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“Christophe Galtier has never abandoned me” —

The former striker, Lynel Kitambala, who knew Christophe Galtier as coach at ASSE, returns exclusively to their former collaboration for Foot11. More

The first meeting with Christophe Galtier

“My meeting with Galtier was quite special. I evolved with his son Jordan who is today in the technical staff of AC Ajaccio. Christophe Galtier is a coach, but also the father of a friend and a player with whom I played when I was young. The relationship I had with Galtier was rather fluid”.

Before meeting him in Saint-Étienne, what image did you have of Galtier?

“I didn’t have a big picture of him. I knew he had taken over from Alain Perrin. Indeed, he had barely started when he was in Saint-Étienne. I haven’t heard from him specifically. With the players, it was like today. I’ve said it before, but he’s an excellent leader. A coach who is close to his players. A coach like him is the most modern thing in football today. Also, he has excellent communication. There are really good exchanges with him. »

“With me, he was very fair. In the sense that he gave me my chance at the start in Saint-Étienne, but I didn’t score. Maybe the tactic didn’t suit me too much, but statistically it didn’t go too well. He had put Aubameyang at the time which had exploded. I started to work more seriously then he gave me my chance at the expense of Aubameyang. Indeed, he had put me back in center forward and shifted Aubameyang to the side. This gesture remained engraved in me for a long time. These are acts that few coaches do. For me, he had more of a man reaction than a coach, I would say. He never abandoned me. For a moment, we had a very serious discussion and this discussion remotivated me”.

Christophe Galtier and Lynel Kitambala at ASSE in 2011 / Icon Sport

“The anecdote with the portrait of the former president is the biggest I remember. Other than that, we laughed a lot. The atmosphere has always been relaxed with the coach. With Galtier, when it’s time to work, it’s serious business. And when it’s relaxation and fun, it is. »

Are you surprised to see Christophe Galtier now at Paris-Saint-Germain?

“I am not surprised by his appointment to PSG. For me, it was time. Coach Galtier, since taking charge of Saint-Étienne, has only progressed. He recovered the Lille team and became champion. Then he left for Nice, which was not the best. He has handed over the team at the top of the standings. For me, the fact that he goes from Lille to Nice shocked me a lot. For me, it was a regression. AlsovsIt’s not mean of me, but that’s what I think. He managed to bring the club to where it is today. I’m waiting to see coach Galtier with a substantial squad. To see if he is up to it or not. For me, PSG comes at the right time for him. We want to see his ability to manage.

There was skepticism about his appointment, do you think he can succeed in the capital?

“We talk a lot about the Neymar case. Many people are desperate for him. Me, I tell my friends and I think that Galtier will resuscitate Neymar. Indeed, he will restore the image of Neymar on the ground. Also, maybe I can I’m wrong, but that’s my opinion. Also, in this workforce, there will be renewal. We had a lot of coaches before Galtier and it didn’t work. Also, why would a coach like Galtier not have a chance? »

The arrival of young Ekitike from Reims

“Personally, the arrival of the player from Reims, I am not in favor. I assume that we already have Kalimuendo. It is already a very great talent. I haven’t seen this player play much. Indeed, it turns out that it is a very big potential. Today, if I am a young PSG, I am disgusted or pessimistic. We are supposed to have the best youth training center in France. Nevertheless, it is a very good thing to bring the kid from Reims.
Like that, he stays in our championship. Also, ohn also the possibility of seeing him evolve at the highest level surrounded by players at the world level. But also in the Champions League. Also, for the player, I am very happy that he signed at PSG”.

The PSG Galtier version was in Japan for a tour. Did you watch the first games and what did you think?

“I watched the match where they won 6-2 against Gamba Osaka. Also, ohn sees that PSG is rising crescendo. When there is a new coach, we reset the counters to zero. Indeed, we know at PSG who will play or not. The policy has been overhauled. There are new rules that are present thanks to Mr. Campos. Friendly matches are important and the results are also positive. Indeed, Messi has already opened his counter. Neymar also Kylian as usual. It is very encouraging for the future. I’m waiting to see the championship. We all hope this season for the Champions League Me, I believe in it. I think Christophe Galtier is capable of erasing the trauma of the club in the final phase of the Champions League. »


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