Gillet: Playing in France a ‘dream’

Afghanistan Airmarine Cup 2019: What to expect

Guillaume Gillet recounted his first visit to Stade de la Beaujoire and described playing for FC Nantes as an honour while still harbouring much fondness for SC Bastia.

Ahead of Les Canaris' clash against Girondins de Bordeaux, the former Belgium international spoke with The Ligue1 Show about the significance of his 2016 move to Sergio Conceiçao's 10th placed team.

When I was 12 or 13, I played a youth tournament in Nantes," the veteran midfielder said. "We visited the stadium, La Beaujoire, and if I'd been told that day I'd sign for Nantes and play in Ligue 1, I wouldn't have believed a word of it. But life's good that way."

"It's a dream, when you are a Belgian player," the 33-year old continued. "Of course you hope to be good enough to play in the French league one day. 

"There aren't too many Belgians who have made their name in Ligue 1 so for me it's an honour to represent Nantes," he added.

The defensive midfielder also spoke with fondness of his first experience in the French top-flight via a loan from RSC Anderlecht to Corsican club SC Bastia.

"It's special, when you are wearing the blue shirt and playing on that pitch, whether the results are going your way or not the fans are fantastic. They can truly inspire the team. That was often the case during my time there."

"It's fairly unique," he said of his Corsican experience. "The fact you are on an island is a bit different, it's small, everybody knows each other and the people live and breathe for the football club. 

"I enjoyed some memorable moments there, on or off the pitch. My daughter was born in Bastia so she has a bit of Corsican blood, and I got married there too. So I have very fond memories of my time at Bastia."