Guy Roux particularly appreciated the manners of “boy from good family” of the international goalkeeper, carried away at 58 years old this Tuesday following a heart attack.
How do you feel when you hear of Bruno Martini’s death?
GUY ROUX. First, on an emotional level, I have been deeply touched since I learned of his heart attack. I concluded that it was going to end badly and I wished it did not end like Michael Schumacher. That is to say that we revive the heart and that there is no longer the head … His death is of course a great shock.
How did you meet him?
He is a young person that I personally went looking for from the start. When he was 16, I went to see a match in Varennes-Vauzelles, in the suburb of Nevers. It was a rainy day and Bruno had been excellent. In those days, we played with woolen military gloves and leather balloons. Despite the rain, he hadn’t dropped a bullet. And then there was his style, his way of intervening, of moving, of being present at the corners… That day, I absolutely wanted to have him.
How did his debut at Auxerre go?
After a few twists and turns, he found himself with us but as a third goalkeeper, behind Joël Bats and Didier Loiseau. I didn’t want him to stay that way. One day while reading L’Equipe at 7 am, I learned that Nancy’s 2nd goalkeeper was unavailable. I immediately called Aldo Platini, the sports director. I ran into a young man who yelled at me for waking him up. It was Michel Platini who invited me to call back later… When I had Aldo, he told me that he knew Bruno Martini and that they had only been treated with politeness.
Bruno was therefore loaned to Nancy …
The same day, I rushed to Bruno Martini who had a Clio, with new equipment. He went to Nancy, trained in the afternoon and signed in the evening. There, he was 2 nd goalkeeper behind Jean-Michel Moutier. And then, Moutier injured his Achilles tendon. Bruno started in the 1st division a few weeks after his arrival and had a good season. I almost repatriated him but I lent him an additional year because we kept Joël Bats at Auxerre for one more year, the 1984-1985 season.
Once in Auxerre, Martini took on its full dimension …
He won his place in the France team. He was in competition with Bernard Lama. I think they were equal. But Lama benefited from being in Paris and having a little support from Canal +, then owner of PSG. It cost Bruno a few selections but it was not a complete injustice, Lama being very good too.
What personal relationship did you have?
Excellent. First, I had it very young and I was a bit like the teacher with his former pupil. And then, he had everything to please. He was punctual, very polite. He even had a certain class and elegance. He arrived early, with clean equipment in good condition. He was a perfect professional. He was not angry. When things were wrong, he would ask for a date and he would say it calmly.
What role did it play with its partners?
He was highly esteemed, almost mocked at times for his extreme order. When traveling, when he arrived, he would open his bag and put all the playing instruments for the next day on the table or bed, neatly ordered. He was doing personal studies of opponents, which goalkeeper coaches do today. He was more cultured than average. He bought the Goncourt Prize the week he was appointed and read it on the bus and on planes while going to play.
An anecdote that you cherish about it?
To tell you the quality of our relationship… I would go to pick him up and bring him back by car after the French team matches at the Parc des Princes. We had dropped off another player from Auxerre, perhaps Pascal Vahirua. In front of his house, he invites me to come in to drink the champagne. I object that it is almost 2 a.m. but he says he has something to tell me. During his stay, I spontaneously put on the skates, something quite unusual among footballers. Once seated, a cup in his hand, he said to me: “There, I wanted to announce my marriage to Mary”. Which Mary must mourn him today, with their two daughters.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr