Jason Goasguen, a FC Nantes fan who lives in London, tells us about british people’s general vision of FC Nantes and French Ligue 1.
To be very honest, Ligue 1 isn’t very much followed in England. In spite of the important presence of former ligue 1 players, French football is not as popular here as Liga is for example. Apart from PSG, Marseille, Lyon or Monaco, English people can hardly name any other French club. So, naturally I didn’t expect FCN to be well-known here in London… My surprise was big then, when I found out that many people knew the club, its reputation or at least its name.
People know famous names of transfered players such as « Makelayni » (Makélélé with the English pronunciation) who is still very popular among Chelsea fans. More recently, there was also Djilobodji’s transfer towards the same club. So far, it is not as outstanding since Papy has almost never played (just a few minutes thanks to the cup turnover) and he was the starting point of a series of problems for Mourinho, who admitted he had never seen the defender from Senegal play. Veretout’s transfer to Villa seems to be unnoticed.
Nantes has its reputation thanks to former Champions League performances, but also mainly thanks to the quality of its training centre. So, the club can’t be ashamed of its popularity here even though it is still less important than the top 5 clubs’. I would add that I had also been surprised in Greece and Senegal – where I stayed – and where the Canaries are very famous.
How to support your team from abroad ?
Well, nowadays thanks to internet it’s very easy, even if I must admit that without the atmosphere of the stadium and the Brigade Loire, it can’t completely be the same. I regularly manage to follow live matches thanks to video or written streaming, or radios. I simply must think of the jet lag (one hour between France and England) and here I go deep into the match. I enjoy showing the atmosphere of the stadium to my English friends (Manchester United and Chelsea fans) who really fnd it very good (much better than Liverpool’s according to them). Little by little, they start to know the « Beaujoire » anthem by heart … (smiles).
Then, I also chat a lot with friends from Nantes who keep me informed, and I read the French press too. So I still know about FCN’s actuality and results, which keeps disappointing my parents who always think they give me a scoop about the results. That’s what the connected generation is !
(traduit du français par Nicolas Moulins, membre ANS et co-gérant de la page supporters expatriés)
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