The Lorient midfielder, who discovered Ligue 1 with OM, is preparing to make his return this Sunday at the Vélodrome. Having grown up since then.
He was born in 1993, the year of the European coronation of Olympique de Marseille, his favorite club where he played 16 years, but it is with the captain’s armband of Lorient that Laurent Abergel prepares, moved, to return to the Vélodrome, Sunday (8:45 p.m.). “I started at the age of 5. And then I did all my classes there“, Tells AFP the kid born not far from the bubbling Marseille stage. OM, “it’s the heart club, when you are little, you dream of playing it“. Little by little, this battling midfielder rose through all the ranks, until he made his professional debut at the age of 20 at the Vélodrome in January 2014. Only a few minutes at the end of two matches, in the Coupe de France and in Ligue 1. “But it was a step that I wanted to take there and it’s a source of pride», He confides.
Remained on the bench the rest of the season, Abergel then left to harden himself in Ligue 2. First at AC Ajaccio (2014-2017), where he quickly won, then in Nancy (2017-2019) and finally in Lorient (since 2019), where he contributed to the rise in the elite in 2020, and raised his level of play to become an essential craftsman of maintenance last season. “I didn’t have much of a choice. I tried to be very focused on what I was doing, on and off the pitch (…). We can always improve but it’s true that it’s going pretty well», He explains. From his Marseille years, “Lolo»Kept the accent of the south and of his adolescence, he kept protruding ears which give this small size of 28 years and 1.70m a still youthful air. But on the ground, it is a war machine, tireless scraper of balloons, striking in the duels and able to create the danger of a pass or a cross towards the arrows Terem Moffi and Armand Laurienté.
SEE ALSO – Bernard Tapie’s legacy at the Olympique de Marseille
A serial tackler
Last year he was one of the best tacklers in Europe: “It shows that I put my ass on the floor for my team. It’s my way of defending: tackling, tearing off, collecting as many balls as possible. I love it“. Christophe Pélissier had spotted him in his years in Ajaccio for “this ability to exert a lot of effort and to be a balloon scratcher. He kept these qualities in Ligue 1, and in addition, now he is able in small perimeters to come out cleanly with the ball, to break lines.», Greets the coach of Lorient. Over the course of last season, although it started off badly for Lorient, Abergel was also able to transmit this “gritTo the team. “We are a team that knows how to hurt ourselves, that will seek the results», He assures us. And who does not intend to let it go on Sunday, despite the two short losses conceded last year against OM (0-1 at the Moustoir in October, 2-3 at the Vélodrome in April).
Playing in this stadium was already huge last year, but playing in front of my family and this fervor, it’s wonderful
«We will have to have more ambition in the game, otherwise we find ourselves cornered in front of our goal and it ends up cracking», He explains. Especially since the stadium will be well filled on Sunday, for the tribute to the former president of the club Bernard Tapie, who died on October 3, whose face hovered over all his youth. “It’s gonna be a beautiful moment», He savored. In the absence of Fabien Lemoine, suspended, it is he who should wear the armband. A pride, even if he would have preferred to have his captain on the pitch, “because he is a player that we need so much“. He had already returned to Marseille in April, but it was behind closed doors. This time, his family will be in the stands. “It’s huge. The more the days go by, the more I am impatient (…). Playing in this stadium was already huge last year, but playing in front of my family and this fervor, it’s wonderful».