He may have been born in Buenos Aires, feeling more Argentinian than ever, Gonzalo Quesada has Paris in his skin. “I fell in love with it”, loose the head coach of the Stade Français. To the point of having always kept a foothold in the capital, “an investment for life”, since leaving the club to coach Biarritz in 2017. The former 46-year-old international opening half has not been either More to be desired when the proposal of general manager Thomas Lombard was submitted to him to take over the reins of the Stadistes this summer. Even if the economic situation in Argentina and that of the Jaguares ( Editor’s note: franchise to which he was linked until 2021 for Super Rugby, competition stopped due to the health crisis ) also weighed in his thinking.
Gonzalo Quesada, pacsé in Liga with which he resides in the 16th century for a question of proximity to the Jean-Bouin stadium, agreed to talk about his Parisian life (upset with the implementation of the curfew), his shots heart in the “city of light”. Before meeting again this Saturday (6.15 p.m.) at the Jean-Bouin stadium, Racing 92, recent unhappy finalist of the European Cup, which he trained from 2011 to 2013, for an expected derby.
At Volver, a table named after him
He has made the Cardinal (16th century) and the Cantine du Troquet by Christian Etchebest (15th century) his culinary refuges, where he feels “in family. “” I like going to places where you eat well but where you don’t have the feeling of being considered as a customer, “specifies the ex-opener of the Pumas.
At the Volver, an Argentinian restaurant in the heart of the Saint-Germain district, he is also much more than the head coach of the Stade Français. He established a friendship of more than ten years with the boss Carlos Muguruza, a compatriot. A table in the establishment has even been named after him. “We met during a PSG match at the Parc. His restaurant is the HQ of the South Americans, I spoke there with Cavani, worked with Lavezzi, who became a friend. Carlos knows how to convey the spirit of our culture, such as the interpersonal skills, the desire to offer simple but good things, without selling dreams. “
“In 2015, the year we were champion of France with the Stade (Editor’s note: already as a coach, from 2013 to 2017, after having been a player from 2004 to 2005), I spent time there, he adds. I was getting a divorce, and instead of going home and cooking, I would show up here, still dressed in a club sweatsuit. I would sit on the corner of the bar, order an Ojo de Bife (sirloin) with a beer, and I knew the atmosphere would comfort me. It is also a place that allows me to take a step back after a day in a sport where there is a lot of pressure. “
Bike ride at night in high summer
We know his passion for polo, which he practices assiduously at La Mariana de Dourdan, in Essonne, where he is licensed. Or his taste for football. About ten years ago, the former assistant coach of the XV of France (2008-2011) met every week at the Jean-Bouin stadium in Issy-les-Moulineaux for a match between friends. Among them: Alain Cayzac, Edouard de Pouzilhac and Christophe Chenut who facilitated his first steps in Paris. “Alain was my captain, he made me play left midfielder because I was right-handed,” he smiles. I was able to disconnect a little from my work thanks to that. We ended up in a pizzeria next to the stadium. I miss it! “For a long time, it is also the biclou that he likes.
“Every summer, I get on a Vélib ‘late at night after having dinner, and I travel around Paris by night: Île Saint-Louis, a magical place, Notre-Dame, the Louvre Pyramid, the Tuileries, the Concorde… The streets are empty, no cars, no horns or the smell of diesel, you have the impression of having the monuments, the city illuminated just for yourself. A real feeling of well-being. When friends come from Argentina, I tell them: Take the classic sightseeing tour if you wish. But I offer them this adventure, and I am quite convincing in general. I can assure you that those in a relationship score a lot of points with their wives after they experience (smile). “
Montmartre, the Saint-Germain district to the madness
The winner of the European Challenge with Stade Français in 2017 identifies with old Paris. In this district of Montmartre “that[il] really like. “” It has its history with Picasso (the Spanish painter settled there in 1900), not to mention its small streets, the mystical side that it exudes with the Sacred Heart, he continues. I remember that we organized a treasure hunt in small groups to get out of the routine, with Stade Français. The association of clues allowed us to discover the name of a bar, and to find all of them, even if we had to call some (laughs). “
“I also love the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district, with these bon vivant who take advantage of the terraces,” he continues. The night of the championship title with the Stadium in 2015, we decided to go to Rue de la thirst (intersection of rue Princesse and rue Guisarde) for a nightcap. We almost all found ourselves still in our shirts, but super tired. It was beginning to light, and we shared our happiness to be champions of France. We said that we loved each other, that we had experienced something unforgettable, a moment apart! “
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr