Faubert: “I wasn’t able to show my best football at Madrid...”
At 32, Faubert is without a club and training with CF Gavà. The ex-madridista spoke about his past and Benzema, Messi, Cristiano and Neymar.
First of all, thank you for attending us on what has been a difficult and upsetting day. How do you feel about the events back home in France?
It was really horrible what happened in Paris. It brought back all of those terrible memories of Madrid and the attack of 11 years ago. Like then, it’s a very sad moment.
Moving on to sport, what is the general opinion on the Benzema affiar?
Everyone is very surprised. No one can understand this kind of situation involving a player whose life is sorted out. I love Benzema as a player and as a person, but I really don’t know what to think about it?
You’re now training with CF Gavà (Barcelona), a Third Division side. Why?
None of the offers I received convinced me. My wife is from Castelldefels and through a friend, we got chatting to Gavà’s coach, and that’s how it all came about.
You know LaLiga for the six months you spent at Real Madrid. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you look back on that time?
It was na incredible time for me, but if I could go back and do things differently, I would. I would have worked much harder to try and carve out a place under Juande Ramos. I couldn’t show the kind of football I could give.
Was it that he wasn’t convinced by you or that you didn’t work enough to convince him?
I was never given any confidence. For any footballer, it’s important to be training with the squad but I never entered the coach’s plans. I was always in his plan B.
Probably the most striking, or at least memorable image of you from that time when you were caught having a nap on the subs’ bench during a match at the Bernabéu. What was that about?
When the photo was published, I spoke to the club’s press officer and he told me that when you play for Real Madrid, you have to be extra careful. I only closed my eyes for two seconds! But the newspaper which published the photo claimed I was taking a siesta...
One of the game that you did get a chance in was the famous 6-2 drubbing by Barcelona at the Bernabéu. How did the team take that?
We took it really badly, it was the Clásico. There was nothing we could do about it. I just remember Barcelona set the pace of the whole game, they controlled the rhythm they wanted to play at; there’s not much you can do when you are up against players who are technically superb like Xavi, Messi and Henry.
Tell us about Messi. What differences do you see between him and Cristiano Ronaldo?
They are different. Messi didn’t have to work as hard to get to that level. He’s there through talent. Cristiano has had to work hard every day to get to the level he’s at.
Continuing the Madrid-Barça theme, what about Neymar and Bale?
Neymar has the same quality and influence in the team as Messi and Cristiano. His game is at an extremely high level. With Bale, I don’t really know. After Messi, Barça have got Neymar, but after Cristiano, I don’t know who Madrid have...
For you, who was the most talented player in the 2008-09 season?
Guti. He was like Zidane and Messi in that he saw football in a different way. I remember sometimes I would call him for the ball and he wouldn’t even look at me but within two seasons, the ball was at my feet and practically put on a plate for me. He was a Ballon d’Or-standard player.