“PSG is always a dream”

At 22, left-back Yoann Gibelin made the leap from Créteil, where he joined at the age of 13, to PSG, where he signed for two seasons. Interview with Le Quotidien Du Sport and Handball magazine.

Your last match with Créteil was against Paris Saint-Germain. Was it strange to play against your future club?

If it made me feel strange, it was mainly because of the last match against Créteil, the club I have been with for 10 years. It’s always special to leave a club where you spent a lot of time and made a lot of memories.

How do you rate your individual and collective season?

Individually, it was a good season overall. I am quite pleased with myself. Collectively, we had a very good season. We didn’t have to fight to keep ourselves like we do every year. I think we offered very good handball and the results were there, so we can be satisfied with our season.

Maybe you like winning the title or qualifying Créteil for the Euros…

European qualification would be incredible. But you need to know where it comes from. When I started playing in this club, I played in the 2nd division. I am still proud to leave the club with this 11th place, which we have not known for 5-6 years and which confirms the progress of the club. Here it leaves a nice trace from my transition.

What are the reasons for this move to PSG?

Simply put, as a player, everyone wants to play at the highest level possible. PSG gave me this opportunity. I didn’t hesitate much before I picked it up and signed it. In general, when a club like Paris Saint-Germain calls you, it’s hard to refuse (smiles). Being from Ile-de-France, it was my reference and the club that made me want it the most, so I didn’t hesitate.

You will be playing with great players like Nikola Karabatic, did that influence your decision?

You learn from the best by working with the best. The chance to rub shoulders with Nikola Karabatic is a great opportunity to learn, see what he does on a daily basis and try to get as close to him as possible.

Did you talk to Nedim Remili, who also trains at Creteil, and did he give you advice?

We have not specifically returned to this transfer. I’ll have to find out for myself how it goes. I don’t have to live this experience with the experience of others.

“The club does not hide it, it wants to win everything”

Why PSG and not Kielce or Barcelona when so many young people go abroad?

To go abroad, in my opinion, you still have to prove yourself at the national level. Today, the French championship offers a very high and very attractive level with great matches at all levels. All teams are good. Paris Saint-Germain has all the resources to perform at a very high European level. So why complicate it when you can simplify it? Why leave when everything is fine in Paris?

Is the collective goal really the treble of the French Cup, the French Championship and the Champions League?

This is the goal of the club, but I think everyone is aware that the club wants to win all competitions (smiles). Now we have to work. We can achieve great things by working hard.

You replace Mikkel Hansen in the same position. Does it put extra pressure on you?

It has been a benchmark in world handball for years. But I am not alone, there are several of us at the station. I will continue to be myself and do what I know how to do. That’s what brought me here. I’m going to keep working and moving forward, we’ll see where it takes me.

Expect a lot from Yoann Gibel’s Paris adventure

Do you have anything to say to the Parisian fans?

They put an incredible atmosphere that warms the heart. They also paid attention to me, which really impressed me. I look forward to seeing them again with Paris Saint-Germain, hopefully many great moments and victories.

Nikola Karabatic said Paris Saint-Germain have fewer resources than when the project started. Maybe that’s why it’s losing a few stars. Is PSG still haunting you?

For me, yes. Of course, there are important departures, but there are always great players. I think the goals are the same, they haven’t changed. I joined Paris Saint-Germain because it is still an attractive project that offers great opportunities and good exposure, as well as good development.

In 2019, you became the world champion with the French U23 team. You’ve signed for PSG and you’re going to get a little more attention. What do you think, can you get a place in the French team for the World Cup?

To get there, you must already have a good relationship with your club. It will pass from there. The French team wants you, being at PSG gives you more visibility, but you shouldn’t cut corners. If I do well with my club, I will probably get called up. It might be after the World Cup, but whatever happens, I have to establish myself as a legitimate contender before anything else.

Interview with Kevin Tube

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