Still on trial with AS Saint-Étienne following his dismissal for “serious misconduct” in January 2021, Stéphane Ruffier decided to break his silence in the latest issue of So Foot, 100% devoted to goalkeepers. The former Greens goalkeeper, who played nearly 400 matches with the club and has now completely gone without gloves, first denounces the behavior of his last coach in Forez, Claude Puel: “What I want, it is only that the damage be repaired, that justice be done, because I experienced a year of harassment from a man who set up a demolition company against me. (…) People at the head of the club decided to appoint him to the board and therefore almost give him control of the club. They made a choice and it had the consequences we know. As soon as he arrived, this individual wanted to downsize and chose to hit the big guys. By releasing Stéphane Ruffier, he gave himself credibility for the future, except that he decided to use a very strong approach, making me appear as less than nothing, a guy who had nothing to do in a group and who sowed terror in a locker room. But do I have to remind you that I played more than 400 Ligue 1 matches, that I had no problem in any group, that I stayed a long time at AS Monaco, ten years at ASSE , that I have had several trainers and that things have always gone well? »
Returning to live in Bayonne, Ruffier affirms that Claude Puel above all made him pay his salary – the largest of the Saint-Etienne squad at the time – and does not hide the little support he received from his two presidents, Roland Romeyer and Bernard Caïazzo. “For ten years, Roland Romeyer called me “son” every morning and kissed me,” he says. Well, I hope he doesn’t behave like that with his own son. He never supported me, but I wasn’t entirely surprised given how I sometimes heard him talking about former players who had done great things at the club. Bernard Caïazzo, him… You should know that he one day sent a message to journalists writing: “When are you going to destroy him?” Except that among the recipients, unfortunately, there was my agent. How can a president do that? »
At the same time, Stéphane Ruffier also recounts his long career, his sometimes misunderstood history with the French team, his relationship with his position. Fists forward.
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