Nice - Paris
October 17, 2019
30 April 2017. 48th minute of the game. Belhanda picks up the ball and starts a rapid counter attack. Ricardo receives the ball. With the 33,190 spectators in the Allianz expecting him to take on Aurier, as he would usually do, he cuts inside onto his left and doubles the score, finishing with a peach of a shot. Thinking about a match between Nice – Paris without thinking of him would almost be impolite. So we thought about it, and even called him. In incredible form at Leicester, the Portuguese international (26 years old and Aiglon from 2015 until 2017) picked up straight away, with the class that epitomises him. And looked back on Les Aiglons’ last victory over the men from the capital.
Ricardo, what memories do you keep of that Nice v PSG that you so famously won 3-1?
This match, along with the one against Saint-Etienne which secured a place in Europe (2-0, 7 May 2016) and the party after Angers (0-2, on 14 May 2017) are my best moments with Le Gym. What’s more, I remember that I had my mum, a friend and my nephew at the stadium. We were playing the reigning champions, and we went up against them. We knew what we had up against us, but we knew we had a chance. They were a superb team, we were having a superb season. We had weapons, our victory didn’t come about by chance. And to cap it all off, I scored that goal... It was really something.
This victory meant that Paris lost the title and handed it to Monaco...
Exactly. Bernardo Silva (former playmaker for ASM, currently at Manchester City) sent me a message to say thank you. We were all dreaming of being champions, and in fact, we had enough points to be just that (78).
Unfortunately, Monaco were above us. It remains a regret, even though the season and the third place finish were incredible.
How do you see tomorrow night’s game going?
PSG are PSG: a huge team with excellent players and an excellent coach. They are always difficult to play. To be able to hold your own against them, you need to be accurate and efficient, both in defence and attack. And more than anything, you can’t be afraid to have the ball, because big teams don’t like running after the ball. During our win over them, they didn’t like it... Tomorrow, it’s going to be tough, but I think that Le Gym, with their qualities “have something to say”, especially given the atmosphere that there will be. I wish everyone the best of luck for the season, the club and supporters. Plenty of good things and happiness!