Speaking in a press conference on Wednesday, Marseille President Pablo Longoria claimed that the talent formation process in French setups is too individualistic and it is responsible for major footballing brain drain out of the country.
“One of the problems we have in France is that we do a very individualistic type of youth formation, and I am happy to repeat that without any problem. The question is, why do we have so many talents and why do they go abroad? Is the integration of French players different from how other countries do so? There is a stronger individualism. It could be an explanation for the difficulties that French coaches have abroad… The players have their own nutritionists, physiotherapists… You sometimes get the impression that you are sitting opposite a tennis player.”
“This is an open debate where everyone is free to have their opinion. It is more a reflection I have had on very pertinent questions that deserve to be thought about. We are 8th in the UEFA ranking (this season), we have 7.500 points. We have to ask questions, why are we in this position? With the reform (UCL to be enacted in 2024), it is important to be in the top 5. I am not attacking French coaches, I have a lot of respect, but we must reflect on these things.”