Fans Suffer the Most Due to Football Shutdown Says Diallo

Abdou Diallo was an under-the-radar signing for Paris Saint-Germain last summer and contributed primarily to the club’s Ligue 1 campaign where he made 16 appearances before the coronavirus forced the season to end prematurely.

The French defender suffered a hamstring injury (like pretty much every other PSG player) earlier this year but bounced back just in time to be an option off the bench against his former club, Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League. Assuming that competition resumes in August, Diallo could play a major role for PSG if other players on expiring contracts (Thiago Silva and Layvin Kurzawa primarily) decide to depart on June 30.

Right now though, Diallo is like the rest of us, confined to his home due to the coronavirus. He recently joined journalist Ambre Godillon via video conference for PSG’s “Allo” video series where he discussed how he’s staying in shape and what he misses most about the game.

Godillon: How does it feel to be a champion like that from a distance, far from your teammates? You savor it, you’re a bit fed up with the situation? What’s it like?

Diallo: It’s weird. It’s weird. It’s a pity. But hey, that’s the situation we’re living through, we’re dealing with it. We would have liked to celebrate with everyone at the Parc, of course. But that’s the way it is. It’s still a title and we’ll take it. We’re hoping the party will be held afterward.

Godillon: And then, with the other players, you have a WhatsApp group, there were congratulatory messages going around on that. So how’s it going? What do you guys think?

Diallo: We’re trying to pat ourselves on the back. We pat ourselves on the back in all languages. Oh, yes, we do. We try to do our best, it’s frustrating, that’s for sure.

Godillon: And just what do you miss most from your “normal” life, if I may say that. Is it the teammates, the pitch, the games, going out?

Diallo: Actually, it’s my life full stop. Because I’ve been playing football since I was a kid. It’s my everyday life. It’s the first time I’ve ever stopped for so long. It’s new to me.

Godillon: Well, yes, precisely, with Layvin you were talking about the fact that since you were very young, you’ve been in football, you have a routine, you have things to respect. It’s brutal. Now, all of a sudden, you’re cut off from all your habits.

Diallo: Clearly, clearly. Afterward, we try to hold on to a couple of things, like working out, not staying up too late, no matter how hard it is…But, well, you have to deal with it, it’s new for everybody.

Godillon: And you manage to keep yourself in shape at home?

Diallo: Yeah, I think I’m doing pretty good. I don’t overdo it.

Godillon: And that title, if there was someone you had to dedicate it to. Who would that be?

Diallo: It would be the fans, of course. Because they’re the most penalized, they had their season tickets, they had planned to celebrate the end of the season, which was quite exciting. So they’re the most frustrated, I think, in history.

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Tags Abdou Diallo Champions League coronavirus Layvin Kurzawa Ligue 1
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