“I tried it a lot, people laughed at me a lot … It’s good when it works, it’s good especially for the team. I lift the ball, I don’t have too many solutions, I see it advanced (Metz goalkeeper, Alexandre Oukidja), I try it and I am lucky that it goes to the bottom … “

At the microphone of Prime Video at the break of Metz-Saint-Étienne (1-1) this Saturday afternoon, these were the first words of Wahbi Khazri, the Tunisian striker of the Greens, 30, about the historic goal which he registered at the Saint-Symphorien stadium in Metz, after a quarter of an hour of play.

68 – Wahbi Khazri scored from a distance of 68 meters against Metz, the longest goal scored in Ligue 1 since Opta collected the data (2006/07). Audacity. #FCMASSE @ASSEofficiel @ Ligue1UberEats pic.twitter.com/sXDhlPSrYb

“History” is not too strong, since with a triggered strike from 68m, Khazri is now the author of the most distant goal ever scored in Ligue 1, at least since the data is collected, that is – that is to say during the 2006-2007 season. The number 10 Stéphanois thus erased the mark of David Hellebuyck, author of a goal of 66.2 m in favor of Nice against Caen in May 2008. Saber Khalifa, another Tunisian, now appears in 3rd place, with the goal scored 64.3m with Evian TG against Nice in May 2013.

Khazri-Hellebuyck-Khalifa, here is for the very closed club of more than 60 m. Long distance scorers Nabil Fekir (OL) follow with 53.5m, Ronny Rodelin (Bordeaux) with 52m, Memphis Depay (OL) with 50.6m and a number of other fireworks with dynamite in their feet.

“The best goal of my career? Yes, I think … “said the post-match Tunisian international, scoring 22 goals in 63 caps. The most important thing is to come back to the score because it rewards all the work of the team. Once again, we are not rewarded but the team was united until the end, did not give up. We had a great technical mastery and now we have to take points to move up the standings. We want to climb the standings, the team is trying a lot. If we continue in this spirit, we will be rewarded. “

Ryad Boudebouz, his midfielder partner, admired Khazri’s prowess: “Since the time he’s been trying this one and he hit it from 68m, it’s been magnificent. And, above all, it helps the team to get back into the game because we took a goal against the tide, as we have been lately. He’s someone who works a lot and deserves what happens to him. And, for the team, it keeps us going. “

With 7 of the 12 goals scored by the Greens in twelve matches, Khazri, provisional 2nd in the scorers standings, is more asserting himself as the best Stéphanois. Born in Ajaccio, Khazri, passed through Bastia, Bordeaux and Sunderland, was on loan to Rennes when he put his bags down in Saint-Etienne in the summer of 2018. After two generally successful seasons, he was however placed on the unwanted list by Claude Puel at the start of last season, due to the state of the club’s finances.

However, despite contacts with Turkish runners-up Trabzonspor, the club failed to sell him. So Khazri gradually returned to the squad last season, much to the delight of managers, coach and fans. This year he has not missed a single game and has already scored as many goals in 12 games as he has in all of last season.

In Saint-Étienne, it is certainly through the Tunisian, among other cadres, that salvation will pass. Now 20th, the iconic club of the ’70s and’ 80s are starting from afar but, as he has shown, distance does not frighten Khazri.

Ref: https://www.leparisien.fr