“After having waited a long time for your first summons, you discovered Les Bleues during the last rally, with two convincing entries in Germany then in Sweden…
It’s still brand new for me, I’m trying to fit in as best I can. It was not an easy rally, we end with two defeats (1-2 against Germany, 0-3 v Sweden), collectively we were all disappointed to show this image of the France team, because we have to do much better. But on a personal level, I tried to show myself, to bring things. You should know that I am very, very critical of myself. For a first meeting, there were good things, I had quite positive feedback from the coach (Corinne Deacon). Now it’s up to me to continue and show that I can bring something different.
“I have to keep in mind that I’m a striker and that even if I touch five balls and that’s three goals, that’s my job”
You are able to evolve on the side of the attack, but also in the axis. Where do you feel most comfortable?
Over the past three to four years, I have changed enormously, left, right, in line. At AC Milan, currently, I play in a two-forward system. Last year, we were in a 3-4-3, I was on one side with the mission of going inside. I was used to working a lot on the side in my younger years, I have refocused a little more on the axis now, working between the lines. I like to touch the balls, participate in the game, even if I have to keep in mind that I am an attacker, and that even if I touch five balls and that is three goals, it is my job. As a centre-forward, I tend to drop out, although most often I’m told not to do so too much to use my speed in depth. I have to find the middle ground. On the work back to the goal, it is not my first quality given my size, but I adapt. I have a lot of progress to make, I don’t play too much with my arms. Technically, it’s fine, on the supports it’s fine, but my main quality is my deep calls, my speed, and my finishing.
Do you feel on track to secure a World Cup ticket next summer?
It’s super early, I’m taking course after course. I try to show the coach, to leave something positive, to get her to think that I can bring something extra. But I respect all the girls competing with me. I want to be myself, not put pressure on myself.
“I couldn’t find consistency in the French league, the goal was to go to a club that helped me develop and grow”
Had you lost faith in being called up to the France team one day?
It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s never been an obsession for me. I knew him when I was young, the step was high. I couldn’t find consistency in the French league, the goal was to go to a club that helped me develop and grow. I managed to do it by going to Italy. The France team is a plus for me.
Your departure to Italy, to Rome, in the summer of 2019, changed everything…
The idea was above all to find myself on the ground. In France, I lived through quite complicated times, a lot of loans. In my training club (Montpellier), I did not have the opportunity to assert myself as a player. You question yourself. When you see that in four-five years you move three-four times, it’s complicated in terms of stability. I felt that the opportunity was never given to me. I made a decision for me, because I felt like I was wasting years. In Italy, they knew how to welcome me. It did me a lot of good. I left to find myself. I needed to turn a page, to start something else. They remained on labels that I had when I was younger, on doubts. I felt like I was always starting from zero, taking one step forward and then ten steps back. When it’s repeated over 2, 3, 4 years, it’s exhausting. It was better to go on a new adventure.
“I was able to express my character a little more, even though I am very shy. I’m more assertive”
What have you improved the most on in the Italian league?
I gained in rigor, in serenity. I am more convinced of my intrinsic qualities. When I was younger, I didn’t want to be seen just as a fast player, I worked on small spaces, on the game. But I left my basic qualities aside a little. In Italy, I gained self-confidence, I accepted these qualities, realizing that they are very important. I was able to express my character a little more, although I am very shy. I am more assertive. It helps me in my integration into the France team. I arrive with confidence, being sure of my qualities, without immediately putting pressure on myself. I am calmer, more serene. I have qualities to assert. »