Inveterate traveler and scorer, Andy Delort put his bags down in Montpellier two years ago to pull the club upwards and Europe, ambition he will measure by receiving the leader Nice on Saturday for the third day of Ligue 1.
"It's been two or three years that we are not far, we will do everything to go higher. I want to score as many goals as possible, bring this soul and pass it on to other players," says the Sétois, in total symbiosis with Montpellier, the club of his childhood dreams.
Tested positive for the new coronavirus at the end of August and deprived of the trip to Rennes (2-1 defeat), the former Toulousain, aged 28, will make his comeback for the first of three consecutive meetings at La Mosson, before Lyon and Angers.
"This positive test was not a bad for a good, but it allowed me to breathe a little after a long preparation. I am ready and sharp. I can not wait to start," he says.
The striker, who has come and gone to the four corners of France (Ajaccio, Nîmes, Tours, Caen, Toulouse) and the world (Wigan in England, Monterrey in Mexico), is preparing for the first time in his eventful career to begin a third season in a row at the same club.
- "Sometimes he does Andy ..." -
"I want to do a third full season here, where I feel good and where I want to stay. When I'm not well somewhere, I leave," he slams.
Scorer, game and locker room animator, Andy Delort at the age of 28 reached maturity and a new status within Michel Der Zakarian's team.
During the last friendly match against Clermont (Ligue 2), "Der Zak" gave him the captain's armband in the absence of the tireless Brazilian defender Vitorino Hilton.
"In this beautiful story, it's the second or third icing on the cake. There is always something more beautiful that happens to me. Being from the region, scoring goals in my Ligue 1 club, wearing the armband, it's a source of pride and pleasure, ”he insists.
Alongside his friend Téji Savanier, the Algerian international, winner of the CAN in 2019, identifies with the Nicollins club with his beating character, despite the bloodstrokes he is accustomed to.
"When you're straight and honest with him he does things. Well, sometimes he does Andy but he's like that. He's endearing and ready to die on the court. We need a couple of guys like that. to boost others. Because otherwise, we are just any club, "President Laurent Nicollin recently judged in the regional daily Midi Libre.
- "Put 15 goals" -
In two seasons, the center-forward, associated with the former Bordeaux player Gaëtan Laborde, has turned into a reliable scorer to take on the distant succession of the international and world champion Olivier Giroud, keystone of the unique title in the Montpellier championship in 2012.
After six months of technical unemployment, Andy Delort has not lost any of this taste for victory and goal.
"I would like to put about 15 goals" he sets himself as a personal goal, to beat his record in L1 (14), achieved two years ago.
"When I'm not scoring, I shut myself off and yell at my wife. It's even tense at home. This week, she's lucky because we'll be playing Tuesday and Sunday," he laughs.
"The first goal is always important to start the season," he continues.
Against Nice, leader with long teeth, Andy Delort will aim for his first goal, Montpellier, his first victory.
History of setting out again towards the same course: Europe.
© 2020 AFP