Interview

Dimitri Payet: There's no place like home

As Marseille look to reignite their Champions League campaign against Sporting, club captain and prodigal son Dimitri Payet reflects on what makes the French city, club and fanbase so special

When you’re in the tunnel at the Stade Vélodrome and you can hear 60,000 fans, do you get the same feeling every time?

Oddly enough, no – I always feel different. It’s never the same game or situation. We’re lucky to play in a stadium that’s capable of generating a different atmosphere for every game. We have fans who get behind us and sometimes ask more of us; in the same game they can both demand more of us and be united as one with us at the end. Our crowd is a really good barometer for us. And from the beginning I’ve said that I choose my clubs according to the stadiums. For me, that’s something really important. I have played in very beautiful stadiums with great atmospheres. It’s true that I came back where it feels unique, where I feel like you cannot fake it. You can lose but you have to give it your all. And if you don’t do that, you’re quickly brought back in line.

What do you like about the city and its atmosphere?

Whether you’re buying bread or collecting your children from school, you always have someone bringing up Marseille with you – expressing their support or sometimes even berating you. However, it’s part of the context; it’s part of this city and this jersey too. That’s also the reason I’ve created a bond with these values and this club.

In the city centre there are pictures of Olympique Marseille everywhere: you and your teammates, as well as past glories.

Yes, it’s a religion. I have not known any other club – that I’ve played at, anyway – that has such a passionate fanbase. And I think that in France, there’s no doubt that Olympique de Marseille is the biggest club. But we also have a great standing among European clubs. I’ve been embraced by this city too and I obviously want to give back to it, through the different things I can do outside football to help the city grow. And, above all, by giving the underprivileged a chance to make their dreams come true.

What’s it like to be the captain of a club like Marseille?

It makes me very proud. When you look at the previous captains, having your name on that list with a lot of legends is very satisfying. Beyond that, it is a duty and a responsibility to do my best, to make sure the team is on the right track and everyone is pulling in the same direction. There are good and bad sides to it, because you are the captain of the ship and if the ship sinks, you are responsible. But I don't have any issues with that. Being the captain of this club brings more advantages than disadvantages.

On one of your Instagram posts there’s a picture of you wearing a shirt with ‘Marseillais à vie’ written on it: Marseillais for life. What’s the story behind that?

It’s a simple one. I came back here five or six years ago; it was what I wanted, but what the club wanted too. We managed to agree on that. After two or three years my family and I reflected on it and we knew that we wanted to stay here – that I felt good at the club and my family felt good in the city. That’s why I made the decision to extend my contract with a pay cut, as we were in a post-Covid context; we’ve managed to find a mutual agreement for a contract extension and a future career change within the club. Hence the ‘Marseillais à vie’, as I’m currently a player and I’ll help the club to keep growing in the future too.

When you’re in the tunnel at the Stade Vélodrome and you can hear 60,000 fans, do you get the same feeling every time?

Oddly enough, no – I always feel different. It’s never the same game or situation. We’re lucky to play in a stadium that’s capable of generating a different atmosphere for every game. We have fans who get behind us and sometimes ask more of us; in the same game they can both demand more of us and be united as one with us at the end. Our crowd is a really good barometer for us. And from the beginning I’ve said that I choose my clubs according to the stadiums. For me, that’s something really important. I have played in very beautiful stadiums with great atmospheres. It’s true that I came back where it feels unique, where I feel like you cannot fake it. You can lose but you have to give it your all. And if you don’t do that, you’re quickly brought back in line.

What do you like about the city and its atmosphere?

Whether you’re buying bread or collecting your children from school, you always have someone bringing up Marseille with you – expressing their support or sometimes even berating you. However, it’s part of the context; it’s part of this city and this jersey too. That’s also the reason I’ve created a bond with these values and this club.

In the city centre there are pictures of Olympique Marseille everywhere: you and your teammates, as well as past glories.

Yes, it’s a religion. I have not known any other club – that I’ve played at, anyway – that has such a passionate fanbase. And I think that in France, there’s no doubt that Olympique de Marseille is the biggest club. But we also have a great standing among European clubs. I’ve been embraced by this city too and I obviously want to give back to it, through the different things I can do outside football to help the city grow. And, above all, by giving the underprivileged a chance to make their dreams come true.

