Friday, in the official hotel in Cologne, for media activities before the Final Four of the Champions League – which will remain in the German city until 2026 – Kentin Mahé was one of the most courted by the local press.
It is true that the French seem almost more at ease with German than with their native language. Logical since the Olympic champion in Tokyo last summer grew up across the Rhine in the wake of his father, Pascal (world champion in 1995).
If his junior career took him to Monaco and Nice, he ended up in Germany, in Dormagen from 2000 with his father as coach. Then the centre-half turned professional in the Bundesliga, where he played for four clubs, the last of which, Flensburg-Handewitt, left in 2018 to join Hungarian side Veszprem, with whom he played in the Champions League final in 2019 (defeat against Vardar Skopje, 27-24).
This Saturday (3:15 p.m.), Kentin Mahé was going to try against Kielce to find the flavor of a final. It will take place on Sunday, between the winner of this confrontation and the winner of the duel between Kiel and Barcelona (with his shovelful of Frenchmen, Dika Mem, Timothey N’Guessan, Melvyn Richardson, Ludovic Fabregas) in Cologne since 2010 and whose contract comes to be extended until 2026.
It therefore remains for Veszprem to overcome the Kielce obstacle, where two Frenchmen, Dylan Nahi and Nicolas Tournat, are evolving. “The Final Four is a bit of a lottery. You have to play two matches in two days, it’s in the mind. We are not favourites. We took a hit on the head with the Championship, we will see how we will get up ”, confided Kentin Mahé.
“It could be the right moment in my career to turn the page on foreigners”
Last weekend, his club was beaten in the final of the Hungarian Championship by the eternal rival, Szeged, crowned for the second time in a row against Veszprem, and Mahé regretted “especially the way it happened, passive play is whistled at us, Szeged recovers the ball and scores at three seconds. But it’s the formula, a less regular team over the season can be champion. »
However, the guy is not one to let himself be beaten and he therefore hoped to lead Veszprem to a fifth C1 final in the hope of securing a first title for the Hungarian club with which the Frenchman is under contract until 2023.
And after ? “Veszprem is not yet able to tell me if we continue or not. I have a few contacts in France,” responds the international who ensures “have a real desire to come and play in France”. Where ? Montpellier, PSG? “Montpellier, I drew a line with the unexpected arrival of Skube (the Slovenian centre-half signed for three seasons). It’s like that. PSG? It could be the right moment in my career to turn the page on foreign countries, to come to France, to discover the League. French life also for my children. But there’s nothing concrete.” says Kentin Mahé (31), father of two children.
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