Following a partnership between the MLS and La Liga (Spain), on top of a partnership already established with the Fédération Française de Football, MLS Academy directors and coaches with the EFCL (Elite Football Coaching Licence) licence have the opportunity to further their formation with a 10-day program, during which educators will visit well-known academies in world soccer. They will share information with coaches and sporting directors from big international clubs on topics like youth development, scouting and athletic development.
The Academy director Philippe Eullaffroy is representing the Montreal Impact.
Here is his diary.
Sunday, May 14 – Allianz Riviera, Nice (France)
After falling in the basket of chocolate breads and croissants, we leave for the stadium visit. It’s nice, it’s big, but something is missing to feel at home, since Nice is not the owner of the place.
We also discovered Mario Balotelli’s secret for his abs: it’s all in his nutrition!
We go on the field and it’s amazing! The atmosphere must be crazy with these 35,000 seats. The training before game day has a high intensity level and follows the exercises shown to us before.
I go get my bag and we leave the Allianz Riviera to go to the academy training centre, to watch the CFA game between the reserve teams of Nice and Monaco. I took more croissants for the trip, don’t worry.
Nice has to win at all costs, while Monaco can’t be relegated, no matter what’s the issue of the game.
The first surprise was to see the game played on turf and not on natural grass. Depeche mode had a concert the night before on the field the reserve team usually uses for games. With Celine Dion coming soon to the Allianz Riviera, we can say that artists definitely love soccer, or at least its stadiums.
But let’s focus on the artists we love, the ones playing soccer. There are about 300 people watching the game in the stands, including a few ex-French internationals like Gérald Passi or, for the older ones like me, George Carnus.
I spent the game seated beside Bertrand Reuzeau, ex-PSG and now the new Monaco academy director, who will host us tomorrow.
Nice plays with many professional players on the field, while Monaco is mostly composed of players born in 1997, with some in 1996 and one in 1999, bought for 3 million euros from the Netherlands.
The game is played at a good pace and Monaco shows its superiority in every aspect of the game, but mostly technically. Nice leads 1-0 on a penalty, but Monaco equalizes quickly. It’s an exciting game and Nice takes the lead again on a handball by Monaco’s goalkeeper. The game will end up 2-1.
We go back to the hotel, but allow ourselves a dinner in a small restaurant by the sea. It’s really tough to be on the French Riviera…
Tomorrow, we will leave for Monaco: the city of the Prince, the Princesses and…M’Bappé!