Yohan according to...

Claude Puel (former coach in Lille)

I remember I launched him as a professional player against Istres FC. He was such a cheeky player. Right after he went on the field, he achieved a lovely sequence concluded by a volley shot. I was stunned by his calm and his intelligence. As a coach, having at my disposal a respectful and a character player is a chance. There is no need to repeat everything he has to know, he can assimilate really fast. Although he was a young player he seemed really mature. He is a good player, he feels the game. It wasn’t a big surprise to see him moving abroad and join the French national that fast. Thanks to his education, he achieved to remain the same despite his professional advancement. To me he will play in one of the best European football club within the next 5 years.

Saïd (former coach)

I took care of Yohan when he was U-12. However, I already knew him seeing that I am a friend and a former teammate of his father. He used to hang out with a plastic ball when he was a child. He already was above the average, that’s the reason why he was outclassed early. We had set tree training session a week and he never missed one of them. He always showed up first, with the smile on his face. We knew he was potentially a talented player so we did our best to put him in a difficult position and see how he would react. Each time he would took up a challenge easily. He always was at the right position on the field and knew before to get it what to do with the ball. He was a good teammate and get on very well with everyone. Today, I am very surprised about his mental strength. I was scared his kindness would go against him.
My most striking fact about Yohan was when he was a U-12 player. He had a member of the staff to fall by shooting the ball right into her face. He got really scared and was a bit shocked after that.
Today, I make an example of Yohan to teach younger player I take care of in Hem. Each year we organize a training camp on behalf of Yohan who join us any time he can. Beyond his presence, Yohan is a good example because he has a modest background and he is a hard worker. He achieved many successes thanks to some values like his will, his bravery and his work. I pass on that message to young football players: Yohan made his own achievement by working hard. I always remember what he told to my young apprentices when he came to Hem: “You need to work at school so you can be good at sport”.

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