What’s it like to be the captain of a club like Marseille?

It makes me very proud. When you look at the previous captains, having your name on that list with a lot of legends is very satisfying. Beyond that, it is a duty and a responsibility to do my best, to make sure the team is on the right track and everyone is pulling in the same direction. There are good and bad sides to it, because you are the captain of the ship and if the ship sinks, you are responsible. But I don't have any issues with that. Being the captain of this club brings more advantages than disadvantages.

On one of your Instagram posts there’s a picture of you wearing a shirt with ‘Marseillais à vie’ written on it: Marseillais for life. What’s the story behind that?

It’s a simple one. I came back here five or six years ago; it was what I wanted, but what the club wanted too. We managed to agree on that. After two or three years my family and I reflected on it and we knew that we wanted to stay here – that I felt good at the club and my family felt good in the city. That’s why I made the decision to extend my contract with a pay cut, as we were in a post-Covid context; we’ve managed to find a mutual agreement for a contract extension and a future career change within the club. Hence the ‘Marseillais à vie’, as I’m currently a player and I’ll help the club to keep growing in the future too.

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

When you’re in the tunnel at the Stade Vélodrome and you can hear 60,000 fans, do you get the same feeling every time?

Oddly enough, no – I always feel different. It’s never the same game or situation. We’re lucky to play in a stadium that’s capable of generating a different atmosphere for every game. We have fans who get behind us and sometimes ask more of us; in the same game they can both demand more of us and be united as one with us at the end. Our crowd is a really good barometer for us. And from the beginning I’ve said that I choose my clubs according to the stadiums. For me, that’s something really important. I have played in very beautiful stadiums with great atmospheres. It’s true that I came back where it feels unique, where I feel like you cannot fake it. You can lose but you have to give it your all. And if you don’t do that, you’re quickly brought back in line.

What do you like about the city and its atmosphere?

Whether you’re buying bread or collecting your children from school, you always have someone bringing up Marseille with you – expressing their support or sometimes even berating you. However, it’s part of the context; it’s part of this city and this jersey too. That’s also the reason I’ve created a bond with these values and this club.

In the city centre there are pictures of Olympique Marseille everywhere: you and your teammates, as well as past glories.

Yes, it’s a religion. I have not known any other club – that I’ve played at, anyway – that has such a passionate fanbase. And I think that in France, there’s no doubt that Olympique de Marseille is the biggest club. But we also have a great standing among European clubs. I’ve been embraced by this city too and I obviously want to give back to it, through the different things I can do outside football to help the city grow. And, above all, by giving the underprivileged a chance to make their dreams come true.

What’s it like to be the captain of a club like Marseille?

It makes me very proud. When you look at the previous captains, having your name on that list with a lot of legends is very satisfying. Beyond that, it is a duty and a responsibility to do my best, to make sure the team is on the right track and everyone is pulling in the same direction. There are good and bad sides to it, because you are the captain of the ship and if the ship sinks, you are responsible. But I don't have any issues with that. Being the captain of this club brings more advantages than disadvantages.

On one of your Instagram posts there’s a picture of you wearing a shirt with ‘Marseillais à vie’ written on it: Marseillais for life. What’s the story behind that?

It’s a simple one. I came back here five or six years ago; it was what I wanted, but what the club wanted too. We managed to agree on that. After two or three years my family and I reflected on it and we knew that we wanted to stay here – that I felt good at the club and my family felt good in the city. That’s why I made the decision to extend my contract with a pay cut, as we were in a post-Covid context; we’ve managed to find a mutual agreement for a contract extension and a future career change within the club. Hence the ‘Marseillais à vie’, as I’m currently a player and I’ll help the club to keep growing in the future too.

Dimitri Payet: There's no place like home
Interview

Dimitri Payet: There's no place like home

As Marseille look to reignite their Champions League campaign against Sporting, club captain and prodigal son Dimitri Payet reflects on what makes the French city, club and fanbase so special

When you’re in the tunnel at the Stade Vélodrome and you can hear 60,000 fans, do you get the same feeling every time?

