Top 14: Nadir Megdoud, an “atypical” career in the service of the French stadium

PARIS: Algerian international winger Nadir Megdoud, who seduced the French stadium with his “slightly atypical” history, between promising beginnings, serious injury, stoppage of rugby before regaining a taste for it as an amateur and explosion in Pro D2, intends now help his “club of hearts” to find “the place he deserves”.

Arrived this summer from Rouen (Pro D2) after having shone there (8 tries in 23 matches), he was sparkling on Saturday for his first tenure at Jean-Bouin during the card against Usap (52-3).

The 25-year-old has certainly (not yet) scored but delivered a decisive pass and was active all over the field, responding to the wish of the Parisian back lines coach, Julien Arias, to “dezone” as soon as as possible.

“Nadir represents our progress well in attack: we now manage to finally let go a little more, to create situations of threat for the opposing defense, underlines his coach Gonzalo Quesada. Until now, we gave the impression of playing with handbrake”.

In July, during the African qualifications for the 2023 World Cup, which Algeria had finished to everyone’s surprise in third place, Megdoud had already made people talk about him, scoring two tries and the spirits with his goose steps, his hooks and its accelerations.

The French stadium, which signed him for two seasons plus an option, had spotted him long before.

Sudden stop

Indeed, explains to AFP Thomas Lombard, “we have been following Nadir for almost a year. The fact that he has a somewhat atypical story too, and of course his performances with Rouen, have fueled our desire to sign”.

Born in the Paris region, the winger first made a rather classic career. After having “started football at the age of 6”, and because he did not make any friends there, he branched off into rugby, at the club of Créteil-Choisy, where he made “buddies who still are”. , he told AFP.

He continued his training in sports-studies at the Lakanal high school in Sceaux then at the Massy club, before signing for Brive, in the Top 14.

But, feeling alone and confused in Corrèze, he decided in December 2018, at the age of 21, to say “stop”, a few months after “having crossed paths”.

“Certainly, this injury put a brake on my career but it was not the reason why I stopped professional rugby for more than two and a half years”, explains Nadir Megdoud.

“Quick and strong”

“I no longer found myself in the professional world, but the hardest thing was the distance from my friends and my family, to find myself without landmarks, I saw everything in black”, he remembers.

An episode which the player used to bounce back: “it allowed me to be what I am now and I don’t regret anything, it taught me to know the value of things. And now that I’m at Stade Français, my favorite club, I am even more happy and proud”.

It was only after resuming rugby as an amateur, in Beauvais, “with (his) friends, to love it”, that he regained “a taste for rugby” and “a lot of pleasure”. To the point of accepting the proposal of Nicolas Godignon, his former coach in Brive, to join him in Rouen, where he exploded during the 2021-2022 season.

For Thomas Lombard, who says he “likes the roughness” in his proteges, “he is one of the players who are hungry, he has no time to lose, he wants to go fast and strong and he gives himself the means” .

The winger, who dreamed as a child of the exploits of Christophe Dominici or Sonny Bill Williams, has only one objective: to give Stade Français “the place it deserves”.

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Top 14: Nadir Megdoud, an “atypical” career in the service of the French stadium