“I always wanted more than the others” – Ismaël Koné


Author of a dazzling progression with CF Montreal, Ismaël Koné now has the opportunity to realize a dream by flying to Europe to pursue his career there. At Watford, he will write the next chapter in his great story.

Whether he likes it or not, the midfielder will now be the face of Quebec soccer on the Old Continent. Before 2022, he had not yet played a single meeting with the Bleu-Blanc-Noir and now he ended the year with a participation in the World Cup in Qatar. Life is good, sometimes.

“In a year and a half, a lot of things have happened, but it’s football, mentioned the 20-year-old young man at a press conference on Thursday. Sometimes it takes a long time and sometimes it goes quickly.

“It’s encouraging for me to finally make the leap to Europe,” he added. I’ve always wanted to play there, on the biggest circuits, the Champions League, the Europa League… That’s where it’s played. As a competitor, I wanted to go to Europe to play in these kinds of tournaments.

Koné was helped by the superb campaign of CF Montreal which made small. Before him, Djordje Mihailovic and Alistair Johnston concluded transfers to Europe.

“We were all on a mission and we knew what we had to do, assured the native of Côte d’Ivoire. I am happy to have been part of this team. I will say it until the end of my career, but I am grateful because she was able to give my teammates and me a platform.

The good choice

Towards the end of the season, constant rumors sent Koné to the English second league. Sheffield United and Norwich City were part of the discussions, but these came to nothing. Watford had also appeared in September, but the Quebecer advocated patience.

“They had put an offer on the table for a long time, but honestly, I had blocked everything because I was focused on the season with Montreal. I was involved, I wanted to finish well. After the season, we had a little more time and we were able to discuss, ”he said.

“I wanted to go to a club where they really wanted me for the person I am, the player I am, with my faults and my qualities. The development project is excellent there,” explained Koné, citing in passing the name of Brazilian striker Richarlison, who went through Watford.

If a transaction with Bologna was possible by remaining in the Montreal ranks, the teenager could still end up in Italy eventually. The moose-headed club has a partnership with Udinese, a good organization in Serie A. Koné did not want to say too much…

Important coaches

Before joining the CF Montreal first team, the Canadian international did not go through the Academy, but through CS Saint-Laurent. It was there, with visionary coaches, that he forged his dream of major championships.

In Major League Soccer, it was Wilfried Nancy who gave him his chance and who did not hesitate to shake him in passing. The entire Quebec soccer community can be proud to see Koné evolve in Europe.

“I always wanted more than the others,” he said. At CS Saint-Laurent, I had all the help I needed and the right people to advise me at this young age. For me, Saint-Laurent was the defining moment, because I had coaches who wanted me to reach a higher level. I was good, but I had to get better.

journaldemontreal Fr Sport

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