Masculins / Interview

Fernando Marçal: "I need to work to get a spot back on the team"

Published on 18 October 2018 at 2:00 PM
Fernando Marçal : « me refaire une place »
Limited to only one game (against Nantes) so far this season because of a recurring calf injury, the Brazilian defender talks his long road back to recovery and Lyon's Champions League chances.

Fernando Marçal, tell us what's new. Are you completely recovered from your injury?

I'm doing much better. I'm happy because I'm back on the pitch. It was more difficult because it's an injury that had been affecting me since the beginning of the season. I'm doing well, mentally and physically. It's been doing better the past three weeks. Before Dijon I felt great, even if I couldn't play.

It's an injury that's been with you for a few years now...

I injured my calf for the first time with Gaziantepspor, a club in Turkey (during the 2015-16 season). It's a small club, the medical service was not very developed. There was a lot less money for care. Normally it's an injury that's treated in 2-3 weeks. But because of the old injury, it took a little more time to recover. I hope it's finally behind me.

You've only been able to play one match this season. How's it been for you?

It's real hard because you want to be on the pitch all the time, even for training. My friends were training and playing, and I couldn't be with them. It was a difficult time. You can't do anything about it. You just have to do your rehab. It's not easy mentally, but it was a test. I spent a lot of time away from the group. So I need to work to get a spot back on the team. This is a normal step after a long absence. I'm calm, I'm working hard to come back even stronger.

OL lost to Paris just before the international break. Did the break come at the right time?

It's hard to say. It's not normal to suffer a defeat like this. If there had been no break, we might have been upset and it would have been difficult to move on. The break may have arrived at the right moment. We can also analyze what we did wrong and work to fix our mistakes. We're already obligated to get a good result against Nimes, especially since we're playing at home. We will give our all to win. Nîmes are a team that has started the season well. We'll need to be very focused, attentive. We will need to put a lot of ingredients to beat a difficult opponent.

You kicked off the European campaign with a big win at Manchester City before a disappointing draw with Shakhtar. How important is the Hoffenheim match?

It will be a tough match, it's the Champions League. We had a good start by beating City when everyone said it was impossible to do it. It shows our quality. Against Donetsk, there were no fans in the stadium. It was a special match. We played a lot worse than we did against Manchester. We were better in the second half. It will be an even tougher match against Hoffenheim. It's important. If we win, we'll be in a good spot in the group, we'll have a very good chance of qualifying [for the knockout stage]... Along with France and Spain, [Germany] is the league where the most beautiful football is played.

Read the entire interview with Fernando Marçal in the Friday, October 19 edition of La Tribune OL-Nîmes.