Masculins / OL-Caen

Tanguy Ndombele: "I've improved in all areas"

Published on 16 May 2019 at 7:00 AM
Tanguy Ndombele : « Un joueur important mais pas un cadre »
With two games remaining in his second season in Ligue 1 Conforama, OL's rising star looks back at the 2018/19 campaign, his first steps with the French national team and what's in store for the future.

Tanguy, how have you dealt with your profile rising since joining OL ?

It's something I deal with well. You have to be well surrounded and not get too big headed or lose your grip on things. I have people by my side who know how to tell me the truth, whether I play well or don't play well. That's important. I think I've improved in all areas, offensively and defensively. 


We still remember your shot that went off the crossbar against Paris. Can you explain your lack of goals in Ligue 1?

I have a good shot. In matches, the context is different. There are often a lot of players in front of midfielders like me. There are also often teammates... who are better positioned, so I prefer to make a  pass rather than shoot. I can do more offensively in terms of goals, that's for sure. But statistics kill the game a bit today. In situations, some will try to score while the right thing to do is pass the ball. Football evolves and in that sense, I have to improve in this area.


What's your role in the team, in the squad?

I don't see myself as a leader. I'm still a young player. I always try to do what's best for the team. I've played a lot of matches. I hope I can keep it going through the end of the season. One of the five most used players? This means I'm an important player, but you can't say that I'm a team leader. I feel good in this group because there are many young players. It's easier, we understand each other better. I am a little behind because I'm not someone who speaks in front of the whole team. That's just my personality. I'm shy.


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How did the squad recover from the recent rough patch?

Nothing was going our way. We paid for every mistake we made... There was a lack of confidence. We tried to stay focused to win all the games we had left. We had a good match against Lille especially, but we made two mistakes. We kept our heads up. We thought over some things in the locker room to remedy all of this and everything is better, so it's good. We still have two games to win.


Are you excited about the Champions League ?

Everything is different compared to the championship. There is a different intensity, in particular. It's the highest level. My goals in the competition? Even if we didn't win, I think the goals counted in the final result. I have to go a little deeper... to score more. We made a beautiful journey as a team. Personally, I was nervous because I hadn't played at that level before. I have no dreams other than to win this competition, the World Cup and the Euros.


Tell us about your first experience with the French team

It was a very special moment. You join a group of World Champions. I'm very proud.

What's in store for the immediate future?

I'm only focused on what's happening on the pitch. People may talk about me during the summer break, but I won't be a part of that... It's still a little vague because I don't know what I want today. Whatever happens will happen. I have peace of mind and that's the most importante thing.


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