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Handball: "PSG-Montpellier is the match of the year", says Vincent Gérard

The shock PSG – Montpellier puts face to face the two best teams Starligue early season, those who play the Champions League. Determining in the title race, this duel allows Vincent Gérard to find his former club. The president of the Association of Professional Players (AJPH) also made a point on the fight for the lightening of the calendar.

This PSG – Montpellier is it really a particular match?

VINCENT GÉRARD. It is important: the championship can be played at little, and taking points on our direct opponents is essential. Montpellier is one of the teams that can beat Paris. It's a committed and engaging match that awaits us.

Is it comparable to the PSG – OM football clasico?

This is clearly the match of the year in France with the best team in history on one side against the current best of the other. I'm not over-versed in north-south rivalries. It is first of all a duel of very high level. Paris built to equal the historical records of Montpellier which deserves all our respect.

In case of victory, you will already have 6 points in the ranking …

It would be very interesting. But I paid with Montpellier two years ago to know that, even when we are 6 points ahead at the end of the first leg, we can lose the title. In the end, Paris won. Let's not reverse the story this time.

Is there a special feeling to face his former team?

We played against Montpellier at the end of August in the final of the trophy of the champions (34-27) so the reunion time has passed. The team has changed a lot. You just have to manage it like a normal match without having to prove anything to anyone.

Montpellier is she the only team that can prevent you from being champion of France?

It's too early to say. It's still sport and surprises can happen. Montpellier and Nantes seem to be the only ones with sufficient numbers to be regular. It's up to us to make sure that does not happen to our detriment.

Montpellier won the Champions League and not yet Paris. Why ?

There is not a magic potion that Paris does not have. All the beauty of the thing is that you fight all year to win games and in the end it is played over two days. When you arrive at the Final Four, the smallest details make the difference. I have confidence in ourselves, in the club, so that we win it too.

Personally, how do you judge your debut with Paris?

Very good. I'm getting into Parisian life, the team is doing well. We have fun, we work well. A season is so long that we must know how to build healthy bases to arrive in April-May in the best conditions to win things.

You have campaigned for the lightening of calendars. Where are you ?

The European Players' Union met Hassan Moustafa, President of the IHF (International Federation). We are waiting for his proposals to know how to react. This is a fight that remains more relevant than ever. We can not keep playing so many games. Everyone has to take responsibility, including spectators who can understand that fewer matches are needed for us to practice our trade in better conditions.

What would you trade against an Olympic gold medal, the title you miss, at the end of the season?

In my career? Nothing, I'm proud of everything. Already, we are not qualified for the Olympics and it is not a formality to go there. It will fight by winning the European title (in January) or through the TQO (qualifying tournament). I hope we will go to the top step but we still have so much to do and games to play before. I prefer not to look.

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