Olivier Guez is a writer and author of a book published on May 19, 2021, An absurd and all-consuming passion, published by Éditions de l’Observatoire. A passion for football.
Thomas Snégaroff: We are in the midst of Euro football. Do you follow him? In an absurd or devouring way?
Olivier Guez: The two, for me, unfortunately always go together. I watched almost every game, except when I really had obligations that I couldn’t escape. But if not, I’ll stick to it. So that, I fell back into my old football leanings.
I had really dropped out of football in recent years, especially since the start of the pandemic. I found absurd these empty stadiums and its imitations of cries, songs of supporters, but the big international competitions like the Euro and the World Cup, yes every time I fall back into it
Is it because you always hope to read a story there, to see a story there, that in any meeting, including seemingly innocuous, something can happen?
First, there is really the curiosity about how Ukraine plays. What does their jersey look like? What emerges from this team at the time of the anthems? I’m talking about Ukraine, I could talk about Scotland or the Czech Republic, it’s the same. A great great curiosity therefore, but also how they play. Their system. And then, of course, you never know what can happen. So I watch, and sometimes there are some amazing surprises. For example, the match between Spain and Croatia, these two great football nations. It’s a game that will go down in history.
And then, by the way, somewhere, it’s a date that I have with myself every two years since I was a kid, as much as I watch very few matches during the year. I really have something to do and maybe club football interests me. As much as the international football of the national teams continues to interest me precisely because it conveys much more than football.
Is it for you and for many others, a meeting with the little boy that you were every time?
Yes and no. Yes, somewhere, there is this kind of ceremonial, this kind of madeleine which is to watch football from mid-June to mid-July until the overdose. But not only. It’s interesting to see national teams like Turkey or Russia. What do they convey? They are very, very bad, but it is not innocent.
When Erdogan’s Turkey plays football, Erdogan was at the stadium in Baku, it also tells some things at the same time. Yes, there is this kind of backtracking a little bit, and besides, it’s very, very contemporary, and the man, the writer that I am is just as interested in the little boy that I have. could be.
This is what is quite fascinating to read to you: what football says about the world. There are really two things. Is there something very reflective and something very instinctive?
Completely. This is the idea of passion. The absurd passion is there, and consuming, because you are starting from a match which, a priori, has no interest and it can be a kind of reflection and a kind of reading grid of the world, the planet, economic, geopolitical, financial, media balances, everything that contemporary football conveys.