Article by Mathieu Coureau published on September 11, 2017 in the website www.ouest-france
Portrait. Ramy Bensebaini, gifted, elegant and fine technician, quickly made his place in the eleven of the Rouge et Noir. And to say that this Algerian of 21 years old has been in Europe only for three years …
Outside the bright light, this blue sky with nothing. Inside, Ramy Bensebaini. He has the freshness of the evenings that settle when the summer recedes. He is 21 years old, with the beginning of a beard, eyes that draw clear. He is handsome, born in one of the oldest cities in the world, in Constantine. He does not say “lol” or “death of laughter” which are however common words at his age when life is great.
In the late afternoon, this Sunday against Caen, Ramy Bensebaini will start for the Red and Black, a habit since transfer from Nice, he who was not in the plan at the beginning of the season, he is considered as a growing young central defender, he is a potential to polish in contact with players such as Sylvain Armand, the most used player last season, or Edson Mexer.
The opportunities and choices of Christian Gourcuff have accelerated things. His elegance with the ball at his feet and especially his technical ease. “And his intelligence in the game, adds the Breton coach. He has the presence, the insurance. All this is obvious. It is an excellent pick. “
« I left home at the age of 12 »
Ramy on the left
The warmth of Constantine, first … Medical delegate mama, modest environment, dad football coach, grandpa former international goalkeeper, uncles and cousins who also bathe in the middle of the round ball. So he only thinks about it. We listen to him: “In Constantine, as a kid, you share a pitch with six clubs. There are only two soccer balls, no means. We made passes, we played, we ran in all directions … (silence) … I have plenty of memories in Algeria. If I was asked to spend seven more years, I would go back. ”
He was noticed during a training of detection. The Paradou club wants it. “Out of the question for my mother … A second stage and the persuasion of my father finally made her accept. I wanted to go anyway. I loved football. We were debating. Why do you not want to let me go?(smile). ”
He leaves. Ramy Bensebaini, 12, who knows nothing and nobody, packs his bags to join the Jean-Marc Guillou academy of Paradou. “I took my bags. I got in the car with my father and my mother. Sad to leave them but so happy to join a football academy, even 500 km from home. When we arrived there, we met the president. You feel lonely for two, three hours, then you get to know the players, the assistants including one who was my former trainer in Constantine, the cooks. ”
Bare Foot in the Sand
Football has not become a serious story right away. “It became at the second year at the academy. First, I was playing just like that. And Olivier Guillou, the coach, cropped me, told me that here it was not Constantine, that if I wanted to get there, there were instructions to follow. I was not the most talented, far from it, but I wanted to get there. So, for the first time in my life, I started working. ”
Ramy number 15
Over the years, he goes from playmaker to midfield then axial defender, goes, lives and becomes. He only learns very late to play with cleats, too. “Yes, because the first three years there, we play barefoot. They say it’s for good control, feel the ball. ”
Hence these pains: “We sometimes faced guys who wore shoes. We took shots. I can tell you that when you put on shoes after three years, not only does it hurt too much, it’s also bad. They had been removed at half-time. We could not take it anymore. ”
Ligue 1 occupies very little our conversations. “We were very connected to the Algerian championship or the few friendly matches that we could sometimes do against Barcelona, Lyon or Villarreal. ”
You dreamed, Ramy? “Too much (smile) … I wanted to get out of there. I wanted to sign in a good club. The last two years, he explodes. ” Why ? I do not know. It was in the head, a click. I saw friends leaving, especially at Paris FC. I wanted my turn to come. He became the first academician to give Arsenal a try (“They wanted to keep me, but there were problems with papers …”) and then in Porto (“There, there was a problem of money “), Then a training in Nice. It will be Belgium, finally, Lierse. Instead of the baccalaureate. The school benches will not fail him, he said.
« This is where the anger started rising»
The road movie begins. Rolland Courbis then trained USM Alger. With his throaty voice: “One of my players, Hocine El Orfi, that trained at Paradou, had quoted me Ramy’s name. When I arrived in Montpellier, I pointed it out and the recruiters went to watch him play with Lierse. ”
He signed in Montpellier, plays even side left, always the number 15 in the back, the one he wore at Paradou. Courbis becomes Courbix, Gourcuff always follows him. On July 12, he arrived in Dinard where the Rennes group is doing an internship. “It’s all right, yes. It’s only my third year in Europe … ”
What dangers can must he be aware of in his ascent? He: “The wounds. For the rest, I am a nice boy, well brought up, who does not do too much non sense. Rolland Courbis sees another: “This facility an play tricks on him. He must gain in regularity in his performances and in his concentration before the matches, it is essential that he is aware of this danger. In terms of character, to argue with, you really have to do it on purpose. But, on the field, he is sometimes impulsive, exceeds the limits by being too much a winner type, he reminds me a little of Zizou. ”
Ramy Bensebaini agrees: “I’m not the same on the field, yes … We arrive at the stadium. We go on the lawn, we discuss between us. But that’s where it’s happening. I disconnect. We enter the locker room. I’m changing myself. I’m already not the same before the warm-up. I’m getting harder There is rising anger, a kind of positive aggression. It’s inexplicable and it comes like that. And when that does not happen, I know that the match is going to be complicated(smiling) … ”
Christian Gourcuff says that here in Rennes, he climbed two notches in the physical impact, which was lacking until then. This famous “Muscle your game, Robert” of which we make today t-shirts … That’s it. That afternoon, at la Piverdière, the sky was blue without anything, far away, and Ramy Bensebaini was smiling. Real smiles.