Gameiro, sharp and determined to hoist Strasbourg to Europe

The Alsatian striker has regained great form before facing PSG, his former club, this Friday (9 p.m.).

“Last as long as possible”: soon to be 35, Kevin Gameiro was cheered up by his coach Julien Stéphan in Strasbourg, to the point that the striker seems in full possession of his means to challenge Paris SG on Friday (9:00 p.m.) in the League 1.

With the approach of a final sprint which could allow Racing (6th) to claim continental qualification, the center-forward seems in great shape, like a season where he feasted offensively ( 9 goals, 3 assists).

“Like all 35-year-old guys, it’s serious at this level,” a close friend of the former Parisian (2011-2013) told AFP. “He knows himself super well, knows when he has to brake or when he can do more. He can play up to 40 like that.

His end of career, after a complicated last year in Valencia in Spain and a truncated preparation in Strasbourg last summer, he had imagined it at 35, at the end of this season which sees Strasbourg familiar with European places.

Today, the quadruple winner of the Europa League, under contract with the RCSA until 2023, sees himself continuing for a few more seasons “until he is 38”, he said at a press conference on Wednesday.

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“He is sharp”

“It’s just a bonus for me, I’m going to give everything to last as long as possible. And if my body leaves me alone, we’ll see what happens in the future,” said Gameiro.

It is that the native of Senlis (Oise) likes his training club.

“He arrived in Strasbourg as a teenager and his wife is from here. Coming back to Racing is like coming home. Kevin is at home in Alsace and people appreciate him. He is sharp. Seeing him happy and fulfilled is a pleasure,” Khalid Kerssane, his friend and partner in a futsal center for ten years in the Strasbourg suburbs, told AFP.

Only downside, the French international (13 caps, 3 goals), prolific in January-February (5 goals in 4 matches) has not scored since February 13. But his evolution in the game seems to make him just as essential. The man with 181 goals (Ligue 1 and La Liga) has broadened his palette.

Less sharp in the depth, even if his calls are still as intelligent, Gameiro performs better in small spaces, an interesting point of support, able to keep and provide his partners ideally. Against Monaco in March (1-0) and Rennes (2-1) on April 20, the striker turned into a passer.

A “more varied” game

Stéphan welcomes the evolution of the game of his number 9 “certainly more varied even today” and underlines his “ability to pick up to make the link between the circles and the attack”.

Friday against Paris, his former club, Gameiro will not make any moods.

This PSG fan in his youth, who became a club player at the start of the Qatari era, champion of France in 2013 with the Zlatan Ibrahimovic generation, has not forgotten anything.

“I was able to realize this dream (to play at PSG) in the past and I am proud of it. Now I am 100% from Strasbourg, I want to give everything because Strasbourg is a club that made me grow and it would be nice to get a result against them,” Gameiro said at a press conference.

In 2005, the striker scored his first professional goals at 18 in the UEFA Cup against Red Star Belgrade (2-2).

At the twilight of his career, the Alsatian striker could return to the European scene with his training club, sixth three points from the podium: “It would be a great story, we have four matches left, four finals. It’s up to us to give it our all.”



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