Top 14 (semifinals). Before Montpellier

“What people think of me, I care a lot” (M. Jalibert)

“Matthieu, he is proud, he is a champion”, Christophe Urios usually emphasizes after each XXL performance of his number 10. The UBB coach knows his player and has stolen his “nugget” after the defeat in Perpignan ( 22-15). Matthieu Jalibert responded on the field the following week in a play-off against Racing 92 (36-16). The coach gave his players an extra tactical briefing during the break, and after that his players had solid organization. The latter remained impassive, still a little annoyed. And he could not help but let go of the already famous “we are not playing for Christophe” that has been happening on social media, fueling criticism against him.

Fabien Cottereau / SOUTHWEST


“What people think of me, I care a lot,” he confided in an interview with “South West” last year after his first outing in blue at the Six Nations Tournament. “So many things are being said … For me, what matters to me is what the people around me really think. My teammates know how I am. I’m just as good at training as I am at games. I never played for prove to anyone that he had the level, but I think that shut the mouths of some people.

On the same subject

Top 14 (semifinals): at the UBB, Maxime Lucu and Louis Picamoles took control

Top 14 (semifinals): at the UBB, Maxime Lucu and Louis Picamoles took control

At the Union Bordeaux-Bègles, Maxime Lucu, 29, and Louis Picamoles, 36, are not part of the “council of sages.” But the former has gained weight within the group and the latter still has as much as where he went during his long career. The Girondins club can count on them in the semi-final of Nice this Saturday (21.05 h) against Montpellier.


The French international has been built against criticism. He failed Talence’s center of hope because he was not considered “spiritual” enough, he worked tirelessly to prove to those who did not give him a chance at the time. Driven to the Blues a few weeks after his Top 14 debut but suffered a ruptured cruciate ligament during his first term in Ireland, the then-19-year-old first-time goalie kept hearing at the time that “he wasn’t ready “. ”. “Those who criticized me at the time are the ones who praise me today,” he said after his successful return with the XV of France.

Number 10 walks with his head held high. With his airs of Owen Farrell, his idol (he gave his dog the name of English international opening), he seems arrogant, too confident. “Some of my friends tell me that too,” he told Midi Olympique in October. “It’s the image I give to the playing field and, sometimes, to everyday life. I just try to be as professional as possible, stay in my bubble, get cold. I don’t open up easily to others, it makes me look arrogant, but I don’t believe in disrespecting people. And I don’t really feel disrespectful. “


Last year during the UBB victory after the siren on the ground in Castres, Matthieu Jalibert ran from the bench raising his arms and pushed Julien Dumora on his back as a quarterback. In front of the cameras, with a small smile at the police station on his lips, he explained that he had not done so on purpose. This did not convince anyone and the “anti-Jalibert” machine was restarted.

“It simply came to our notice then. He is the only player capable of gaining followers while injured “

After this episode, to soften his image, the French international turned to Caroline Thiebaut, a communications consultant. “Matthieu Jalibert loves to hate this environment,” he explains. He is the only player who is able to get a significant number of followers while he is injured and loses games.

Laurent Theillet / SOUTHWEST

Matthieu Jalibert has lost a lot of games this season. Obstructed by a quadriceps injury followed by multiple relapses, the first goal rekindled criticism fire during his recovery. He went to heal in Guadeloupe, offered the services of the Paris Saint-Germain doctor and threw a “scud” in the direction of the UBB doctor in an interview with “L’Équipe”: “He has failed in his task.I have resentment.He acknowledged, apologized, but the harm is done.Cash “comments” that created a new controversy.

The image of the “football player”

With his shocking phrases, his holiday photos in Dubai, his product placements on Instagram, Matthieu Jalibert has the image of the “footballer” clinging to his skin. “He is typically someone who takes rugby out of his niche, Judge Caroline Thiebaut. He has a face, he has an arrogance, that we channel as we can, he already has an image … he ”.

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