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“Master, you can sign it with your eyes closed”

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Fabinho, Gignac’s former teammate in France, tells how the French striker came close to signing with one of the greats of Brazilian football

Andre Pierre Gignac is the great star of Tigers, rival of Palmeiras in the semifinals of the Club World Cup, this Sunday at 12:00 hours in Mexico City.

Author of the two goals that qualified the Liga MX team, the French forward has a long-standing relationship with Brazil.

He was a partner at the beginning of his career in Toulouse (between 2006 and 2008) of Fabinho. The former midfielder of Corinthians, Santos and Cruzeiro recalls that he was impressed when he met the French striker.

“He was very young and always took his job very seriously. He really wanted to train and play. At first he had a little problem because the starter was the [delantero] Swedish Elmander, “he said.

According to the Brazilian, the attacker’s personality is one of the main reasons why he has had a successful career.

“He argued and questioned the coach. That is seen in trained players, not in a boy. He has a lot of area presence and fights a lot for the ball. He has a lot of physical imposition,” he said.

Off the pitch, the forward is seen as polite and a good teammate. “Gignac really liked playing with people to get everyone involved,” he said.

Corinthians

In 2018, Fabinho was assistant coach of the technician Fábio Carille en Corinthians and considered bringing the striker after the sale of Jo to the Nagoya Grampus of Japan.

“El CIFUT [Centro de Inteligencia de Futbol], responsible for performance analysis, searched for players and the name of Gignac and two other forwards appeared. When I saw his name, I said, ‘Master, you can sign it with your eyes closed,’ “he recalled.

“He would be the face of Corinthians. He is a tough player, he even plays injured. He always fights for the ball … He is very competitive,” he analyzed.

Despite the name being discussed, the hiring did not materialize. “We didn’t even offer him a proposal because his salary at Tigres is surreal,” he said.

Gignac receives around 4 million euros per year. The Frenchman became the top scorer in the history of the royal team. For his part, 15 years after having played together, Fabinho still maintains contact with the Frenchman through a WhatsApp group.

“We joked: ‘And what about Palmeiras? I said that if I needed to, I would pass him some comments from the team. He has a lot of quality’. All of them because it is an opportunity they have been waiting for a long time. ‘ Get ready because it will be hard for everyone because it is an opportunity that they have been waiting for a long time.

Fabinho He warns the Brazilian squad not to stop following his former teammate.

“Palmeiras has to worry about the whole team, but he is the reference. He is a striker who scores goals, a champion with the French team and is a benchmark. Palmeiras needs to be vigilant, “he said.

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