He was not scheduled to play this match with this jersey.
But on Saturday afternoon (3 p.m.), the French-born Loïc Nego will play this Hungary-France, second match of the Euro of these selections, in the Magyar camp.
The former Nantes player, whose somewhat chaotic start to his career took him from AS Rome to Belgium via England, took the nationality of the country where he has been playing since 2014. The midfielder , European champion with Antoine Griezmann in U19 in 2010 and who grew up with Wissam Ben Yedder in Garges-lès-Gonesse (Val-d'Oise), tells about his career and his feelings before facing the Blues.
Representing a selection other than that of his native country, is it a difficult decision to make?
I didn't ask myself the question for a long time, it was quite natural.
I've been living there for a while, I feel at home there and I feel Hungarian in my job.
My family and I feel very comfortable.
I'm not going to say that life is a fairy tale for me there, but almost.
For administrative reasons, the sports director of my club (
Editor's note: MOL Fehérvár FC
) suggested that I take dual nationality, which allowed me to be selectable for the national team.
You were called last fall, how is your integration going?
I had a little apprehension, but it was extraordinary.
I knew more or less everyone from my experience in Hungary, and the guys made me feel very welcome and made me feel right at home.
I felt like I already had 50 selections (
And then, you score in the match which qualifies Hungary for the Euro…
Even if it may seem weird, we felt we were going to overthrow Iceland in this match.
We were on top, we were pushing and they were starting to tire.
We needed this thing that would blow up the match, and I finish everyone's work with this goal at the end (
Editor's note: he equalizes in the 88th before the winning goal in the 90th + 2
It was really strong as a moment.
Nego equalized for Hungary in the 88th minute!
💻📲📺 The live multiplex 👉 https://t.co/MdSBtwidqV #lequipeFOOT pic.twitter.com/O3RNh3fq4N
- L'Équipe channel (@lachainelequipe) November 12, 2020
How do you feel about facing France at the Euro?
I find it beautiful to find myself facing my native country, where I grew up, where my family still lives.
There will be emotion, on the side of my relatives in Garges.
Everyone is going to watch the game.
I can't wait to be there (
substitute in the first match lost 3-0 against Portugal,
Nego came into play
), several of my friends will be present at the stadium.
What should the Blues expect in Budapest?
I let them discover the atmosphere, but I can tell you that it will be really strong.
It's hot, in a good sense, they're going to be well received (
You may have to defend against the Mbappé-Benzema-Griezmann trio.
What does that inspire you?
I am very happy to have the opportunity to play against players of this caliber.
Honestly, it's the best in football.
All three are players we will never forget, and I can't wait to face them.
You shared the same room with Antoine Griezmann when you were European champions with the U19s in 2010. What memories do you keep of him?
With “Grizi”, we were close when we were young.
He played at Real Sociedad and was part of our great group of friends of this great generation.
I will be very happy to see him before the match and to recall our memories of the time, to talk about what became of each other.
What impression did he make on you then?
He has necessarily evolved, but he already had a lot of self-confidence, it showed by what he released from the field.
And above all, he had an extraordinary left paw, had the gift of always being well placed and triggering the right pass at the right time.
Like Wissam Ben Yedder, you grew up in Garges-lès-Gonesse.
What are your links?
Wissam, he's the bro.
We are still in contact, we called each other shortly before the Euro.
We come from the same city, but not from the same neighborhood.
We are a year apart, we met with other young people to play games.
I represented La Muette, and he the Lost City.
There was something at stake, we were sometimes forced to play on neutral ground (
Wissam, he was the kind of kid to go dribble the bigger ones.
He already liked to break kidneys.
You had a complicated start to your career, after this European title with the U19s.
Do you have any regrets?
When I look at myself in a mirror, I'm happy with the player that I am.
Some people surely saw me explode in the wake of my adventure with Les Bleuets, but let's say that I took a different path, options that I was not necessarily seen taking.
Now, that made what I became this player who finds himself playing a Euro with Hungary and that, frankly, I am very happy.
You are 30 years old, do you see yourself coming back to France to finish your career?
Why not ? Since I was little, my dream has been to play in Ligue 1 (
Editor's note: he only evolved in Ligue 2 with Nantes
), and to find myself in these atmospheres that made me dream. In addition, I remain a great supporter of PSG. I don't know what the future holds, but for the moment my priority is my club and the Euro with the national team.