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An ambitious project requires an experienced goalkeeper: why did Kasper Schmeichel choose Nice? | Israel today


For 11 years Kasper Schmeichel was an essential part of Leicester's tremendous growth • Now, at the age of 35 and after exhausting England, he arrived in Nice to help them also make a significant leap • On Thursday he arrives at Bloomfield to meet Maccabi Tel Aviv

Kasper Schmeichel played for Leicester City for 11 years.

During these years, he made 479 appearances and was a part of a league promotion, the amazing and first championship in the club's history in 2016, the first ever FA Cup win in 2021 and also the community shield win.

Over the years, the Danish goalkeeper has become one of the biggest symbols of the club and a player admired and appreciated by the fans, commentators and the media.

Therefore, the news that he decided to leave the club after more than a decade was received with some surprise.

First, due to the fact that Leicester is the only team in the five major leagues that did not bring in any acquisitions including a backup between the posts.

Secondly, because of the target chosen by the Danish goalkeeper.

Not another team in England, not Italy or Spain.

Not even an experience in the USA or another economic destination. But Nice, fifth place in France last year.

"Everything has an end," Schmeichel tried to explain the reasons that led him to make the decision.

In an interview with "Sky Sports", the 35-year-old goalkeeper admitted that the last few days had been an emotional roller coaster for him.

He calls the people of Leicester "family", and there is no way he will say a single bad word about the club he joined in 2011 when he was in the minor league.

As you can understand, his transition does not stem from frustration, from a conflict, from one economic interest or another, but solely from his personal desire to experience something new.

"I wanted to continue to develop and grow as a person and as a player and get out of my comfort zone," explained Schmeichel, "I wanted to experience something new. A new environment, a new country, a new league."

A player's wishes don't always come true, but Leicester - despite their difficult financial situation and the fact that they have no real replacement in goal - opened the door and said goodbye to their captain in class.

"His contribution on and off the field makes it clear what kind of personality he has," said the chairman of the club, "I know the fans respect him for what he did, and wish him success in his new team Nice."

Celebrating with Leicester Championship.

11 years was an essential part for the English, photo: Reuters

Looking for European recognition

So now that it is clear why he left Leicester, we need to understand why he chose Nice.

Although the team won four championships, they were all in the 1950s.

In recent years, it has consistently finished at the top of the table and last season reached the final of the French Cup, but it is not a luxury team nor a club that has attracted well-known players over the years.

Mario Balotelli in 2016 is probably the most brilliant purchase in its history.

"I am very excited to arrive in Nice," Schmeichel explained, "there is a very interesting project here, and I look forward to being a part of it."

The project the Dane is talking about began in 2011 when Jean-Pierre River and Julien Fournier took over the club and started working.

The two - a chairman and a sports director - set up an ambitious project whose goal is to bring results while improving the academy, building facilities, a scouting system and, among other things, establishing a goalkeeper training team. The great goalkeeper Walter Benitez left the club this summer, and Michael took his place.

Schmeichel and his friends are shown in Nice.

An ambitious project, photo: AFP

In recent years, Nice's project has led it to third place in the league, to the cup final and to the knockout stage of the Europa League, and Schmeichel's arrival is further proof of the club's great ambitions.

Besides the Danish goalkeeper, the star of the Wales national team Aaron Ramsey also arrived, and at the beginning of the week the coach Lucien Fabre admitted that "Edinson Cavani and Bamba Dieng are interesting players, and I can't go into more detail."

So even though the team opened the season with two draws, including the 1:1 against Strasbourg in the Danish goalkeeper's debut, Nice is dreaming big and believes that it can register significant achievements this season, including in the group stages of the Conference League.

Maccabi Tel Aviv will try to prevent this, but for that the Yellows will have to subdue Schmeichel.

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Source: israelhayom

All sports articles on 2022-08-16

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