In his first season with Paris Saint-Germain, Idrissa Gueye won his second Ligue 1 championship under unique circumstances (his first coming with Lille OSC in 2010-11).
The coronavirus crisis forced officials to cancel the 2019-20 season and hand PSG the championship.
Gueye arrived last summer from Everton FC and quickly became a reliable option for manager Thomas Tuchel. He appeared in 20 Ligue 1 matches and scored his first, and only goal for Les Parisiens against Angers SCO on October 5.
The Senegal international is continuing to social distance like the rest of his teammates but did sit down for a chat with journalist Ambre Godillon for another episode of PSG’s “Allo” video series.
The conversation covers multiple topics, including how Gueye celebrated the championship with his teammates while in isolation and what he misses most about the game.
Godillon: How does one experience the title of French champion in 2020? Are you enjoying it anyway? Are you happy?
Gueye: Of course we’re enjoying it! It’s true that it’s weird not to be with our teammates, with people from the club, to be able to celebrate it properly. In this period we have to stay at home, but we savor it with the people who are close to us. We’re trying to live this moment.
Godillon: So you celebrated with your family?
Gueye: We had a little family meal, my wife had a little cocktail party with a buddy who’s here, in lockdown, with us. We celebrated a little in our own way.
Godillon: I know that you have a small WhatsApp group where you talk to each other. How’d it go? Did you talk about the title? Did you have exchanges?
Gueye: As you know, we have a small WhatsApp group. We all sent messages, photos and videos to remember the big moments of the season and above all try to live it together. Well, we don’t have a choice.
Godillon: It’s kind of frustrating, isn’t it? To be far from his dressing room for your first championship title with Paris Saint-Germain.
Gueye: It’s clear that we would have liked to be all together. It would have been something else. Above all, it’s deserved because it’s been a good season and it’s deserved, even if this situation is weird. So, we would have liked to be all together and to celebrate it together as it should have been.
Godillon: It’s true, really deserved, because even ten rounds from the end, with one match less, Paris Saint-Germain were 12 points ahead of Marseille. So you didn’t steal it, anyway! And so, to talk a little bit about containment, the situation is a bit weird. A football player is used to exercising all the time, the routine, the training sessions, the dressing room…How do you learn to live in a new way when you’ve always been sporty?
Gueye: Yes, it’s true that it’s weird because we’re used to waking up, having a coffee, driving to training, meeting friends, coming back home…Except now we’re home all day long. On the bright side, I’ve never seen so much of my kids, especially my son. But otherwise, we try to keep ourselves as fit as we can, to keep fit, run to from time to time, on the machine or outside, or try to do some exercises. But the hardest part is not playing football. You can run, but to play football, you need space. You need a field, you need teammates, you need all that and you need a coach. We need the doctors, we need the physiotherapists, we need the fans…
Godillon: What are you missing the most? For you it’s football?
Gueye: Of course, it’s not even close, it’s football, it’s football. And most of all, being able to be with friends and family. We’re cut off from all that. But what I miss the most is football, the field.
Godillon: Do you manage to stay connected to football anyway? Do you watch some things?
Gueye: At the moment I don’t watch football at all, not at all. I have a buddy with me. So sometimes we go into the garden and knock the ball about, but other than that, no I’m not looking at football.
Godillon: I want to know if you wanted to dedicate this title of champion of France to someone in particular.
Gueye: I would like to dedicate it to all people who support the club and me and who are all over the world and especially to all the Senegalese who support the Paris Saint-Germain. And for my family who has always backed me, and especially to all these people who are fighting to find solutions to help us get out of this situation. I think of the caregivers, all those people who put their lives at risk to try to save the world.
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