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“He always had to prove” … How Gaëtan Laborde became a scoring machine

“He always had to prove” … How Gaëtan Laborde became a scoring machine

“He always had to prove” … How Gaëtan Laborde became a scoring machine

His stats make him one of the most prolific strikers in Europe. With fourteen goals planted in twenty games, Gaëtan Laborde is already flirting with the figures of his very good last season last year with Montpellier. Transferred to Stade Rennais in the last moments of the transfer window for 15 million euros, the French striker was perfectly inserted in the device of Bruno Genesio to become one of the strong links.

Just behind David in the scorers standings

Author of his first professional hat-trick against Vitesse Arnhem last Thursday and decisive against Lorient on Sunday, the new number 24 from Rennes confirms all the good that Ligue 1 thought of him. This Wednesday (9 p.m.), Gaëtan Laborde will cross paths with the defending champion from Lille and his striker Jonathan David, the only one ahead of him in the scorers standings.

Appreciated by all those who have crossed paths with him, Gaëtan Laborde has shown since his beginnings a maturity and a rare setback in the industry. The combination of a precocious fatherhood (19 years old) and an endearing temperament forged in the gymnasiums and sports grounds of Mont-de-Marsan where he grew up, a land in the Landes to which he remains viscerally attached. Noted for his investment with the Bordeaux reserve, Gaëtan Laborde must however go into exile Red Star in the summer of 2013, to try to embrace a professional career that is slow to take shape.

“There was not a frenzy around him in Bordeaux at the time,” immediately recognizes his agent Christophe Hutteau. “But Gaëtan fought. He always had to prove, to fight. I believe that his very young fatherhood made him grow faster than the others. He was very young but he knew why he was there. I think that’s where he developed his incredible mind ”. The kid he is still is not alone. His partner Anastasia is there when he sets down his suitcases in an Appart Hotel in the Paris suburbs, their first daughter too. She is now eight years old and has two sisters, aged 5 and a year and a half.

With his very young family, Gaëtan Laborde will plant 14 goals at the Red Star. He will be sent on loan to Brest where he will stay one season, before returning to Bordeaux then leaving for Clermont under the orders of Corinne Deacon and returning to the Girondins, to whom he offered the Gambardella cup in 2013.

This needy path pushed the attacker to put all the ingredients to show himself. High pressing, multiple calls, heavy strikes, acrobatic gestures and an impeccable state of mind. “Gaëtan is just a simple, generous guy who has never cheated. He is humble but he is sure of himself ”, confides one of his close friends, before adding. “He has this resentment because he hates to lose. Even when he plays ball tennis in your garden, he wants to spank you ”. The man is famous for always having a ball near. If he takes care of his lifestyle, he also appreciates trips to restaurants with the family.

His wife, his three daughters …

Arrived late in Rennes, Gaëtan Laborde quickly integrated into a city praised by Benoît Costil, Adrien Hunou and Benjamin Bourigeaud, whom he had bumped into on vacation. “I was very well received. I think that’s also what made things go well for the moment, ”explains the Rennes striker, who is also taking advantage of his repositioning in the axis of the Breton attack. Very fulfilled in Montpellier, Laborde came to seek “the human adventure and the adrenaline of the European Cup” by signing in Rennes. This summer, the proposals were not lacking to attract the one who had planted 16 goals and 8 assists with the MHSC. OL, for a time interested, retracted at the last minute.

“If he had favored money, he would have gone to the Zenit Saint Petersburg. But Gaëtan, you won’t force him to do something he doesn’t want to do. In Rennes, he knew he was wanted, expected, he knew where he was going ”.

Here again, the family choice prevailed. The day he came to sign his contract in Brittany, the Mont-de-Marsan-born striker was not alone. His wife and their three daughters had traveled to Rennes to accompany him. The family has since moved into their new cocoon to approach this new life together, serenely.

“Anastasia is discreet, she hates the spotlight. She is a very good girl, she is his lucky charm. Gaëtan maintains a real bond with his wife and three daughters. The family is his balance, he needs it, ”continues his agent. The two lovebirds met very young, but waited ten years before getting married last June.

Always attached to his Landes roots, Gaëtan Laborde never forgets to return to Mont-de-Marsan where he left his family and his childhood friends. “He’s a reliable friend you can count on. I find it touching, ”slips one of his old friends.

For Bruno Genesio, Laborde “is amazing”

In the locker room at Stade Rennais, the 27-year-old striker was able to bring his calm, his experience and his composure. By exhausting the defenses at each meeting, he puts all his friends in the right direction. “When you have a guy who starts a pressing like that, you want to follow him”, analyzes his agent Christophe Hutteau, corroborated by Bruno Genesio. “He’s a leader I can lean on. He is amazing, ”admits the coach. “It helps me a lot to surpass myself. He’s someone who trains me in the things he does on the pitch, in the pressing. He has the soul of a leader, ”adds his teammate Martin Terrier.

His incredible start to the season gave rise to some debates around his potential selection for the French team among journalists. But also in his friendly circle. “When you are at such a level with such statistics, you can ask yourself the question of a selection, right? For me, it is no less good than Wissam Ben Yedder for example ”, slips his friend. “And I’m not sure he wouldn’t change. He would remain the same Gaëtan that I have always known ”. If he continues to perform like that, Didier Deschamps will probably no longer have a choice.


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