He returned Monday evening in the early evening from Cairo without a medal around his neck after the world finished in fourth place. On Wednesday, Nedim Remili was already in training with PSG to prepare for the Champions League match this Saturday (8 p.m., live on BeIN Sports) in Hungary against Szeged. The life of an international handball player offers insane cadences with a match every two days in major competitions. “We wonder where we are going, and in what state we will end up,” wonders Parisian goalkeeper Vincent Gérard, president of the players’ union. His teammate at PSG Nedim Remili, also deplores it and fears the worst.
By dint of playing, are you not fed up with handball?
NEDIM REMILI. No. But that’s even what’s boring because I love my sport too much to be fed up with it. Yet when I look at what we are being made to experience, it’s horrible. If I’m not drunk playing handball, I am when we are not taken care of anymore.
Why is this horrible?
Our schedule is insane. We play every other day in competitions as important as a World Championship, a Champions League, the French Championship with an obligation of result with both the Blues and PSG. There is therefore no respite from the dangers that this creates.
What dangers are you running?
Injuries, sometimes serious, that can break or slow down a career. They are as scary as the burn-out that some players also risk. Handball is a sometimes violent contact sport. Guys jump and it happens too often that they fall back badly, make an Achilles tendon, an ankle or a knee. By dint of playing too much, our bodies sound alarm bells but no one listens to them. It’s very sad.
What is the power of the players to slow down this insane schedule?
We can not do anything. It’s a complicated situation to manage and which is also unmanageable for us players because our voice does not count. We had a fight two years ago to lighten the schedule and that unfortunately had not given anything.
If you were in power, what would you do to change that?
I can imagine that the institutions would each want to play their competition. This is important for economic reasons and for the attraction of our sport. But if one day there are no more players, that will cause problems. It’s going to blow up because the players will have to choose their club or its selection. There is no other sport apart from ours that acts like this. Everyone has to come to a table to settle this.
How do you mentally go from one competition to another in a matter of hours?
To tell the truth, I do not know by what magic one arrives there. There just isn’t a choice but it’s hard. We already did that at Christmas time by going in a few hours from the Final Four of the Champions League to a match in Serbia with the Blues. It was already a complicated stage and when we return from the World Cup, we are back in the same configuration. We must quickly turn our heads, there is no other solution.
Have you had time to rest since returning from Egypt?
I ran into my aunt on Tuesday who asked me if I was on vacation. I answered him “ yes, for 24 hours! “For us, a day off is like a big weekend and two days in a row, it feels like a big vacation.
Between now and the qualifications for the Games in March in Montpellier, you will play 10 club matches …
I don’t know what they want from us. This is absurd. It’s a crazy thing that forces us to kill ourselves physically and mentally.
What do you hope for the second part of the season?
As few injuries as possible for us in Paris and in all the clubs. For PSG, I want to continue to seek titles and grow. I want to go for the Champions League that we have coveted for so long. We touch it often, but now we have to seize it. With the Blues, I want to qualify for the Games.
How is the week of isolation imposed by the pandemic on players returning from the World Cup?
I don’t know if it’s a chance because in the end, if we had remained locked up, I could have rested. But we had a special exemption. We have as normal a life as possible given the restrictions imposed on everyone. By being tested every two or three days, we must obviously be careful for the good of all and not to penalize the team. But we can leave our home and come and train normally.
What do you have left of the Egyptian World Cup?
We are not happy because we did not manage to get this third place which was important. But it generates a lot of hope for the future. It was a reassuring World Cup.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr