April 30, 2021
Gouiri: "OGC Nice corresponded 100% to my expectations"
The end of his first season in Rouge et Noir will arrive on May 23 at the club where he started his career (Lyon - Nice, 21:00, Round 38). Amine Gouiri spoke to So Foot about his adaptation to the club and the city, his approach to football and what goes with the sport, and his relationship with Kasper Dolberg. The Gym's top scorer spoke at length. A scorer of 16 goals since last summer, the France Under-21s international cannot wait to celebrate his goals with supporters inside the stadium at a club where he feels good. Choice extracts from the interview.
"People say to me a lot that I stand out, but what matters to me is the team." True to his reputation, Amine Gouiri refocuses the debate on the collective when asked about his first season at Nice and his impressive statistics. "Collectively, we haven't hit the objectives we fixed ourselves. But what we have lived through together this season might help us in the future." The Gym's number 11 cannot wait for his first experience of supporters filling the Allianz Riviera: "Against Lens (2-1, Round 1), for my first match with Nice, I scored a double. I would have loved to have been able to celebrate those goals with our supporters, especially as they're a lively bunch here! I think I might have been able to have enjoyed an even better season had there been fans, as playing in front of supporters is stimulating."
"With Kasper, we can do some damage"
A scorer 16 times in 36 matches in all competitions, Gouiri has mainly operated on the left flank of the attack: "I've been used to playing wide since I was young, but I'm really a 9. When I come out of a game having failed to score, I'm always a bit frustrated. Football has evolved a lot and nowadays the 9 has to get involved with the play, build up relationships with the wingers and the midfielders…" A wide role that he appreciates and in which he is revelling: "In the final third, we have free rein to be creative. That's the part of the field where I can bring some magic and set the opposition defence on fire, that's where I love to be and I'm lucky in that the coach lets me do my thing."
It's a position that allows Gouiri to express himself alongside Kasper Dolberg: "Kasper hasn't been spared this season with injuries, Covid, appendicitis, and the burglary of his house… But he's coming back strongly. I speak to him a lot even if I still have a few problems with my English. In sign language we manage to understand each other (laughs). I backed him up when he went through his troubles and now I think that when we play alongside each other, we can do some damage."
"Nice is the most beautiful city in France"
Having left Lyon in the summer of 2020, Gouiri has discovered a club "where everything is in place to be happy. The club has corresponded 100% to my expectations. It's a long-term project. The squad still needs to mature but we are on the right road and we are capable of winning trophies. Nice is the most beautiful city in France: when I go to training, I have the impression that I'm on holiday as it's so beautiful. I think a lot of players are jealous of our surroundings."
A lover of Nice and football, "I watch all the Ligue 1 matches, everything interests me," Gouiri looks forward to what's still to come in his Côte d'Azur adventure: "The day the fans are back in the stadium, I think I'll jump straight into the stand in order to celebrate with them."
Discover the full Amine Gouiri interview in the 186th edition of So Foot, already available online and in news kiosks.