Summer signing Franck Kanoute talked to Partizan website on his football past and arrival to Humska Rd.
“I arrived to Italy when I was 12. Before that, I was in Senegal, went to regular school and football school ran by my father. Every time I finish my classes I would go and play football with my dad. I attended regular school but I only wanted to play football, I knew it was my dream to become a professional player. I was thinking how to help my parents and when I was 13 and starting my high school, I told my mother I`m going to stop playing football and she didn`t like that idea at the beginning”, said 24-year-old Senegalese midfielder.
Soon, Kanoute moved to Europe and straight to one of the biggest football addresses – FC Juventus Turin.
“Actually, I was there for five seasons but didn`t play three of them as I didn`t have all the documents needed. Fabio Grosso, Italian WC winner, helped a lot during that period, he was my football father and I`m truly thankful to him on everything he`s done for me”.
Kanoute entered senior football playing in Serie B.
“I played my first game with Pescara but I picked up an injury after three or four months and didn`t play much afterwards. Then I moved to Ascoli and played some games there and finally, I had a spell with Cosenza. I love Italy, their leagues and football, it`s great. I grew up there but it served me right to play elsewhere as well. I was in Belgium and France, gaining more experience”.
His time in Belgium wasn`t a success.
“It was a big change for me. At the beginning it was good at Cercle Brugge, I played for three or four months but then the club appointed new coach and I was not regular any more. After that, I played for my national team and spend year at Sochaux where I could have stayed but we didn`t move up the ladder and I decided to leave”.
When Partizan came about, the deal was done relatively quickly.
“During the holidays, coach called me every day, every single day. I didn`t know anything about Serbia or Partizan before. But, when I came down, met the coach and spoke to him, spoke to club president, with people around the club, I really felt good. That`s why I`m here. Before that, I only spoke about it with my agent who told me Partizan is a big club that offers significant options”.
During his initial short stay in Belgrade, significant role was played by Natcho and Menig, during lunch.
“They told me this is a good team, great collective, how I have a true opportunity to do something good. This is like a springboard to me – you come here, play good, everyone gets to love you and then you can go higher. They really told me a lot of good things about this team and influenced my decision a lot. I received a wonderful reception and I`m really pleased here”.
A chat with Diarra
Franck Kanoute is only the second Senegalese to play for Partizan. Forward Lamine Diarra left a great legacy at the club previously.
“I spoke to him to him on the phone once, few days ago. My new teammates told me what kind of legacy he left here and how much he was loved by Partizan fans”, said Kanoute.