“Best player in the world, it’s nothing”, Antoine Brizard, the discreet passer of the Blues


The fanatics of winning France no doubt discovered the man’s madness one day in the fifth set against Russia in the Olympic final last summer. 13-12 for the Blues in an unbreathable final, and Antoine Brizard who decides to slam a small impossible lobed ball above the opposing counter to offer two match points to the France team. The new head smuggler of the Yavbou team, voted best player in the world in 2021, intends to do it again during the world championships, where the cutthroat matches begin. First meeting Monday evening against Japan, hoping to find Italy in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.


Three wins in three games, an affordable 8th against a nation without great references, is the France team where it wanted to be?

Two good pieces from the hen [la Slovénie et l’Allemagne], that’s what we missed last year at the Euro, not to mention the whole post-Olympic context. We had a really simple group, we hadn’t played a game and when we got to the round of 16 we got beaten up badly. We are there. We worked very hard, especially in bodybuilding, an aspect where we are a little weaker than others, and I hope we get in shape at the right time, not too early, not too late.

We could fear a first adaptation competition with a new coach who arrived in disaster at the start of the year. But it would seem that Andrea Giani did not take long to identify this group, in particular to avoid “decompression” defeats?

He already had an eye on our team and he was not mistaken about us, he quickly understood us. I think he was surprised at how close we were. He knew we were close, but not that close. I think we make him laugh and surprise him. But he is hyper human and in dialogue. It’s super nice and important and we work well like that. There is a form of humility on his part. He is part of an Italian generation of players who have won everything many times and where there were a lot of egos and yet I don’t see Gianni in that. It’s truly pleasent.

On a personal level, do you think you are worthy of your title of best player in the world acquired last year?

Ah, that famous title… It’s very silly, but the first idea I had when I learned about it was that people were going to say that I didn’t deserve it or that there was someone better than me. Of course, there are plenty of people who say so, but I was touched to see that the guys in the team came to see me and congratulated me. Basically they said to me “it’s nothing but you deserve it”, “Who could have had it but you this year?”, even if I still don’t think so. This title reminds me of the 2021 Olympics so it suits me. What’s cool is to think that we’re all in this ranking because we won the Games.

“It’s nothing”, does that mean that this award has no meaning in the middle?

We must qualify the importance of individual distinctions in volleyball compared to football for example: unfortunately in football there are players who play for the golden ball and it is a bit problematic. There has been a drift, perhaps in the media, and in our society which is always looking for stats and goals… It’s always the race for stats, for penalty gates (laughs). In volleyball we don’t have that, even if we look at the stats.

However, the best Blue scorer, Earvin Ngapeth, it speaks to people, doesn’t it?

So yes, we will be impressed by a guy who will score 35 points in a match, but we give it less importance than football on the whole. A guy who is the best scorer of the season, we don’t talk about it between us. Because often, we say to ourselves that it is the guy who has attacked the most balls. We look at the stats and if we see that he has a significant percentage in attack, it’s strong but it will never be the guy who has scored the most points in a competition who will be the best player. For example, after the Games, everyone asked me why I hadn’t been voted best passer, but I really didn’t care, and I got this title of best player in the world afterwards. The important thing was to have won the Olympics. Not knowing how many passes I’ve made.


Source: 20Minutes – Une by www.20minutes.fr.

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