Oddly enough, no – I always feel different. It’s never the same game or situation. We’re lucky to play in a stadium that’s capable of generating a different atmosphere for every game. We have fans who get behind us and sometimes ask more of us; in the same game they can both demand more of us and be united as one with us at the end. Our crowd is a really good barometer for us. And from the beginning I’ve said that I choose my clubs according to the stadiums. For me, that’s something really important. I have played in very beautiful stadiums with great atmospheres. It’s true that I came back where it feels unique, where I feel like you cannot fake it. You can lose but you have to give it your all. And if you don’t do that, you’re quickly brought back in line.

What do you like about the city and its atmosphere?

Whether you’re buying bread or collecting your children from school, you always have someone bringing up Marseille with you – expressing their support or sometimes even berating you. However, it’s part of the context; it’s part of this city and this jersey too. That’s also the reason I’ve created a bond with these values and this club.

In the city centre there are pictures of Olympique Marseille everywhere: you and your teammates, as well as past glories.

Yes, it’s a religion. I have not known any other club – that I’ve played at, anyway – that has such a passionate fanbase. And I think that in France, there’s no doubt that Olympique de Marseille is the biggest club. But we also have a great standing among European clubs. I’ve been embraced by this city too and I obviously want to give back to it, through the different things I can do outside football to help the city grow. And, above all, by giving the underprivileged a chance to make their dreams come true.

What’s it like to be the captain of a club like Marseille?

It makes me very proud. When you look at the previous captains, having your name on that list with a lot of legends is very satisfying. Beyond that, it is a duty and a responsibility to do my best, to make sure the team is on the right track and everyone is pulling in the same direction. There are good and bad sides to it, because you are the captain of the ship and if the ship sinks, you are responsible. But I don't have any issues with that. Being the captain of this club brings more advantages than disadvantages.

On one of your Instagram posts there’s a picture of you wearing a shirt with ‘Marseillais à vie’ written on it: Marseillais for life. What’s the story behind that?

It’s a simple one. I came back here five or six years ago; it was what I wanted, but what the club wanted too. We managed to agree on that. After two or three years my family and I reflected on it and we knew that we wanted to stay here – that I felt good at the club and my family felt good in the city. That’s why I made the decision to extend my contract with a pay cut, as we were in a post-Covid context; we’ve managed to find a mutual agreement for a contract extension and a future career change within the club. Hence the ‘Marseillais à vie’, as I’m currently a player and I’ll help the club to keep growing in the future too.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

When you’re in the tunnel at the Stade Vélodrome and you can hear 60,000 fans, do you get the same feeling every time?

Oddly enough, no – I always feel different. It’s never the same game or situation. We’re lucky to play in a stadium that’s capable of generating a different atmosphere for every game. We have fans who get behind us and sometimes ask more of us; in the same game they can both demand more of us and be united as one with us at the end. Our crowd is a really good barometer for us. And from the beginning I’ve said that I choose my clubs according to the stadiums. For me, that’s something really important. I have played in very beautiful stadiums with great atmospheres. It’s true that I came back where it feels unique, where I feel like you cannot fake it. You can lose but you have to give it your all. And if you don’t do that, you’re quickly brought back in line.

What do you like about the city and its atmosphere?

Whether you’re buying bread or collecting your children from school, you always have someone bringing up Marseille with you – expressing their support or sometimes even berating you. However, it’s part of the context; it’s part of this city and this jersey too. That’s also the reason I’ve created a bond with these values and this club.

In the city centre there are pictures of Olympique Marseille everywhere: you and your teammates, as well as past glories.

Yes, it’s a religion. I have not known any other club – that I’ve played at, anyway – that has such a passionate fanbase. And I think that in France, there’s no doubt that Olympique de Marseille is the biggest club. But we also have a great standing among European clubs. I’ve been embraced by this city too and I obviously want to give back to it, through the different things I can do outside football to help the city grow. And, above all, by giving the underprivileged a chance to make their dreams come true.

