“In Marseille, as long as you are a human being, we accept you” / Culture Foot / AM La Scampia / SOFOOT.com

AM La Scampia does not want to reveal his age, but the fact that he is talking about “libero” gives a big clue. On the occasion of the release of his first album, the Marseille rapper talks about his passion for Maradona, OM and Neapolitan cuisine, but also the South Winners, Mamadou Niang’s scissors and Oliver Kahn’s cap. At the table!

As far back as you can remember, how did you discover football?
I was super young … Already when you’re from Marseille, you’re for OM. Beyond that, it was my father who instilled this passion in me. He loved Rabah Madjer and Diego Maradona, and had been a goalkeeper in Algeria, but never told me that because he did not want me to play goalkeeper. He wanted me to be a striker. Whereas I liked the guards. They had amazing outfits with the big foam pants and all. And they were angry. Oliver Kahn with the cap, Schmeichel, Köpke … And Barthez mad when he fell for Ronaldo in 1998! Well, there was also Stéphane Porato, who gave us many setbacks. We did not really understand why Courbis put him in Köpke’s place, but it does not matter. In Marseille, everyone loves Courbis, he is a character in French football in the same way as Guy Roux or Loulou Nicollin. These are guys who lived for football.

Are there still such characters in Ligue 1?
Yes, there is Jorge Sampaoli! And then we got to know Bielsa, who was a scene over. But in general, the most colorful characters today are those who only listen to themselves, like Guardiola. And in France, we do not really have world-class coaches, except for Zidane and Deschamps.

“In Marseille, we want a coach who is aware that he is not just leading the football team. One who takes Marseille as a whole, who understands that the defeat of the weekend will affect the economy of the city the following week. People will get bored, go out less, etc. »

You need a big mouth to please Marseillais?
Above all, you need to wet the shirt even if you are limited. It’s super important. Because in the stands we are 12e man and we wet the sweater. We must feel that on the pitch it is the same. As for the coach, we want someone who is aware that he is not just leading the football team. One who takes Marseille as a whole, who understands that the defeat of the weekend will affect the economy of the city the following week. People will get bored, go out less, etc. In Marseille we like madness, this page a bit loko.

You grew up in Gignac-La-Nerthe, 10 minutes from Marseille’s northern districts, but then you traveled a lot. Where does this fidget come from?
I am a born vagrant, my mother was always looking for me outside since I was very small. My colleagues talk to me about it all the time. I need to find out. From 17-18 years old I went to Barcelona, ​​Geneva, then Italy. I started with the Vatican, and then Pisa, Rome, Naples and the north, which I liked less than the south. I discovered a lot of culture and that football was universal. For example, I experienced the 2018 World Cup in Geneva, a cosmopolitan city with phew, at bars with Sierra Leoneans, Peruvians, Italians … In life, there is not much that keeps me in one place. If I’m feeling good somewhere, I’ll go back there. That’s why, after finishing my album in Naples, I came back to Marseille. Marseille, as the film of the same name says, is like a magnet. You must return to it. While I know very well which city I will go to to record my next album. But I keep that to myself.

What do you like about Naples?
Zeal and good cooking. Naples reminds me of Marseilles in the 1980s, very human. There, if you are hungry, there is always someone who will give you something to eat. They have respect for those who have suffered. And like Marseillais, the Neapolitans feel exposed and consider themselves Neapolitans before they are Italians. “A Napoleon and a Napoleon” , as you say. There are many similarities between the two peoples. Furthermore, Neapolitans often ask me why Curva B is associated with Parisian followers when they are like us. But we, Marseillais, already have a friendship with Sampdoria, which is going very well.

“In 2000, I celebrated the title all night and I missed the job interview I had the next day. It was working at City Hall, a good job too! But I have OM in my blood.”

Are you a member of a supporter group?
I’ve been with the South Winners since the Yankees disbanded. The first time my dad took me to the stadium, I was 5 years old. But my first real memory is a 5-1 against Troyes with a pair of scissors from Mamadou Niang. In 2000, I celebrated the title all night long and missed the job interview I had the next day. It was working at City Hall, also a great job! But I have OM in my blood.

How is Jorge Sampaoli perceived in Marseille?
It’s simplicity, it’s what we like. You can meet him at the pizzeria and laugh along with the followers. In Marseille, as long as you are a human being, we accept you. A smile communicates many things, and Sampaoli has understood that well.

