the first words of Almike Moussa N’Diaye, the player injured by Éric Bailly

EXCLUDED RMC SPORT – The interview was scheduled on RMC’s radio to hear from him. But Almike Moussa N’Diaye, the Hyères FC player who was injured by Éric Bailly in the round of 32 final of the Coupe de France, preferred to abandon a recorded interview because he still feels “pain when he speaks”. The exchange therefore took place in writing. The memory of the injury is still vivid, but the midfielder, who claims to hold no grudge against Éric Bailly, is well surrounded.

RMC Sport: How do you feel, what pain do you still feel today?
Almike Moussa N’Diaye: First of all, thank you for giving me the floor. As for my injuries, they are still alive to this day, especially in the liver and ribs. I am recovering slowly. It’s not easy mentally, but I’m hanging on thanks to the support of those around me.

Are you still traumatized by the shock or is your morale still good?
The shock and the minutes that followed were traumatic, it’s true. The following days were also emotionally trying. It was an important game and season in my career with high stakes. I know that several professional clubs are following me and this injury could be a brake on my ambitions. This fight was the perfect opportunity to show my qualities and this injury very early in the fight prevented me from doing that.

That’s the hardest part for me: being away from the pitch. I miss football.

Do you know how long you risk being deprived of football?
No, it’s still too early to tell. I had 30 days of ITT (temporary incapacity) after my liver, kidney and rib injuries. So far I have not resumed any physical activity. The doctors recommend a recovery not before two to three months, but it will depend on the development of my state of health. That’s the hardest part for me: being off the field not knowing when I can resume. I hope to come back soon because I miss football.

What memories do you have of the shock with Éric Bailly and the moments that followed?
I remember Eric Bailly hesitating to attack the ball. So I take the opportunity to pick up the pace and I think it surprised him. He was therefore late and made this mistake. Then I feel a huge pain in my chest. I threw up directly on the ground. I understood immediately that I could not continue the fight. I was then evacuated on a stretcher while I waited for the firefighters who made the decision to transport me to the hospital in Martigues. It was during this transfer to the hospital that I realized the severity of the injuries and the consequences for my season. A great feeling of sadness and uncertainty came over me. To relieve the pain, the doctors gave me morphine. Then, after first aid at the Martigues hospital, it was decided to transfer me to the intensive care unit at the Nord de Marseille hospital for more in-depth monitoring and control.

I absolutely do not blame Éric Bailly, because I am convinced that he did not intend to hurt me.

Éric Bailly came to see you and he calls you regularly: What are your relations and do you hold it against him?
In fact, Éric Bailly came to visit me in hospital. I felt him very moved and he apologized profusely for his gesture. This gave us the opportunity to discuss and since then he also hears from me regularly. It is true that the shock was brutal and the injuries heavy, but I do not blame him at all, for I am convinced that he did not intend to hurt me. Injuries are part of the job and every footballer has to accept them.

Eric Bailly with Almike Moussa N'Diaye
Eric Bailly with Almike Moussa N’Diaye © Instagram / ericbailly24

What do you think of the seven match suspension he received?
I cannot comment on the sanction imposed, because it is not my responsibility to judge. This was definitely decided based on my injuries.

Above all, we wish you a speedy recovery. Are you well surrounded?
I received a lot of support and I take this opportunity to thank everyone. First of all my family and especially my little brother Fodé, who traveled daily between Hyères and Marseille to help and support me. I also thank my Hyères FC club, my president, my coach, the staff and all my teammates for their visit and their presence during this difficult period. I was also pleasantly surprised by the very large number of messages of support from the people of Marseille and even from certain professional players, and I would like to greet them warmly.

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