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“I am much more fulfilled here”, Bruges, Nice and PSG … the confidences of Stanley Nsoki

Trained at PSG, the defender of Bruges looks back frankly on his years in Paris and Nice and says he is happy to have joined Belgium.

We had met Stanley Nsoki in March and September 2020 and each time our interview could not be published because of the Covid-19. First because the championship simply stopped and the second time because the young defender trained at Paris Saint-Germain contracted the virus. A year later, and before returning to PSG with Bruges, he looks back on his arrival in Belgium, his two difficult seasons in Nice and his years in the capital club.

“When the members of Bruges spoke to me, I had the impression of seeing myself in a mirror”

What did you know about the Belgian championship before joining it?
Honestly, I did not know the club well the championship. When the club members introduced themselves to me, I listened carefully. They introduced me to the club, their interest in me, what they wanted to do with me or what they wanted us to do together. It was very interesting and I immediately hooked. And that’s why I made the decision to come here.

When players sign for a club, the word project often comes up, what is the project that was presented to you?
The project that was presented to me was that he saw in me a great potential in axial defense, but they found that until now, especially in Nice, I had not really had the opportunity to exploit it. And they were convinced that with my qualities and the potential that they see in me, they could help me overcome a barrier and that I too, through hard work, could help the team achieve its goals. Everyone knows that in Belgium, Brugge is the club and that it aims to win everything and on the European scene to be more competitive than last year.

When they came to see you, they knew perfectly well your profile, your qualities or your areas for improvement …
Frankly, they did their homework really well. And that surprised me. They noted my qualities, my faults and my areas for improvement. When they spoke to me, I felt like I was seeing myself in a mirror.

The club also has facilities that are rarely found in France, what was your feeling the first time you visited them?
Seeing the club facilities, I said: “Oh yeah anyway”. Honestly, it’s far from what I experienced in Nice or even at PSG. In terms of infrastructure, Bruges is also very well armed and this is also what demonstrated to me, beyond words, that there were means in place to succeed. And in general this also arouses expectation in return. Here, you have a covered field, four quality fields, a medical unit which is very present, cells dedicated to performance, physical preparation or data. It’s really very comprehensive and that’s what convinced me to come here.

You have played five league matches, what are your impressions of the level?
I was pleasantly surprised. In the first match against Union Saint-Gilloise, who are promoted, there was a lot of intensity. It played without any complex. In comparison with France, here it’s a much more direct game, much more intense in all areas. It’s a championship, less publicized months exposed, but that in no way detracts from the quality. Elsewhere, there may be more talent or cracks, as we like to say, but here, there is really a good level. This direct game with sometimes long balls, it is formative for me, because it is not what I knew in Paris, in Nice or even in young people.

“In Nice, I made mistakes, but I always tried to take a step back”

Even if you are now playing in a smaller championship, you will ultimately discover Europe with Bruges rather than Nice. Is this transfer a progression or a regression?
Personally, I think it’s a progression. I arrive in the best club in the country, even if Belgium is not part of the European Big Five, that in no way detracts from the quality that there is in this championship. A lot of great players are coming out. Today, I arrive at a club that plays the Champions League, which I have never played so it’s a step forward. Even if in Nice, it did not go as hoped in sporting terms, I perhaps had other areas in which to improve before taking off sporting. I made mistakes, but I always tried to take a step back and see the last two seasons as formative. When I arrive in Bruges, I am more mentally armed …

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