Laurent Blanc on his friendship with Antoine Kombouaré: “I hope in 10 years we’ll be together”

Speaking to Ouest France, former PSG and France manager Laurent Blanc detailed his relationship with current Nantes manager Antoine Kombouaré.

Both men are of the same generation, having both made their professional debut in 1983. Both have equally managed Paris Saint-Germain.

“I knew the player but not the man,” said Blanc, who was recently sacked by Qatari club Al-Rayyan. “Same for him. Then we discovered one another,” he explains, via mutual friends after their retirement from playing. “We have personalities that are both similar and different at the same time. We get on magnificently well.”

Asked what it is that they have in common, Blanc specified that “he is straight-forward. It’s a quality I like a lot and I hope I also have it in me. I’m not very chatty, and neither is he. But we manage to understand one another without necessarily talking.”

In response to a question of whether they play golf, the 56-year-old said “obviously, we have this in common but it’s not the only thing. When you go on holiday with him, you have a lot of fun because he is always up for anything. I love people like that.”

Having spoken about his 2008 visit to New Caledonia, the French territory in the Pacific where Kombouaré was born, Blanc explained how “he is impacted by his culture, his way of life. Everything that he is comes from New Caledonia.”

Returning to Kombouaré’s managerial career, the former France boss let on that “the last years have had some complicated challenges and Nantes was one of them, we’ve talked about it at length. I mean, he has a history with Nantes. I can assure you that his time at Nantes [as a player] is one of the most influential of both his footballing career and of his life.”

Finally, asked about their futures, Blanc said “I hope that, in 10 years we will be together. If we’re playing something like golf, that means we’ll still be in good health so that would be great. Otherwise, nothing more than being together, that would already be a great moment to share.”

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