Let’s not lie to each other, few observers thought that Ali Abdi would always defend the colors of “red and blue” on 1Er September. The author of two goals and five assists last season in a left-wing role that suits him perfectly, and (we almost want to write especially) great progress at tactical and defensive levels, the ex-Parisian has attracted the interest of many teams in Ligue 1 ( Auxerre, Ajaccio, Lille) one year after the end of the contract; President Olivier Pique even turned down an offer from AJA of 1.5 million euros Western France. While you would have thought that the transfer would take place on the last straight of the transfer window (as it often does), No. 2 Stade Malerbe on Saturday extended his commitment until 2026!
“Stability is important at the start of the season to be ready for the World Cup”
“It’s true that everyone would like to play in Ligue 1. I had the opportunity this summer”admits Ali Abdi. “But I talked a lot with the coach (Stephane Moulin) and the president. They told me: “Ali, we need you.” I thought about it, I stay in Cannes, I continue this project, this good project from the president, the staff, Johann (Yudelin, sports director)with the players too… I’m comfortable here, I’m at home”. A very important decision in the career of a native of Sfax in an equally important season.
After making four starts for the Carthage Eagles in June, Ali Abdi is in good shape for the World Cup in three months’ time (November 20-December 18); a meeting in Qatar, where Tunisia, in particular, will cross paths with… France! Participation in the World Cup, which undoubtedly weighed on the scales during his selection. “Stability is important at the beginning of the season to be ready for selection, to prepare for the World Cup”. For their part, the Norman leaders also wanted to keep their left-back until this date, knowing full well that his value could increase if he performs well in a Tunisian shirt.
Stephane Moulin promoted him to vice-captain
Looking forward to the World Cup, Ali Abdi clearly hasn’t fully digested his extension 48 hours later as he stepped onto the Ornano turf to face Metz. “Ali is capable of much better technically”made no secret of Stephane Moulin, linking his protégé’s recent signing to his less-than-usual performance. “We know that Ali is a very sensitive person. I think there was emotion in both what he’s been through for a few weeks and the purpose of his selection on Saturday.”. “This is a special week for me”confirmed the main stakeholder. “I was very focused on things off the pitch”.
“Fortunately, I was able to give something to the team (against Metz)”
Of course, the fact that the former PFC full-back was suspended in Nimes last weekend is also something to consider. “It was difficult for me, it was my first match”– he reminded. “Like Bilal, Ali had few benchmarks with the team. They played during training, but not always with the starting team, because I knew they wouldn’t be there in Nîmes.”, explained Stéphane Moulin, who promoted the Tunisian vice-captain; proof of his importance in the “Rouge et Bleu” team.
A bandage that the left piston does not take lightly. “This is a responsibility to the team, the coach and the president. I hope to live up to their trust”. Even if he wasn’t at his best on Monday night, Ali Abdi still managed to be decisive. After a knockdown by Quentin Dauben, it was he who took advantage of Messin William Mikelbrensis’s best kick and took the corner which resulted in a goal by Djibril Diani (38′). “Fortunately, I was able to give something to the team”, almost apologized for number 2 “Stade Malerbe”. Rest assured, Ali Abdi will have plenty of other opportunities to be crucial for SMC until 2026.