«Nous gagnerons en confiance et cela nous amènera finalement à gagner des matchs.»
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (September 8, 2020) — After only arriving in town a little over a week ago and participating in just two training sessions, French midfielder Blaise Matuidi made his Inter Miami debut in a game played Sunday night at Inter Miami’s stadium in Fort Lauderdale. At full-time, it was another disappointing result for Inter Miami, this time a 0-0 draw with Nashville in a game that saw both teams miss golden opportunities to take away all three points.
Matiudi became the twelfth player who has been part of a World Cup winning side to play in MLS.
«Je suis content du match dans son ensemble. Ce n’était pas nécessairement le résultat que l’équipe espérait, mais nous continuerons à travailler là-dessus et nous nous préparerons pour le match contre Atlanta », a déclaré Matuidi après son premier match sous les couleurs de l’Inter Miami. «Je vois vraiment la qualité. Il ne nous manque pas grand-chose pour pouvoir gagner, tout dépend des détails et d’obtenir vraiment le dernier tiers et la dernière action pour marquer des buts. Nous gagnerons en confiance et cela nous amènera finalement à gagner des matchs.»
“I’m happy about the game overall. It wasn’t necessarily the result the team was hoping for, but we’ll keep working on this and get ready for the game against Atlanta,” said Matuidi following his first match with the Fort Lauderdale-based side. “I definitely see quality. There’s not a lot missing for us to be able to win, it all falls to the details and really getting the final third and final action completed to score goals. We will build in confidence and that will ultimately get us to winning games.”
Manager Diego Alonso was impressed with the French World Cup winning player’s performance. “I feel Blaise did great work and played a great match. He only had a few training sessions with us, but you could see his quality and his intelligence to help the team play better. Logically, with the time he has to adapt he’ll keep taking steps forward and he’ll help us grow a lot.”
“I was expecting probably closer to 60 minutes, but with coach we decided to keep pushing a bit further. I have a very good first impression of the league, this is definitely a league that requires a lot from us. The players show a lot of effort and a lot of intensity. I will myself have to continue giving my 100% to help the team win, because that is ultimately the goal for any team,” said Matuidi.
Matiudi turned in a solid performance, and could be seen giving directions to teammates. In an otherwise less-than-riveting match played in rainy, soggy, South Florida humidity, Matiudi had the second-most passes on the team, 52, including 31 in the opposition half, and completed 90% of his passes overall. Matuidi also added two key passes to his total, and a solid defensive performance, winning possession six times.
“My role is very much like what I have been used to in my career, it is to help organize the team, push us forward, find the way to move us forward and set up players in attack, and help out pressing,” added Matuidi. “Nothing has really changed from what I’ve been used to in my career which makes me really happy.”
Matuidi’s first impression of MLS was a positive one as he praised the abilities of the players around him. The midfielder also stated his desire to give his maximum effort to help lift the team above the competition.
“The pace of the game was really good. There were a lot of players with a lot of technical quality on the field,” concluded Matuidi. “It is up to me to give my all and make sure I can get ready off and on the field to give my 100% and help this team.”
Although fans might have been thinking the likes of Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, Matiudi is the type of player who was always a more realtisitc target for MLS. The native of Toulouse is the sort of player that Jorge Mas boasted would be playing for Inter Miami. He has indeed played at the highest level of the game. Since his debut for ES Troyes AC in 2004, he brings a winning pedigree which includes a total of 21 trophies at club level with the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus. The midfielder was also named the 2015 French Player of the Year and selected to the Ligue 1 Team of the Year twice.