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Anthony Racioppi: "I always believed in myself and never gave up"

Published on 10 February 2019 at 6:00 AM

presented by  presented by FirstTeam

Anthony Racioppi : « J’ai toujours cru en moi, je n’ai jamais baissé les bras »
A starter with the reserves and the first team's third-choice goalkeeper, the 20-year-old looks back at his career so far with Olympique Lyonnais.

How has it been going this season, your first with the pro squad?

I received a very warm welcome from the team. It's been a little over six months since I've been with them... It's a young team and I get along well with everyone.

How did it feel to play with the first team, against Sion and Fulham, during the preseason?

I was a little apprehensive, but when you play, you have to be sure. I played the second half against Sion and conceded a late penalty, but overall I'm happy with my performance. Then, against Fulham, I also played the second half and we won 4-0, so it's a good memory as well.

You arrived at OL at a very young age. How did you become a goalkeeper?

It was my father who immersed me in football. When I was a young kid we would watch games in Italy. My father was a goalie too, so I think that influenced me a lot. It is very important for me, we are always together, he follows me and gives me advice.

Your first years at OL were tough. Tell us about it.

I arrived at the U14 level and couldn't play any league games because of documentation issues. I could only participate in the tournaments. Everything went well with the U15s and I thought I was finally in the clear, but I had the same problems with the U16s and I had to find a club to play with. During the week I trained with OL and on the weekends I played with Annecy. As an U17s I played a whole season with Annecy before returning to OL.

I was the second-choice goalkeeper with the U19s and I didn't play much. In a game against Auxerre, I fractured my tibia and fibula, and was out for three months.

With all these setbacks, did you ever have any doubts?

I did, but it was always inward. I never told anybody. But I always believed in myself and I never gaver up. I couldn't give up after everything I'd been through.

You did well not to give up...

A few weeks after my recovery, Sébastien Guérin (goalkeeper coach) told me that I was going to train with the professional squad. I was happy and stressed at the same time. After that, I realized I was getting my shot and the club was counting on me.

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