Lille right-back Sébastien Corchia has reacted to being named in our Ligue 1 Team of the Year 2016, sitting down exclusively for an interview with GFFN.
Congratulations on being named in the GFFN Ligue 1 Team of the Year 2016. Is it nice to receive recognition for the season that you have had?
Yes, it is definitely very nice. I am happy to be named because it proves to me that I have had a great season. And that is also my own feeling. I have felt really comfortable on the pitch both mentally and physically – maybe as a result of having played more than 200 Ligue 1 games.
I know that 25 years is not old in football – actually not at all, but I really do believe, that I can see that experience now in my own style of playing, and I think i have progressed a lot this season – maybe mostly in my defensive work.
Do you feel like this might be your best season so far, at least for Lille, if not ever?
Yes, I must admit, that this is my feeling: That this has been my best season of my career.
How nerve-racking was last weekend’s game against St Étienne? At Christmas, drifting just above the relegation zone, could you have possibly imagined qualifying for Europe?
I was not nervous at all, but top motivated. We knew that we had to win to qualify directly for Europe, so it was like a final against Saint Etienne. But we just went out to play our chance with a great motivation – and with a great self-belief after not having lost for the last many games in the league.
It was an amazing match with a fantastic atmosphere and a lot of intensity because the match meant so much for both teams.
We were so happy to win it – and as a defender to keep yet another clean sheet out of so many these last six months.
It is true, that halfway through this season, it looked like we could have ended up in the relegation battle – but we knew, that we were better than that, and instead we went to the top and the 5th spot.
That development has been marvellous.
How important has Frédéric Antonetti been in terms of Lille’s turnaround?
The arrival of Antonetti was a matter of a lot of things instantly clicking together in Lille. He brought us experience, and he knows the other teams very well and has made sure, that we always have had a lot of information to use in the matches about our opponents.
He also brought a game plan, that has worked, and therefore we have felt comfortable on the pitch and regained our self belief as a team – and just rocketed on from there.
Some times that just happens in football – a complete turnaround.