In an interview to be broadcast on European 1 this evening just before the match between Metz and Marseille, the Lorraine coach, Frédéric Antonetti, spoke about his period (December 2018 – October 2020) away from the club, when he took care of his seriously ill wife, passed away in July 2020.
Having joined Metz, then in Ligue 2, in May 2018, the Corsican coach left his post in December of the same year. “First, I tendered my resignation. I said to the president ‘listen, I want to go home’. I want to be with my wife. I’m terminating my contract.” which was to last until 2021.
However, Antonetti remained part of the club as general manager: “The president didn’t want me to go. He said ‘I want you to continue even from afar’. The second thing was that my wife wanted me to continue. So from there, I continued to follow the club, to watch the games, to get involved in recruitment. But doing both was sometimes very difficult. But it was also a breath of fresh air for me. Football has always helped me and especially in this very difficult period.
The 60-year-old, who will play his 602nd Ligue 1 match tonight (he ranks 8th of all match times managed), was also asked about his place in the world of football. “I’m just a coach, who made his career in Ligue 1, sometimes in Ligue 2. It’s the fact of having stayed in the game for so long that counts. But I don’t consider myself out of the ordinary. The Wengers, Mourinhos and Guardiola, they are out of the ordinary. I must have qualities to have lasted so long. All the clubs that called me were in trouble. A good club never called me. But I’m happy with my journey.