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Ikone talks about his rapid ascension in football

Jonathan Ikone, Lille, Ligue 1
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Lille forward Jonathan Ikone scored a goal on his debut for France and he is becoming one of the best footballers in the French Ligue 1.

In the 4-1 France victory over Albania on Friday, Lille forward Jonathan Ikone scored a goal.

“When I arrived, all the players congratulated me and we chatted a bit. They’re good people and they put me at ease. The staff also congratulated me,” he told the French Ligue 1’s official website.

“I spoke with the coach. He told me that if I was there, it was thanks to my work, but that it was not to give an inch, and not change my mindset.”

Ikone explained: “At the table, at dinner, Antoine [Griezmann] began to tap the glass on the table and it was announced that it was tome to sing.”

“It was a member of the staff [Cyril Monk, the new physical trainer] who went first. Matteo [Guendouzi] was the second, and then it was my turn. I sang a song by Neto, a young French rapper.”

“It’s true that the last season was my first full season. If I were to highlight a match from that campaign, it would be the one at home to Paris (a 5-1 win on 14 April 2019),” he added.

“From that point on, I recognized that I had really grown and learned a lot of things in Lille, like playing the number ten role.”

“Fundamentally, I am more of a winger and a dribbler. But at LOSC, I took on more of a playmaker role even though I would still get past my man from time to time. [Coach Christophe] Galtier asked me to continue to dribble but to dribble with purpose.”