, Mombaerts, Espoir’s coach, called me. He told me things that I had forgotten. He gave me back my confidence. He told me things that I have never forgotten. It did me so much good.

What did he become?

Rémy Cabella is the first champion to return to Montpellier. For the last seven games this season. Maybe for a longer time.

Meanwhile, he left Montpellier in 2014, playing at the World Cup in Brazil. Transferred to Newcastle, he returned to France. In Marseille, then in Saint-Etienne, before a final adventure in Krasnodar, suspended by the invasion of Ukraine.

What’s going on in Arles-Avignon?

I learned from all my coaches except Hazibegic. One day he calls me to his office. He said to me: what is your ambition? I want to play the Champions League. Proudly he looks at the rubbish bin and says to me: you end up there. Next year, René Girard will not want you.

Without Erick Mombaerts calling me in hope, he kills me mentally. I will never thank him enough. He saw the player that I was. It’s a big turning point in my career. In Arles-Avignon I finished last, then first with Montpellier.

René Girard subconsciously taught me that if I did not play, it was my fault, not his

Is the relationship with René Girard complicated?

It was hard. At first, René Girard did not want me. I was loaned out. I came back in the title season. I wanted to show this “old-fashioned” coach that he was wrong when he did not let me play. I was furious. If I do not play, it’s his fault. Him, he puts the eleven best, he is not there to please me. He’s the green rectangle, it’s training.

Then I looked at myself in a mirror. I realized I was not doing the right thing, that I was not doing what he wanted. Basically, René Girard subconsciously taught me that if I did not play, it was my fault, not his. I made him change his mind. In the end, we got well out of it.

Girard did not let anything pass …

When there was the famous night on the town with Espoirs (five players: Griezmann, Ben Yedder, Niang, Mavinga and M’Vila had taken a trip to Paris between the first match and the return qualifier for Euro Espoir), Girard was waiting for us at Grammont. “Fortunately, you were not in the trunk.” We looked at each other with Benje, we said to ourselves: “oh, la, la”. He did not like the new generation. But he reminded us of the basics.

Apafter the victory in Auxerre, felt for a moment you ?

All the time. In the small dressing room in Auxerre we were crazy. We got out in our underwear to see the fans in a corner of the stadium. I so wish I had experienced this moment at La Mosson.

When are you betting on comband with Loulou ?

In January, I said to Loulou, “We have to do everything, we have to be masters”. He did not want to hear that. “Listen, let’s bet then. If we’re masters, I’ll give you the coat of arms. And at the same time, you will reimburse me for the paint of the car (Audi TT)”. Since she has become legendary, with her orange paint, I asked her for a contribution. Every time we won, I said to Loulou, “Careful, it’s happening”.

Did you doubt that he would keep his efforts?

In the morning, when I arrived with the painting, I thought to myself, “He does. He’s crazy.” The hairdresser made the comb, I dyed it orange and blue. He participated in the set for France 3, then at Comédie. Not many presidents can do that. It’s huge. On the front of the team, with his tongue out, he looked like Einstein.

For the painting, I asked a friend for an invoice. I told myself that if I could scratch some money for him … I had forgotten he was a businessman, Loulou said: “you take me for a ham”. After all, he gave me a good share. He even gave me twice as much as the price.

Have you been entitled to his anger ?

He liked everyone, but he knew how to shout. When we lose in the Coupe de France to Gazélec (Ajaccio, quarter final), he brought us together. That morning he refuses at all to say hello to us. He pulled us by the ears as if we were the last in Ligue 1.

Is the Gambardella Cup a basic act?

When we arrived at the center, Serge Delmas, then head of the center, had brought our parents along. “This generation is a fantastic generation. In a few seasons it will play the Champions League”. He was not mistaken.

There were actually only good players: Abdé, Younès, Benje, Jonas … we did everything well except the first match (in Rodez). We are behind at the break. Printant and Delmas overthrow us in the locker room. We broke everything in the second half and we started our adventure to finish at the Stade de France. We win this trophy, then we become champions. It was so beautiful.

Midfielder / 29 games / 32 years old.

Leave a Comment