Football: Stade Rennes takes pride of place

Rennes returned to victory on Sunday 5 December (5-0 against AS Saint-Étienne) after a misstep against Lille olympique sporting club, reigning French champion (defeat 1-2) on Wednesday 1er December, which ended an impressive series: 14 games without defeat, in all competitions, punctuated by a bang against the Parisian ogre (2-0 victory) and an offensive recital against Lyon (4-1) .

In a championship that has perhaps never been so balanced around a core of seven clubs (Nice, Marseille, Lens, Monaco, Lyon, Lille and Rennes) capable of grabbing the podium behind the untouchable Paris Saint- Germain, this crushing victory against ASSE just three days after this setback against Losc confirms the lofty ambitions of the residents of Roazhon Park.

The men of Bruno Génésio, the former coach of Olympique Lyonnais, achieved a first third of the high-flying championship, managing to keep up with the same tempo on the European scene. In the Europa League Conference (C4), the Red and Black prance at the top of their group, ahead of the English from Tottenham, one of the favorites of the event, and the Dutch from Vitesse Arnhem.

Follower of the beautiful game, Bruno Génésio was delighted by hisflamboyant attacking trio, led by Gaëtan Laborde, the second top scorer in L1 (9 goals), fed by the twirling Jérémy Doku and Kamaldeen Sulemana, who gave a hard time to all the opposing defenses. Not to mention the other fit man, striker Martin Terrier scoring a hat-trick on Sunday (December 5th) – making him L1’s third top scorer with 8 goals.

A breath of youth

This club, among the best training centers in Europe and which has notably revealed the tricolor world champion Ousmane Dembélé – now at FC Barcelona – continues to draw on its youth teams. Regularly called up in the starting XI, defenders Adrien Truffert and Warmed Omari, midfielder Lesley Ugochukwu and striker Matthis Abline flourish in the top flight, bringing the dose of competition and the zest of freshness necessary to titillate the usual holders. .

→ ANALYSIS. Ultras of football, a way of life

Around Nicolas Holveck, the president, Florian Maurice, the sports director cleverly debauched in Lyon in June 2020, and Bruno Génésio, the management team has managed to create a climate of serenity in a club used to doing the yo-yo , between periods of euphoria and endless slumps which despaired the Rennes supporters. By removing from the presidency of the club Olivier Létang, in February 2020, in cold with the trainer Julien Stéphan, François Pinault, owner of the club since 1998, put order in the organization chart.

François Pinault, the great financier for 23 years

Most of the elite teams, put to the test economically by the health crisis, would dream of counting on such a solid shareholder. The wealthy Breton businessman not only reinjected considerable funds to absorb the losses caused by the absence of an audience in the stadiums last season and the decline in television rights, he also made possible the arrival of new ones. talents. Objective: to raise the club to the level of the declared candidates for the Champions League, a competition that he had discovered last season.

With more than 80 million euros invested, Rennes were the biggest spenders this summer in France, ahead of PSG. “We are extremely lucky to have at the head of this club someone who is able to invest. It’s fantastic ! “, congratulated Florian Maurice at the start of the season, who led the recruitment campaign.

Defenders Birger Meling and Loïc Badé, Croatian midfielder Lovro Majer, who has everything to become the metronome of the Rennes game, and forwards Kamaldeen Sulemana and Gaëtan Laborde immediately merged into a collective relieved of his star, Eduardo Camavinga, transferred to one year from the end of his contract at Real Madrid for 31 million euros.

Nothing seems to be able to parasitize this start of the season, even if the Breton coach refused at the end of November to give in to the runaway: “Our second place is anecdotal, we are not even at the truce, he tempered, after the 15e day and Rennes victory in Lorient (0-2). What is less anecdotal are the gaps that we create with certain teams behind us. Our goal for the start of the season is to be in the top six. “ The better to dream of the podium at the end of the season.


Gaëtan Laborde, a future in blue?

By nabbing Gaëtan Laborde, long courted by West Ham, Lyon, Seville or the Zénith Saint-Pétersbourg, Rennes made a good pick. Trained at the Girondins de Bordeaux, he quickly established himself as the new strongman of the Rouge et Noir, shaking the nets 11 times in 18 games (in all competitions).

His success is not really a surprise, after three very successful seasons in Montpellier. At 27, the native of Mont-de-Marsan asserts himself as a serious candidate for the France team. Many observers see in him the successor of Olivier Giroud (110 selections), another former Montpellier.


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