Gervinho: Juve? We want to make a good imporession


Roma winger Gervinho released a lengthy interview with La Repubblica this morning:

Where were you born?
In Anyama, a district of Abidjan. My father was employed in a library, my mom was at home. There were 12 children: I am the second, I don’t know how old the oldest is, the little one is six. I was selected by the Sol Bèn Academy and they brought me there. There were more than 500 boys. The matches were five against five and there were three tests. Everyone was barefoot. Shoes were only worn when you exceeded the last level. Football saved me, it’s much more than a job, I could not be banker. I’ve, but in my heart I remain in bare feet.

You feel…
African. With likes and dislikes related to my land. You eat with your hands: the attiéké, grated cassava. I like pasta, even the carbonara, but my roots are elsewhere. As an African, the game has always affected me, yes we come from the streets, where dribbling is a necessity used to avoid obstacles and dangers. Sudden openings are one way to avoid being prey. Being unpredictable for me is a compliment.

They say: Gervinho is too chaotic…
Yeah: where should I go? I try to run, lose (opponents), move, shoot from 50-70 meters. Yeah, sometimes in front of the goal I miss, but with the help of the technical staff, I have improved my final product. I have to justify myself. I consider myself lucky, even in the bad days. Many in my country would love to be in my place.

You arrived in Europe at 18…
In Beveren in Belgium, with other boys. When I broke the news at home I did not cry, no. Starting in Africa, it is an opportunity that doesn’t warrant tears. At the beginning was difficult, even for food, but I was with others and I adapted.

Then to France…
“To Mans and Lille, I’ve always been with Rudi Garcia. He knows how to play me, I feel that there is affection between us. I am not one of those who comes home and adds another notch for each goalkeeper I’ve scored against. Scoring and assisting give me the same satisfaction. If the coach tells me that I have to pass it to a teammates – I do so, I do not feel belittled. I’m fine when we win – I don’t live with an ego, a good team always has alternatives.

Two seasons at Arsenal: you started 42 matches and were replaced 30 times…
“In my debut in England, I was fouled by Barton and it took three days to recovers. There is little to learn when you’re on the bench. I’ve been there so much, they did not trust me. I did not do well, I didn’t play, I was not appreciated. Turn-over is one thing, but the complete lack of confidence is another. A player feels it. It is crucial.

Now there’s Juve, they’re always difficult…
“I think it will be a good game. It’s important but not decisive. We both came from challenging matches in the Champions League, but fatigue will not be an excuse. We would like to make a good impression.