Hugo Magnetti, Stade Presto’s midfielder since 2017, stated this Provence Before the match between his team and Igor Todor’s team, scheduled for this evening at Stade Francis Le Ble (8:45 pm).
On Sunday evening, Brest welcomes the OM team at the Stade Francis Le Ble. To what extent is the Marseille encounter always a special event for you?
Hugo Magnetti: In fact, even if you are not from Marseille, it is special to play against OM. But when you are like me, born and raised in Marseille, it necessarily takes on a greater dimension.
Last season, Brest beat the Velodrome (1-2) in the first leg. What can you tell us about this game?
We experienced all the emotions that day. In the first half, OM walked us. We don’t see daylight and we don’t touch the ball. At 1-0 we are doing well at halftime. In the second half, we changed our face. We got a penalty that changed the way we played. And behind us we knew how to harm them and punish them.
I was the initiator, and did really well that day. What do you think of your first performance at Vélodrome?
I think like the whole team, I played a good game. Especially defensively, the team knew how to be very strong. Personally, I wanted to play a big game because there were all my family and friends on the field. I managed my feelings well. I put myself in a bubble, trying to ignore it all. I didn’t put any pressure on myself and I think that’s what allowed me to do well.
In contrast, OM won significantly (4-1). How can this big difference between the two encounters be explained?
Not all matches are the same. On that day the OM players started the game well by opening the scoring from the start, which put us in the back of our heads. They were very good at managing tempo and control. And as soon as they had the opportunity, they punished us. You could say they have a perfect match. I was impressed by the OM group. At this time of the season, the club is no longer hiding from the second place in the championship. We felt it was tough and the team could move on.
“The Tudor philosophy is interesting and hard to counter.”
After a few months, OM has developed a lot. Igor Tudor replaced Jorge Sampaoli and the team’s style of play is no longer the same. What changes in terms of your preparation?
Not much in the end. We could see in front of Reims that Marseille was ready, while after the friendlies we thought they would be a little late. Igor Todor’s philosophy is interesting, and it seems difficult to counteract it. But I don’t think our plan and our mentality depends on the organization of the opponent.
During the first day, against Reims, OM was very sharp on both sides. How could this factor be the key to the match?
Of course, when you see the OM match against Reims, you tell yourself that one of the strengths of this team is playing on the wings. It is really strong! We must be very vigilant. We’ll have to be very careful and prepare well for that. However, we should not focus only on this aspect. In the middle and front, they remain very durable. Danger can come from anywhere.
On your part, you started with a narrow defeat at Lens (2-3). What went wrong in Bolert for Brest?
I think we were very shy at the beginning of the match. We just watched Lens turn on. I’ve found that Lens players are fresher than us. From their third target, we still managed to raise our heads. We were close to a tie…this year, we’re not going to give up. It’s up to us to be more focused at the start of the match. I think that, this season, Brest can be stronger than last year. Only time will prove it. I think we understood the coach’s philosophy well (Michel Der Zakarian, editor’s note). The players who arrived this summer have quickly absorbed the style of play we want to put in place. We have to aim higher. The goal, in the medium term, is to perpetuate the club in Ligue 1.
What are the areas of improvement for the Marseille match?
We have to be better collectively, whether in the back, in the middle or in the front. It is necessary to concede fewer goals. Everyone must be involved in order for our group to function, from the goalkeeper to the center of the attack. I think we have our own style of play, we are strong in transitions. The important thing is to maintain this style, because that’s what the team knows best.
“Let’s not be afraid of words: Alexis Sanchez is a huge player”
OM just recruited Alexis Sánchez. What inspires you with this transfer?
It’s good for OM! This proves that the club is capable of attracting very good players. You have to say what there is, and not be afraid of words: Alexis Sanchez is a huge player. When I was young, I dreamed of playing against a player of this level. OM attracts and shows ambition. It is good for them, but also in the interest of the French championship.
Apparently, your former Brest teammate Lucien Agoumé praised the merits of OM to Alexis Sánchez. Are you behind this interference?
When we played together, I didn’t really talk to him about OM, so he didn’t come from me (laughs)! Especially since in the meantime, Lucien returned to Inter at the end of his loan to Brest. But on Wednesday evening, I texted him after learning he had talked about OM with Sanchez. I find it good to see a player like Lucien speaking so well about OM, it proves that he is a great club.
“OM is a big club. Who wouldn’t dream of playing for a big club?”
You have a fairly linear cycle. Last year, she started 16 times in the French league. What do you expect from this new season on a personal level?
It’s true that in the past year I’ve spent a lot of time playing, and since I was young, this has come out of my career. I never skipped the steps. There has always been a certain continuity in my progress. I must continue on this path. My main goal is to go from a rotation player to an important starting player. It will take hard work to achieve this status.
Michel Der Zakarian settled on Brest’s seat last summer. How important is that to you?
Of all the coaches I’ve had, he’s given me the most playing time, and he’s given me a lot of confidence. You need this. With him I was able to feel my importance within the team. We can say that it was crucial to my progress.
Between your coach (who grew up in Marseille, editor’s note), Haris Belkebla (a young OM supporter, editor’s note) and you, Brest has a bit of a Marseille accent. You agree ?
Yes that’s right, there is a bit of a southern accent. After that, the real Marseille from Brest is me! With the coach, too, anyway. But Harris is an Aubervilliers man (laughs)!
You are very attached to Marseille. Do you hope deep down that you can join OM someday?
Yes, of course. Then, again, we must not skip the steps. For now, I wouldn’t say I want to play for OM. Brest is all I care about. But it is true that as Marseille, I have always dreamed of playing with OM. It’s a big club. Who does not dream of playing in a big club?