Words to Platini ▷ What ‘Le Roi’ said about Pogba, VAR, modern football and young talent

Happy birthday to Michel Platinum. The former champion of Juventus and of national French performs today 67 years old. A superlative career as a footballer in the legendary 80s of the last century followed by a journey full of satisfactions and misfortunes in the role of president of UEFA.

That November 22, 2019 Radio Radio Lo Sport hosted the transalpine myth in an unforgettable live broadcast. A versatile interview in which Le Roi he faced even thorny problems without filters and with an open heart. Also with him Lionello Manfredonia reminded of the times of great success at Juventus.

Here is the full interview with Michel Platini

During the presentation of the book in Milan, everyone saw a peaceful man, a person similar to the one who was on the field. Is it proof that justice has left its mark on you but has not changed you?

The first month was especially tough when you know how it went and you just want to have some peace of mind. Ordinary justice dumped me later, but sports justice did not. I have nothing to blame myself for, it has been a long and complicated time, but I have been completely peaceful. After being accused from all sides, I started accusing the others and they came to ask me for explanations. It was a bad thing I was fighting to fight the sporting justice that does itself justice.

In the book “Platini, the naked king” did you write everything you had inside that situation?

It was hard to write everything I had inside. I explained things as I lived them, not as they were. If I were to write as they were, I would have to put in a thousand things, and this case is not over. It’s a story that makes the whole world believe how justice works in FIFA, that it does what it wants, that it tends to protect its power. It’s not good for me, FIFA gave me some money and suspended me for it, it’s a big problem. I am fighting against this justice, so I went to the Human Rights Court in Strasbourg: there is a sensational system for defending everyone inside. I do not want mafia justice, justice for itself.

Your rise as a manager had opened a horizon that many had longed for: Bringing the biggest players into the home of football at the expense of the bureaucrats who do it for money and ambition. Does this story suggest that this project is impossible?

I arrived with those intentions because I wanted to deal with the game, the rules, the development of world football, because football is found all over the world, not just in France or Italy. I would like to make my contribution to football. To me, the presidents of world football should be Messi or Ronaldo, because it is the players who make the joy of this subject.
We are in a world where these people want to feel important, but in reality they have never kicked a ball, they are nothing, they are simply heads of an administrative case, and they do not love us. They only need the players to take the pictures, but when they are done, they send them out because they are shadowing them.
Then a player who wants this responsibility has to go to the polls and it is not easy to ask people to vote for him and have these burdens: That world is a bit complicated.

Have you had many enemies who have used this situation to disperse you?

There are a lot of people who took advantage of that situation and did not want me to return to the world of football. For this justice will go its way.

Did you struggle to return to normal life after you stopped playing?

No, because later I was the coach of the French national team, chairman of the executive committee, president of the World Cup in France and later joined UEFA.

Do you still like to play football? How does the public view you?

Playing football is a bit difficult, after four years it is a bit complicated. I have to play with my grandchildren when I see them on vacation.
Nothing has changed with the people, I have always been Michel Platini for them, they have always seen me like this, not as UEFA president or FIFA vice president, they do not care. People love football players, not managers and bureaucrats. For them, I have always been Michel Platini, who has fascinated them for so many years.

There are many differences between old football and modern football. Do you still like this football?

Today’s football is beautiful, according to the Bosman law from the 90s, all big teams can have good players. All the best football players in the world are gathered on ten teams, look at the competitions like the Champions League, where they all play against everyone, it’s beautiful, much better than the football of the past.
We need to take football from those who want to make more money, that’s the difficulty. Today you allow yourself to watch all the games on TV, the television brought a lot of money and therefore the money lovers arrived. When people stop playing football, they do it because they see multi-million dollar salaries, but unfortunately, it is no longer the popular game it once was.
But let’s remember that hundreds of millions of people play this game without getting paid, simply because they love it. It’s football that can be interesting, our children.
Then there are Thai and Chinese investors like Inter Milan, not because they like football, but because it will be a way to make more money.

When you played with Falcao, Zico, Maradona, there were simpler conditions. You gave yourself to the press and Maradona was waiting to be interviewed: do you think there is time to go back?

I believe that in life there is a development of everything and everyone. I do not know if it was better before, or if it is better today, if there were feelings in Maradona before, in me or in others today, the children get excited about Ronaldo, Messi and Mbappé. In the end, football is always played eleven against eleven with a ball and will always give emotions.

Would it be appropriate today to have courses for sports managers?

I would say that economic things today have become very important.
If you do not have money, you do not have the best players because they go to the best teams where there is more money, so the priority is to make more money to have the best players.

Can you tell us about an episode of Lionello Manfredonia?

Lionello had trouble giving me the ball. He told me I would not walk past it because I always had men attached to my back and I replied: “But I have attached them to our back for twenty years, you give me the ball anyway!”.

How was Manfredonia on the pitch and in the locker room?

Lionello was very good, we spent some time together even off the field by going to dinner after training. He reached the end of my career, he had a slightly different way of playing than we did, and when he arrived, we won the Scudetto.

Who would you include in the rankings of the strongest ever?

I only saw him play in the ’70 World Cup, but I mean Pele. Pele was God, but my idol was Cruijff.

At what point in your opinion is the growth of so many small nations that you yourself have been responsible for opening up to football?

This is the most important thing for a football manager because everyone has the right to play football and everyone has the right to be able to win. This has been and is my philosophy as manager of European football.

What do you think of the Italian national team and Mancini’s work with young people?

I do not know her so much because I did not follow these great national teams that can be seen during the big international competitions, but Mancini was very good at what he did, you were knocked out of the World Cup, so it was important to start over with the young. The Italian team has important opportunities for the next competition, we will see if the big national team, as it always was before the heats against Sweden, returns before the eyes of the world. Not seeing Italy at the World Cup was strange.

Can you explain better why you do not like Var?

The first thing to say is that the judges are not good, if they had been, the pictures would not have been necessary. I’ve been playing for fifteen years and I know that Var does not solve problems. I would, but if we would solve them, all the games would last four hours. The item should also intervene when there is an error that is not an error that could have led you to the goal. If there is a corner kick that was not and you score a goal, he should also intervene there. When you watch a phallus on TV, it looks monstrous, but it just might not be a phallus. How many times did Bruno Pizzul say that it was a mistake and that the players had not even touched or that he was not there and broke my leg? You do not do these things, on TV you do not just tell the truth, human eyes are better than electronic eyes. It’s always been that way for me. In the first half of France-Croatia, the World Cup final, the penalty hand is totally involuntary, the ball is thrown five centimeters from the other’s head, so for me there was no mistake. On the second goal, the error on Griezmann was not there, and after that free kick we scored. Two goals thanks to the Item: from which I deduced the truth of this matter. But then it removes so many feelings for what? For a goal – not a goal? I do not think it’s that important.

Will Michel Platini return to a role at Juventus? Can bianconeri reach Pogba and Mbappé?

I’ve always said you do not have the same love stories twice. I’ve had a great time with Juventus, I’ve stayed what I’ve been, I’ve lived what I’ve lived, and I’m scared of not finding what I experienced thirty years ago. After that I have a beautiful relationship with the Agnelli family, I was very happy when they returned to football through Andrea, who does a great job. I do not know with Pogba if Mbappé I can say that he will be the best player in the world, so it is normal that Juve will take him, but there are many teams that want him.

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