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04.07.2013, 16:57
Argentine ready to take on Europe's elite
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Diego Simonet enthusiastic about the battle to quialify for the VELUX EHF Champions League with Montpellier
 

Argentine ready to take on Europe's elite

He may only be one of a few Argentinian players to have a chance to play the VELUX EHF Champions League, but there is no doubt he deserves his place in the competition.

Often branded as the best player to ever come out of Argentina, Diego Simonet moves to Montpellier this summer and will be taking part in the Wild Card tournament at the end of August.

"Coming from Argentina to Brasil, then to Spain and finally to France has been so quick and unbelievable,” says the 23-year-old.

Diego and his older brother Sebastian were still playing in Torrevieja (Spain) when they burst on to the international scene during the World Championships 2011.

However, Ivry's scouts had been aware of their talent for a long time, and had already approached the two brothers and signed them on two-year contracts.

With a lot of talent, Diego made a lot of progress in this small family-like club in the suburbs of Paris.

Playing centre back or left back, he took a lot of responsibility and showed of lot of maturity for his age.

He scored 66 goals in 15 matches in his first season in France and scored 81 times in 23 games this year, often surprising defences with sudden shots and speed.

Diego reckons that Ivry allowed him to progress a lot physically.

“The French league is a very physical league and I will use all of this work in the coming years," admits Simonet.

Despite suffering many minor injuries, his talent was enough to convince Patrice Canayer, Montpellier's head coach, to sign him for three years.

Speaking of injuries, Diego does not think it will be a problem anymore.

“If you add up the games I played with my national team and my club, I've had a lot of issues. But I'm going to train more seriously with Montpellier's staff; we're going to make it work,” promises the Argentinian.

His enthusiasm for playing in European competition for the first time is clear, regardless of the level.

“Playing the Champions league would be a dream, and I can't still believe I may be a part of it.

"We'll see, but even playing the EHF Cup would be a first for me. I want to reach the goals set up by the staff of the club, no matter what the competition is," concludes Simonet.

Montpellier will definitely be a huge step for the boy from Buenos Aires and he seems quite aware of it. However, in the hands of a coach known for producing some of the best players in the country, he has given himself a great chance to succeed.

Photo credit: Bertrand Delhomme


TEXT: Kevin Domas / cor
 
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