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Football Insights - William Gallas

Former French International William Gallas talks exclusively to Genting Casino ahead of the World Cup final clash between France and Argentina.


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Have France been at their best this tournament or is there more to come? 

I still think there is more to come from France. What they produced against Morocco , though, was very good. They were strong at the back and that is the most important thing. We want to win games and win competitions, so when you are strong at the back, you always have the chance with the players that we have. On Wednesday, Hugo Lloris had to show his quality. A lot of people criticize him, especially in England, and Varane too. But I believe they are top class players. Both players are magnificent. 

Where does Deschamps rank amongst other French managers? Is he better than Wenger?

If Didier Deschamps wins the World Cup on Sunday, he will be the first manager to win two in a row in modern history. That would make him the best manager in the world, for sure. It is difficult to compare him and Wenger because he was the manager at Arsenal for 20 years. What Wenger did and what he brought to English football was unbelievable, making him a legend in England. We can’t compare both managers though because they are working in different ways.

If Benzema is available, what role does he have to play? 

It is a difficult situation, regarding Karim Benzema. He deserves to be in the national team but unfortunately he was injured so he did not play one game for France. He was not with his teammates so it will be difficult to bring him back for many reasons. It may be difficult for him to accept, but that’s football. 

You have to accept the positive things and the negative things. He missed the World cup in 2018 and came back to become one of the best in the world. He won the Ballon d’Or, he had a great season and did everything for the national team. The chance to be world champion will be hard for him but I doubt Dechamps will make the decision to bring him back. 

Could Kylian Mbappe reach the heights of Messi and Ronaldo? 

I think Kylian Mbappe can reach the heights of Messi and Ronaldo. Kylian will want to be the best and it will be on his mind. Messi and Ronaldo set good examples for him so he will want to break all of their records. When you have that mentality, you have to work hard in the long term. With his ability, he can stay very long at a high level and he can certainly get close to the two legends, Messi and Ronaldo. 

Has Mbappe already surpassed Thierry Henry?

If Mbappe wins the World Cup on Sunday, many will say he has surpassed Thierry Henry. However, Henry is a legend and what he did at Arsenal was incredible. To surpass Henry you have to be a legend too, and if he wins his second World Cup, he certainly would be a legend. 

It’s not just Mbappe though who has this opportunity. The players who won it in 2018, such as Varane, Lloris, Giroud and Griezmann, Mbappe and Dembele will all surpass the legendary French players, such as Thuram, Zidane and Desailey. 

How do you see the game on Sunday going? 

The final is unmissable. On one side, there is Messi who will be desperate to bring the trophy to Argentina. It is his last chance to win it and what he has done from the beginning of the tournament is unbelievable. He has put every player on his shoulders and taken them to the final. Messi will be focussed on the final. 

On the other side you have the French. Even though they have won it already, many will want to win it again. They will be the first team to win it in the modern era, so there is plenty of motivation for both teams. 

Is Messi now the greatest player of all time?

Messi and Ronaldo are both the best, what they have done in the past is incredible. What Messi has done in this World Cup, though, has been magnificent at 35 years old. However, Messi needs to give credit to his teammates. 

They have worked hard for him when they have not had the ball. They have made more effort because they know Messi does not need many chances to score or assist. The players of Argentina know they have to make sacrifices for Messi. They have done it well, so credit must go to the players of Argentina. 

If Argentina do win the trophy on Sunday, Messi will therefore be the greatest player of all time and Ronaldo will be just behind. 

Chelsea have been linked with Raphael Leao. Will it be a good signing and will it be an upgrade on what Chelsea have already?

Raphael Leao is a good player. What he has done for AC Milan is great. He is quick and good, technically, and has assisted the likes of Giroud. He could be good for Chelsea but the Premier League is a different League. In the Premier League, it is tough physically and you have to give your all for 90 minutes. 

I don’t know if he will suit the Premier League as defenders are stronger and do not give you as much space. He will struggle because of that. If he does move to Chelsea, he will have to change and give more. 

Gvardiol has also been linked with Chelsea. Would it be a good move if a Premier League club went in for him? 

Chelsea were linked with Gvardiol last year and they should have got him then. Instead, they got Fofana and Koulibaly, while they already have Thiago Silva and Azpi. It may be difficult to get him now though. At the start of the season it would have been a good move but I don’t know if it would be now. 

Chelsea panicked in the summer. They saw some players and put a lot of money towards them when for me, they did not meet their value. Some chairmen spend too much money when they have no idea what they are doing. 

From who stood out in the World Cup, who should Chelsea go in for and try to sign? Should they try to get Ronaldo?

Chelsea have to buy a striker. They have to find the right striker who fits the system. It’s not only me who sees that problem. Chelsea are in the position where they are not scoring many goals, and Ronaldo could do that. It would have been difficult for him at the World Cup on the bench, so he needs time to think to avoid a similar situation to what happened at Man United. If he goes to Chelsea, it should only be until the end of the season but I think he could do a good job there.

 

Does William Saliba remind you of yourself at all?

William Saliba does not remind me of myself. He reminds me of Rio Ferdinand and has the same style as him. He is still young and can still improve. It is in his hands; if he works hard to reach the highest level possible, he can do it. He has to train with players who are World Class, as he will learn a lot. He had a great first part of the season, and although he did not play at the World Cup, he will be fresh for Arsenal. He also would have learnt a lot from Varane. 

Would signing Vlahovic help Arsenal win the league?

Vlahovic will only be a good signing if he fits Arteta’ system. He is very different to Jesus, as Jesus moves around a lot more, making the football good to watch. Jesus is not afraid to play and helps out his teammates. I’m not sure if Vlahovic can do the same. 

 

Should Arsenal try to sign Joao Felix?

Joao Felix could certainly be a good fit for Arsenal. However, you already have Saka on one side and Martinelli on the other. They are both on fire, and Arsenal probably do not need them at the moment. 

 

Harry Kane has had a tough week. How can the Tottenham players support him?

When he is back at Tottenham, Harry Kane needs a big hug. Everybody knows that Harry was down after the France game. His teammates have to support him. I’m not sure how Kane is now, but I hope Tottenham give him one week to ten days off so he can forget about the World Cup and rest. 

Harry Maguire has been linked with Spurs. Would this be a good move?

Manchester United was too big for Maguire, that is why he has not performed there. I’m not sure if Tottenham will want him at the back. They need defenders but Maguire would not be good for them. He is almost 30 years old and he does not have as much speed as others. The older he gets, the less speed he will have. 

Tottenham should invest on the right, on players who are younger and who are the future. They should try to sign Gvardiol over Maguire. 

 

Tottenham have been linked with Juravonic. Would this be a good move?

Juranovic would be a good move for Tottenham. He is a right-back and their two right backs at the moment have not shown anything. Tottenham keep changing them, showing that neither of them are good enough. They play two or three games each. If Tottenham want to reach a new level, they have to bring in the right players who have the quality, even if it means investing money. 

 

PSG have been linked with Rashford. Will it happen? 

Rashford to PSG will not happen. Marcus has not been good enough since the beginning of the season and has not shown how good he was when he first started playing for Man United. He was unbelievable, however now it is completely different. PSG already have players in that position so they do not need Rashford. 

 

Where should Jude Bellingham go next?

Bellingham should go to Chelsea. They need a midfielder who is tall, strong and can go box to box. Bellingham is a perfect player for Chelsea and they should have signed him earlier. 

Now, it will be more difficult as he has a connection with Liverpool. Bellingham is the future of English football and he has everything. He has everything, and if he carries on like this, he will be England’s best midfielder.

 

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V: 1.25.0 All rights reserved. August 2021
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