Victim of a rupture of the cruciate ligaments of the left knee, then tested positive for the coronavirus, Soumaila Coulibaly is not yet at the bottom of the hole.
The young central defender of PSG, 17, has just signed his first professional contract on Thursday.
It will not be with Paris, his heart club.
Failing to see a future perspective emerging in the capital, he made the choice to go into exile for, like the former titi Dan-Axel Zagadou, before him, to try to take off with Borussia Dortmund.
While waiting to pass his STMG baccalaureate in a few months, the international U18 explains the reasons for his choice.
Why did you decide to sign your first professional contract for Dortmund?
Because of the project I was offered to set up around me.
There, all is well for my future.
I felt that I would be accompanied over time, that I would be taken care of.
Above all, Dortmund are a team that trusts young people, this is not necessarily the case with PSG.
Do you think you wouldn't have had your chance in Paris?
On several occasions, perhaps, I could have been with the grown-ups, in the group to see how it goes.
I trained with the pros.
But I was just there to fill in the gaps, not necessarily called in for the sake of progress.
This is the reason, in your opinion, why many Titis have left the club in recent years?
There isn't too much room for us, actually.
The quality of the PSG workforce, which recruits a lot of great players, makes it very difficult for young people to impose themselves.
Paris has very high performance requirements.
However, the step to be taken is enormous since in addition there is no more reserve team.
It's a handicap to have a chance.
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Did you talk to Abdou Diallo, ex-Dortmund, or Dan-Axel Zagadou, ex-Titi today at Borussia, before making your decision?
Not at all.
Besides my agent (
Editor's note: Epic Sport
), on the other hand, I spoke with Tanguy (Kouassi) who gave me a little advice.
He told me that he had made the right choice, that he was very happy at Bayern Munich and in Germany.
He advised me to learn the language well and to give it my all to adapt as quickly as possible.
Did you hesitate before committing?
I am from Clichy-sous-Bois.
Paris is my home, it was a dream since I was little to sign my first pro contract for PSG and to play at the Parc des Princes one day.
But no, I didn't hesitate, you also have to know what is best for you.
On the contrary, I went for it.
After Tanguy Coulibaly, Moussa Diaby and Tanguy Kouassi, Soumaïla Coulibaly is leaving PSG to join the Bundesliga!
The Parisian titi joined Borussia Dortmund and signed his first professional contract there.
- Bundesliga France 🇫🇷 (@bundesligaenfr) March 18, 2021
What was the reaction of PSG when you announced your choice?
The club was not happy, a little disappointed.
But he did not offer me the same perspectives ...
That is to say ?
When I went to Dortmund, to visit the facilities, I felt a bit like home, there is a very family side.
Attention, the family side, I also had it at PSG.
But I felt that Dortmund were really counting on me, showed me their confidence.
Despite my serious injury (
Editor's note: he had a cruciate ligament surgery two weeks ago
), they continued to want me.
It's a sign.
When I recover, I know, for example, that I will resume daily training with the first team and that I will also benefit from their structure which supports young talents in their progress.
Changing your language and environment at 17 doesn't scare you?
No, on the contrary, it motivates me.
I've always told myself that if I ever had to leave, it would be for the Bundesliga.
It's a championship that I really appreciate.
There is everything in this championship, a lot of young people, a lot of French people, it is the ideal launching pad.
What are your goals and ambitions with Dortmund?
The objective, once I am recovered, is to adapt and then try to scratch some playing time. And obviously to win in the future with the first team.
Why not also come back one day to play at the Parc des Princes, that would make me happy.
Do you blame PSG for this outcome?
Not at all.
On the contrary, PSG gave me everything, everything went very well here.
I thank him for that.
I will always be grateful to PSG for what they brought me.
But I also have to do what I believe is best for my future.