Ligue 1: Steve Mandanda leaves OM, he deserved another outing

Ligue 1: Steve Mandanda leaves OM, he deserved another outing

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Getting out is not easy. It may even be the most complicated thing. Because we often leave too late. Steve Mandanda, he did not want to miss his. So he left earlier. The French international (34 caps) left Olympique de Marseille two years from the end of his contract and despite a guaranteed retraining in the ranks of a club whose colors he has worn more than anyone else in history ( 613 games).

Arrived in 2007 from Le Havre and accompanied by beautiful promises quickly transformed into action, faithful to the position since – except for an inconclusive London parenthesis when the Marseillais said to himself that it was time to go see elsewhere -, Steve Mandanda has finally left his home in Marseille. A priori, his end of career, Il Fenomeno will live it on the side of Stade Rennais where he signed up for two years in stride.

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Mandanda (OM), decisive against Rennes

Credit: Getty Images

His exit from the Vélodrome, Steve Mandanda succeeded in his own way. And probably much better than he imagined a year ago, when Jorge Sampaoli and OM put Pau Lopez in his hands. At the end of the summer, the Argentine coach had even decided to make the Spaniard his number 1, because he had better feet than the 2018 world champion.

Laconic press release

Confined to the bench and a few crumbs, while his teammate and rival gained momentum and ended up proving that his hands weren’t bad either, Mandanda bided his time, grumbling, sometimes joking, but he adapted. and had the right to a last lap, in Ligue 1 and on the Old Continent.

While Lopez sagged and showed obvious signs of weakness, Mandanda found his best level. He, who has had some great ups and downs with OM and equally spectacular downs under the same tunic, hoped that would be enough to convince his managers and staff for the current season. It has not happened. Steve Mandanda preferred not to wait to find out if he would be number 1 or 2 or 1 bis. Pablo Longoria not having removed the doubt, the captain of OM said to himself that it was time to pack his bags. The separation has been recorded “from a common agreement”. So much for the Champions League. So much for the rest.

Olympique de Marseille had time to see him coming, or more precisely leaving. But, at the time of announcing it, the club did not see fit to reserve more than two lines for him in a press release that will be described as laconic. It is written there that the goalkeeper with the number 30 in the back “has unquestionably entered into the Olympian legend”. Everyone will judge the usefulness of the adverb “unquestionably”by the way.

There was probably better to say, more to tell than what was published when his departure was formalized. We have seen longer press releases and stronger tributes for players who have done less. In Marseilles, as elsewhere.

Steve Mandanda will have the opportunity to return to the Vélodrome in the colors of Rennes and, this time, probably to receive the honors he deserves. In legend, undisputed, that he is.

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