Daniel Narcisse : "Proud to have been a Parisian"
Daniel Narcisse put an end to his playing career directly after Paris defeated Chambéry, a result that secured them the Lidl StarLigue title for 2017-18. The former Rouge et Bleu captain spoke about recent events and his future.
Psg.fr: Your career ended last Thursday. How has the week been since then?
Daniel Narcisse: It was complicated as I wasn't really comfortable with all the attention. But I had to get through it (laughs)! There were a lot of ceremonies and events in which I got the impression that they were talking about someone else, such was level of praise. I had to put it all aside though, as we had an important match to play and a title to claim.
Was your last match pretty hard to play?
Winning that match was really our number one objective and I want to thank all the players who chipped in to accomplish that mission despite our disappointment in the Final4. Everyone battled as hard as they could to claim that French league title and I'm very happy that the team managed to pull it off.
It was an emotional occasion…
Yes, and then everything moved extremely quickly. We had a very nice ceremony to celebrate the title and the players who are leaving. The Club really took the time to acknowledge and thank the players who are leaving. There are a lot of emotions involved in such an important match. Since I announced that I would be retiring, I started to feel the pressure surrounding this matchI didn't think I would be so deeply moved.
Your family were there...
I'd like to thank the Club for giving me the opportunity to finish my career in Paris, in front of my loved ones. It was a great surprise that really touched me. All my friends were there, and when I saw my family arrive, I broke into tears even though I really didn't want to (laughs).
On Thursday, were you aware that you were doing everything for the last time?
I tried to stay focused on the match, even when I was talking to the team. But of course you think about it a bit. I also noticed that the way we went out onto the court. I thought we should just do things as normal and I wondered why we changed it, but in the end I just went with it.
You were playing in front of your fans, against the side where you began your career…
All the ingredients were in place for a great match and a maximum of emotion with my loved ones. It felt like a jubilee, even though that's exactly what I wanted to avoid (laughs). I was very lucky to be able to play my last-ever match against the club where everything started for me and for the club with which I have had so many amazing experiences. This club taught me about the demands of high-level sport and helped me to have the career I have had.
You managed to score the last goal of the game!
I had missed the previous chance and saw the opportunity to make up for it. I tried a bit harder to score, but it wasn't the most important thing. Even if I hadn't scored or hadn't come off the bench, it would have been fine with me. The title was more than enough to keep me happy.
What does Daniel Narcisse's immediate future look like?
I'll take a few months to just have a breather and do the things I never did during my career. I'll also have a chance to take a look back at my career and take stock.
Are you proud to have ended your career at Paris?
Obviously! It's a club that makes its mark on you. I'm very happy to have been there at the beginning of this amazing project. I'm also proud to helped the club to grow and become one of the best in the world!
Only the Velux EHF Champions League title eluded you…
I'm a competitor and I love to win… unfortunately, the most prestigious trophy was the only one I didn't win with Paris. But we can be happy with how we fared in this competition. Throughout the year, playing for the top spots in every competition, we played some amazing matches. The Club is still growing and I'm convinced that the Champions League trophy will be in Paris' cabinet sooner rather than later.
And you will still be involved!
Yes, and that's something of a consolation. Even though I didn't manage it as a player, I am sticking with Paris Saint-Germain Handball and I'll be able to help the Club in this endeavour. In my career, I was lucky enough to learn and win a lot of things, and I can't wait to take my turn to pass that knowledge on.
What can we wish for you as hang up the boots?
Happy holiday (laughs)! The season was very long. But I hope the transition goes well and that I continue to learn a lot.
Check out the first part of our video interview with Daniel Narcisse.
(Crédits : TeamPics/PSG)