Marseille has similarities with Naples, but also with Argentina, generalizing. Are you okay with that?
Yes, at the Velodrome there are many Argentine flags and references to Maradona and Boca Juniors, a club that I really like and follow. We have the same enthusiasm and above all the same love for football. Music and football take up a lot of space in families, just like at home. My mom is not specifically into football, but when OM plays, she asks if we have won. And I think in Argentina it happens the same way. Also the rollers with toilet paper on the stands!

You’re a huge Maradona fan. How did you fall in love with him?
Diego, I discovered it on the VHS my dad bought. Like him, I am capable of the worst as well as the best, and very quickly my friends told me I looked like him. On the street they call me Maradona or “Scampen” . I maintain this familiarity with people, just as Maradona did. And then the Argentines, like me, have to pass on the baton, like when Bielsa has to go out and train children from Leeds during his holidays. Maradona often called Mourinho after the latter lost a match, not after his victories. Because he knew it was more important. Not everyone is there to support you when things go wrong.

“In the beginning, when I played, I did not understand that it was a team sport, I was a really bad player. It took me a long time to understand that you can not win alone.”

In what position did you expose yourself, knowing that your father did not want you to play goalkeeper?
I started as a libero before going on the attack. I scored my goals from a distance or outside the cuff from a corner, à la Zlatan, even though I did not like it too much. Then I broke my arm twice and had to stop playing football. I played for Marignane-Gignac FC, ES Vitrolles and ended up in FC Côte Bleue. What I like about football is group consistency. When a group is cohesive, it can go all the way. And that applies to all things in life. At first, when I was playing, I did not understand that it was a team sport, I was a really bad player. It took me a long time to understand that one cannot win alone and it is the same in music. I perform, I write, but I can not win alone. I need to form a team of competent people in their respective fields to get things done.

Next season, OM returns to the Champions League. You got a lot of space after zero points in 2013 and exclusion from the group stage in 2020. How do you think it goes this time?
Already now I would like to thank Lensois for scoring at the last second against AS Monaco. But it was a super complicated season because OM is capable of everything. That’s why I never bet on them. They are unpredictable! I know that the Parisians are waiting for us to be accommodated at the turn of the Champions League, moreover, it is already underway, so I am waiting for a recruitment. One has to strengthen the team without turning it upside down because things build up over time. We must make sure to keep young people like Saliba or Guendouzi, Payet still has a year or two left, including Milik. But we need more experienced players. I do not expect OM to go to the quarterfinals, which would be great, but I demand that they fight on the field.

In what sector does the team need reinforcements?
Sampaoli will only win matches with midfielders, but it’s complicated! Me, I would take laterals. Tagliafico would be good and bring Azpilicueta back. He is old, but he has his place with his experience. And we need a killer up front, because Bamba Dieng is young and we do not know if Milik will stay. A guy who turns around facing the cage, like old-fashioned Falcao. Darwin Núñez from Benfica (and who has signed in the meantime in Liverpool, editor’s note)would fit well.

“After the victory in Bordeaux, I was one of those who welcomed the players at the airport. It was super important to break this curse, because every time we went there, there was anxiety. »

Last season, OM finally won in Bordeaux, which had not happened since 1977. Did you celebrate it as a trophy?
I was one of those who greeted the players at the airport. It was very important to break this curse, because every time we went to Bordeaux, there was an anxiety, a cloud over us, which meant we were not going to win again. I’m disgusted that Bordeaux and Saint-Étienne have gone down because they will miss L1. But I’m glad Auxerre is back, it’s the old-fashioned D1, we love it, just like Lens.

Do you follow Algerian football?
Of course because my father played for JSK (Jeunesse Sportive de Kabylie) when Algeria became independent. So it was my first sweater, in size L, when I was quite small. I said it very often, I was very proud. And I follow the committee a lot. When I see them play, I rediscover the spirit of neighboring football. And it’s nice to see a good game. Seeing the choice of your country of origin gives a lot of sensations to all dual citizens. Me, it is France and Algeria that make me vibrate. When Mahrez puts his free kick in the semi-final of CAN against Nigeria, it is extraordinary.

Interview by Mathias Edwards
sad holidayAM La Scampia’s album, is available everywhere.

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