Loic Remy Interview
What age did you start at a professional club?
I was around 13 when I joined the Lyon Academy.
What positions did you play?
I used to play as a striker or on the right side as a winger.
Who played with you who went on to make it as a player?
I played with Karim Benzema, we were from the same generation. We were in school together, too. I was also in the same team as Hatem Ben Arfa.
How did you get to training?
I went to school in the morning, which was associated with the football club, and then we all got a coach together from the school to the training ground in the afternoon. I went home after training every day on the bus. I had a big bag which was probably bigger than me because I was small! The first year I went to the academy it was a bit difficult because you train every day and I wasn’t used to that, but after that it was okay.
Any dodgy haircuts?
I had a lot of different haircuts growing up – I think I tried to find myself! I had dreadlocks, I had no hair sometimes and even now I’m trying to find a new look! I remember one time I was growing my hair because I wanted dreadlocks but I had bad results at school and my Dad wasn’t happy. He just took a razor and cut all my hair off - I cried for a long time!
Did you win any competitions?
We won the league pretty much every year I think. We also won a famous tournament called the ‘Tournoi de Sens’ one year – I finished as the best player and the top scorer.
Looking back, what was the best piece of advice you received?
I had just signed for Nice and it was a big deal because Nice had spent a lot of money on me. Everybody was expecting a lot. When I came, the captain, Olivier Echouafni, told me: ‘You know your quality, take your chance. The career is short so don’t wait for anything.’
He said that to me when I was 19. Last summer I met him again by coincidence and he asked me if I remembered what he told me. I said I remembered it like it was yesterday because now I am 28 and though I still feel 19 time is quick!
Tell us about the moment when you were offered full-time place/professional contract?
The first contract I signed was with Gerard Houllier. It was the first important step in my career. He signed me when I was 18. I was training with Lyon’s reserve team. There is a break in December and when the first team returned for a training camp after the break they needed a couple of players from the reserve team.
To be honest I had never trained with them, not even once. They called me and I went for one week with the professional team to train in Chateroux. It was a little dream. Everything went well. I remember just before I got on the plane home Houllier grabbed me and he said I had trained very well and my work was really good. He said he was happy with my performance and that I should make sure I keep going like this. One week after that I was at the desk of the president to sign my first contract. It was very quick.
Every time I see Houllier I hug him and say thank you.