Lille, a champion of France without an audience but not without merit and passion

At this precise moment, the people of Lille are alone in the world and almost alone in front of the two cranes of a Raymond-Kopa stadium under construction. A few meters further, the Angevins form a guard of honor but despair of seeing the fresh champions of France 2020-2021 finally abandon the central circle. After all, they feel good about jumping, singing and kissing. Even behind closed doors, even in autumn weather, even in a season where it was necessary to count the PCR tests as much as the points, the joy of a title after 38 days surpasses the context and the decorum.

Small arm last week against Saint-Etienne, Christophe Galtier’s players did not miss their second match point against Angers (2-1) to stay ahead of Paris-Saint-Germain (PSG ), this Sunday, May 23. “ We suspected that Paris would beat Brest [2-0] and that he had to win. We played a very serious and diligent match ”, observes in a press conference a moved Galtier, but in restraint.

Relive the live: Lille crowned French Ligue 1 champion, PSG second

LOSC scored very quickly by their striker Jonathan David (10e), which is always indicated to avoid the overzealousness of an opponent who has nothing to fear or to hope for from his evening. Turkey’s Burak Yilmaz doubled the lead before the penalty break. The goal of Angevin Angelo Fulgini in stoppage time of the match just helped to delay the invasion of the pitch by a few seconds by the substitutes, the injured and the suspended, José Fonte.

Even relegated to the stands, the usual captain gave voice, replaced his partners and was called to order for having removed his mask when shouting his joy at the opening of David’s score. “I’m tired of having talked too much”, confessed the Portuguese sent to the media when his partners were busy emptying a magnum of champagne on their trainer and giving work to the Angevin cleaning service.

“I want to go straight to the Grand-Place”

At 37, the 2016 European champion does not know if he will still age a little in Lille. As for a Galtier announced in Nice or Naples, the question will arise later. The first bottles emptied or consumed, Fonte and his teammates no longer want to spend time in Maine-et-Loire. “Let me go, I want to go straight to the Grand-Place to find our supporters”, he begs with a big smile to a journalist asking him a question.

Lille have no luck with their recent titles. In 2011, the Hazard, Sow and Cabaye regale the Ligue 1 but in the drafts of the unloved Stadium Nord of Villeneuve-d’Ascq during the construction of the future large stadium. Ten years later, the Covid-19 and the closed door have turned Pierre-Mauroy into a 50,000-seat ghost ship. Christophe Galtier, too, already has his head at the Grande-Place: “ Our supporters have been deprived of this wonderful season, now we want to share these moments of joy with them. “

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