He smiles. Last Friday, while he has just intervened with a little bit of vice against a striker from Nîmes, Presnel Kimpembe does not sulk his pleasure. Deep down, the PSG defender knows that barely two years ago he might not have shown so much cunning during this type of action. The sign of an evolution? Certainly. In September, already, during the Clasico and the disastrous brawl which had served as an epilogue for this PSG-OM (0-1), Kim, for those close to him, had already shown signs of maturity. At 25, captain’s armband on his biceps, he had tried to intervene to separate Layvin Kurzawa and Jordan Amavi held at the end of his powerful arms.
His status as vice-captain of PSG has transformed him in depth, it is obvious. He draws pride and responsibility there, the only titi holder in this team of stars from the four corners of the planet. But that’s not all. While he finds Manchester United this Tuesday evening, less than two years after the terrible hand which sealed the elimination of his team on March 6, 2019 (3-1 defeat), the native of Beaumont-sur-Oise (Val- d’Oise) used this episode, and more generally his failed post-World Cup year, to bounce back much higher.
“This is where you see that football goes quickly in one direction and the other, he confided to us a year ago about this double confrontation and the post World Cup. That’s life, but it hurt me, it will help me to move forward over the years and not to repeat the same mistakes. It’s a good lesson. When you win this title, you are on top of the world. You have to know how to manage it on a daily basis between life outside and the athlete. “
An individual physical trainer by his side
Among these “errors”, there is that of having played injured for almost the entire 2018-2019 season, sometimes with the blessing of the sports management. At the time, Kimpembe grits his teeth. Are the pains too much? He flew to Germany, in January 2019, to remake crampons at his equipment supplier. After the elimination against Manchester, he arouses the club’s misunderstanding by declaring that the team “took the game lightly”. And after the defeat in Nantes (2-3), in April 2019, it was PSG who sent him to deal with dissatisfied supporters.
During this time, his performances in club as in the France team decline until the double operation of the pubalgia which he resolves to undergo on May 23, 2019. This surgical intervention will make him aware of the fragility of his status. We will not go so far as to say that the operation is successful, but it will give rise to a questioning which is accompanied by strong decisions. During his rehabilitation, and with the agreement of the club, he secures the services of an individual physical trainer. An operation that he will repeat during confinement. While he already enjoys the advice of a nutritionist, the one who has become a father for the second time also takes help with childcare.
An organization is set up to optimize its performance. It will bear fruit at the end of the summer when Tuchel announces to Kimpembe that he will start against Real Madrid on September 18, 4 days after resuming less than 20 minutes against Strasbourg. The Parisian n ° 3 is gradually resuming its marks in a team which has recovered its executives and found a form of serenity. The arrival of Leonardo, as sporting director, also changed the rules. Kimpembe’s performances regain thickness and consistency. “Presko may have experienced concentration problems during matches normal, Thomas Tuchel analysis. But, since the return from confinement, he is really extraordinary and he remains on this level. He brings us his courage, his aggressiveness and his smile. I am very happy with it. “
The ambianceur has become a recognized central defender
At the same time, at the end of his operation, the Parisian defender is less dispersed in all-out communication. His collaboration with the media Bros. Stories on the Internet are still relevant today, but they are getting less frequent. He also lifts the foot on the various promotional operations, in particular with his ex-equipment manufacturer. While in lockdown, Kim will still take the time to launch her own streetwear clothing brand PK3. A project that has been close to his heart for several years.
Because the Maestro has lost none of his joie de vivre, but the image of a Kimpembe crossing the doors of the Blues locker room with a speaker on his shoulder is stored in the boxes. I’m like that, but I’m not just that, seems to mean the 2018 world champion. At 25, the ambianceur has above all become a central defender recognized on the football planet. The match against Manchester United in 2019 contributed to this. Necessarily.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr