Holidays in Greece, XXL ambition, Ramos model … The neo-blue Ibrahima Konaté made the show at a press conference

New to the French team, Ibrahima Konaté, broadcast lightness, smiles and good humor in front of the media this Tuesday in Croatia.

When he arrives at the press room at Poljud Stadium in Split on Tuesday at 16.45, his impressive stature (1.96 m) leaves no one indifferent. Strong, tall and muscular, the 23-year-old defender, who comes after a completed season with Liverpool, quickly takes the calm behind the microphone. For more than twenty minutes, he will offer a smile, freshness, ambition with a speech without wooden language and a disturbing ease for a rookie on the French team. When certain elements, leaders or not, have only benefited from the media exercise, the former player from Sochaux and Leipzig has strolled his zest for life in peace. Selected excerpts from a brilliant first press conference.

Special Envoy to Split

His first hours in selection
I was on a boat with my friends in Greece, we were having fun and laughing, I was looking for my phone, I see two missed calls, it was a hidden number. I was lost, my friends were dancing … I could not call my family because it was confidential, and then everyone found out through the media. It’s a great pride, I’m very happy. The group made me feel very welcome. There are many players that I have known for a long time, the integration has been much easier. »

His physical condition
It’s harder for me, but I had the chance to play the Champions League final (against Real Madrid with Liverpool), while others had already scored. I still have rhythm and I have to get used to it, ready or not, I have no choice. If I have to play, I’m the soldier and I want to be there for the team. »

If the transition is difficult between his club, vacations and the Blues
I confirm that the transition is not easy after the season is over. It was emotionally intense, I talked to the coach (Jürgen Klopp) about it because I wanted to cut it, and there they called me Blues (laughs), it’s our job, we’re here for it. »

World Championship
Of course I want to go to Qatar. It’s a short-term goal, but I did not think it would be so fast. It is not a goal in itself, I am happy to be there in front of you and answer your questions. You need to take advantage of this beautiful period, when things go wrong, you will ask other questions (laughs). »

His preference for defending at three or four
I do not have a preference, it does not matter which system we play in, because I have already played in all systems. There is strong competition in the defense, so much the better it is that we stay focused. Everyone wants success in the club, it’s good for the French team. (On his own qualities) I’m a fast player, I have game intelligence and I’m not afraid of the ball (embarrassed laughter). »

If he wants to be a starter on the French team
Of course it is a goal, especially when you play in one of the best clubs in the world in Liverpool. There are some amazing people in France’s team, with a lot of experience. It is not a goal in itself, on the contrary, I want to work on a daily basis and hope for a starting position one day. »

I have no reason to be sad, I am in good health, I have everything it takes to be happy, I am in the French team, life is good

Ibrahima Konate

His cheerful and sunny character to the media
No, I’m not laughing to ease the pressure, I’m always like that. I have no reason to be sad, I am in good health, I have everything it takes to be happy, I am in the French team, life is good. »

His way of consume »Everyday football, its role models
I have to be honest with you, before I saw any matches, I was blamed for it, especially (Nordine) Mukiele (his former partner in Leipzig). When I chat with (Virgil) van Djik, he tells me that he observes all the attackers, their movements, so I do the same (smiles). Sometimes you want to cut, think of something else, but you have to stay focused. (His models) Sergio Ramos, because he has the grinta, even though he plays less at PSG, at Real Madrid he scored goals, he was a positive leader, a ship leader, and I remember in an interview that he said he came to training before everyone else and went last. These are things that inspire me. »

His relationship with Paris (he is a resident of the 11th arrondissement)
Above all, I want to be a source of inspiration for the little ones. When they see me, they see what I do for the neighborhood, I want them to believe in themselves and see that it is possible. When I come back to Paris, when I give them a little bit of what I experience every day, the minimum is if it can inspire children and make people happy in the neighborhood, it will already be a huge success. »

His childhood memories with the Blues
I have lots of them popping up in my mind. I vibrated with the French team. Thierry Henry and Zidane inevitably come first when I remember that I could never have said to myself that I would wear the blue shirt with the rooster, one should live the cause but not dream too much. »

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