‘I don’t have much margin for growth’: Jules Koundé on hard work and L’Équipe de France

Jules Koundé (25) spoke at length to Le Parisien regarding his career and his routines that have enabled him to improve as a right-back for his club FC Barcelona, and also for Les Bleus. 

Jules Koundé’s hard work pays off

Three times a day. That’s how much the Frenchman trains, determined to improve all aspects of his game as well as his physical fitness. He explained his routine to the French daily: 

” I get up at 7am. I work out before going to training, I then go to the training ground and have a massage when I arrive, then I train with my teammates and then have another massage. I go home around 3pm, have a nap and then do a session with my personal trainer.

I trained twice a day for two years but since January, after a bit of a down period in terms of form, I decided why not add a third session to see if I could improve my performances? Now, it has become a routine.”

The old mantra is that hard work pays off, and with Koundé it appears to be true. After some initial difficulty in transitioning from his original position of centre-back, the former Girondins de Bordeaux man is now a mainstay at right-back: 

“I hated it for a while. When you’ve played centre half for 15 years, playing right-back requires a completely different skillset. I learnt to accept it, I think we block ourselves by being negative, which I may have been in the past.

Nowadays, I feel more comfortable and take pleasure and working on the specific details of the role. I’m trying to improve, to be the best version of myself. It takes time, but I think people have already noticed improvement. I see it every day. 

Having played the second-most minutes of any Barcelona player this season behind Ilkay Gundogan, Koundé takes pleasure in being considered one of the dressing room’s senior players: 

“I am proud to be part of the senior group, of this group of leaders and also to be a reliable player, that is maybe the thing that makes me most proud. This season was one without injuries apart from a small knock from a Gavi tackle, I am very proud of that, because it’s a result of alot of hard work.”

Koundé is a confident man, not afraid to express himself on and off the field. Perhaps his most endearing quality is his self-awareness, being conscient of his limits as well as his strengths, perhaps to a fault: 

“I am a talented player but I don’t have much margin for growth. My margin is not enormous, so it’s a pleasure to see my efforts pay off.”

France will be hoping to see those efforts pay off this summer. Jules Koundé is likely to start for France on the right-hand side and will hope to see the work he has put in translate into tangible success on the field. 

GFFN | Jack McArdle




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