Melvin Bard: "In my head, it was OL and only OL!"
Melvin, what is your take on your beginnings with the first team, over these last few months?
This is the first season that I'm really in the squad, training with them every day. It's a pleasure. The Champions League was a competition that I dreamed of playing in since I was little. It was special during the Final 8 because there were no supporters but it's still the Champions League. These are great memories. I was not disappointed to stay on the bench. I took advantage of that moment. I would have liked to play, as always. This is normal, but I only have good memories. There is no disappointment. My dream is to return to the pitch to the sound of that music.
You extended your contract with OL in September despite the interest of other clubs. What made you take that decision?
Of course, when you have clubs like Bayern that are interested in you, it is nice. But my choice has always been the same in my head. It was OL and only OL. I saw the departures of the other full-backs as a sign of the club's confidence in me. It’s up to me to do everything to earn my place on the pitch. I get along well with the others, the competition is healthy. There will always be some in football. I get along very well with Maxwel Cornet and we've also welcomed Mattia De Sciglio, who arrived during the last transfer window. Everything is fine.
Your playing time has increased a lot since the start of the season. Did you imagine it happening that way?
Yes and no. I work every day to play a lot of matches. The coach makes his choices according to the matches. He trusts me, and it's been a pleasure. I must continue to work to play in even more matches. Becoming a regular starter is in the back of my mind -- why not? But I have time, I'm young, but still, a starting position remains in the back of my mind.
What are your main qualities on the pitch?
A sense of determination has been key for me since I was little. It is part of me and that will not change. I am gradually improving on the offensive aspects of my play. By winning a penalty against Marseille, I have showed that I can also contribute offensively. I also scored in preseason, and my preference is to play with four at the back.
You served your suspension against Lille after your being sent off against Monaco, just before the derby. Did you imagine you could miss this match?
That’s one of the first things I thought about when I was sent off. I immediately thought I was hoping to be back for the derby. It was only one match so I will be. I am very happy. It will be the first for me as a professional. It is close to my heart.
What does a derby mean to you, as Gone?It’s the region’s rivalry, “THE derby”. This is the match that should not be lost. I remember my first derby with OL's youth side. We won 4-0, I think. I had a very good game. It’s a special memory.
With Anthony Lopes, Houssem Aouar… you are one of the players who was trained at the club. Have you already said a few words to the others on the derby?
Not yet. We had to think about the game against Lille first. We will start talking about it at the beginning of the week. Playing behind closed doors will take away a lot of the flavor, like the other matches. It feels weird to be in a derby without the fans, but you have to deal with it. We are going to win this derby for our supporters.
Le Final 8, son intégration, sa prolongation dans son club formateur, son temps de jeu, son style ou le derby... Melvin Bard se livre dans notre entretien !— Olympique Lyonnais (@OL) November 3, 2020
Découvrez les objectifs de notre défenseur de 20 ans 👉 https://t.co/3MXli473LO pic.twitter.com/EO9Y0owzft