What’s it like to be the captain of a club like Marseille?

It makes me very proud. When you look at the previous captains, having your name on that list with a lot of legends is very satisfying. Beyond that, it is a duty and a responsibility to do my best, to make sure the team is on the right track and everyone is pulling in the same direction. There are good and bad sides to it, because you are the captain of the ship and if the ship sinks, you are responsible. But I don't have any issues with that. Being the captain of this club brings more advantages than disadvantages.

On one of your Instagram posts there’s a picture of you wearing a shirt with ‘Marseillais à vie’ written on it: Marseillais for life. What’s the story behind that?

It’s a simple one. I came back here five or six years ago; it was what I wanted, but what the club wanted too. We managed to agree on that. After two or three years my family and I reflected on it and we knew that we wanted to stay here – that I felt good at the club and my family felt good in the city. That’s why I made the decision to extend my contract with a pay cut, as we were in a post-Covid context; we’ve managed to find a mutual agreement for a contract extension and a future career change within the club. Hence the ‘Marseillais à vie’, as I’m currently a player and I’ll help the club to keep growing in the future too.

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

When you’re in the tunnel at the Stade Vélodrome and you can hear 60,000 fans, do you get the same feeling every time?

Oddly enough, no – I always feel different. It’s never the same game or situation. We’re lucky to play in a stadium that’s capable of generating a different atmosphere for every game. We have fans who get behind us and sometimes ask more of us; in the same game they can both demand more of us and be united as one with us at the end. Our crowd is a really good barometer for us. And from the beginning I’ve said that I choose my clubs according to the stadiums. For me, that’s something really important. I have played in very beautiful stadiums with great atmospheres. It’s true that I came back where it feels unique, where I feel like you cannot fake it. You can lose but you have to give it your all. And if you don’t do that, you’re quickly brought back in line.

What do you like about the city and its atmosphere?

Whether you’re buying bread or collecting your children from school, you always have someone bringing up Marseille with you – expressing their support or sometimes even berating you. However, it’s part of the context; it’s part of this city and this jersey too. That’s also the reason I’ve created a bond with these values and this club.

In the city centre there are pictures of Olympique Marseille everywhere: you and your teammates, as well as past glories.

Yes, it’s a religion. I have not known any other club – that I’ve played at, anyway – that has such a passionate fanbase. And I think that in France, there’s no doubt that Olympique de Marseille is the biggest club. But we also have a great standing among European clubs. I’ve been embraced by this city too and I obviously want to give back to it, through the different things I can do outside football to help the city grow. And, above all, by giving the underprivileged a chance to make their dreams come true.

What’s it like to be the captain of a club like Marseille?

It makes me very proud. When you look at the previous captains, having your name on that list with a lot of legends is very satisfying. Beyond that, it is a duty and a responsibility to do my best, to make sure the team is on the right track and everyone is pulling in the same direction. There are good and bad sides to it, because you are the captain of the ship and if the ship sinks, you are responsible. But I don't have any issues with that. Being the captain of this club brings more advantages than disadvantages.

On one of your Instagram posts there’s a picture of you wearing a shirt with ‘Marseillais à vie’ written on it: Marseillais for life. What’s the story behind that?

It’s a simple one. I came back here five or six years ago; it was what I wanted, but what the club wanted too. We managed to agree on that. After two or three years my family and I reflected on it and we knew that we wanted to stay here – that I felt good at the club and my family felt good in the city. That’s why I made the decision to extend my contract with a pay cut, as we were in a post-Covid context; we’ve managed to find a mutual agreement for a contract extension and a future career change within the club. Hence the ‘Marseillais à vie’, as I’m currently a player and I’ll help the club to keep growing in the future too.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

To access this article, as well as all CJ+ content and competitions, you will need a subscription to Champions Journal.
Already a subscriber? Sign in
close
Special Offers
christmas offer
Christmas CHEER
Up to 40% off
Start shopping
50% off
game night flash sale!!!
Don't miss out
00
Hours
:
00
minutes
:
00
Seconds
Valid on selected products only. subscriptions not included
close