RMC Sport has its “culture-sport” section called “Double Contact”. Throughout the year we offer you intimate and unusual interviews with artists who are in the news. On the occasion of the release of his project “Tombolo”, we met Kalash. The Martinican artist tells us about his friendship with Karim Benzema, his meeting with Zinédine Zidane and the aggressiveness of Marco Verratti.
Standing shoulder to shoulder with a likely future Ballon d’Or is already a rare experience. But debriefing his matches with him is a privilege. Kalash has had this opportunity for a few months now. The Martinican artist is a close friend of Karim Benzema. And he changes very often with the striker of Real Madrid, author of a breathtaking season marked by a new crowning in the Champions League.
“We talk to each other almost every day and especially on the days of big competitions. Before and after the meetings, the 34-year-old singer confides. He has incredible confidence and every time it works. He says to me: ‘Today , I put two, three. I say to him: ‘How do you do that?’ (…) When I see him on the pitch, I understand better what is going on. There are games where he tells me it was really difficult. The game at City this season (4-3 defeat in half first leg of the Champions League, editor’s note), he told me it was very hot. There’s one more game, we’re not going to say which team (smile), where he told me he had strayed.”
A jet ski trip at Christmas
“He tells me a little bit about what he felt on the pitch. When it was difficult, he moves on. I like to give him strength because sometimes players are in periods where people put a lot of pressure on them, but they never ask if they they do, how they feel.”
The connection was made a few years ago in Martinique, where Kalash comes from. He explains this to us when we meet him after the release of his project “Tombolo” (available since the end of April). Benzema was in the West Indies for the winter break. “On Christmas day they call me and say, ‘There’s Karim who is in the country, he asks if you can find him some jet skis’. So I found some and we went on a jet ski all day long. We ate. We had a good laugh. There was his family. And we haven’t let him go since.”
“Verratti is a ruthless one”
Kalash then traveled several times to Spain, to his buddy’s house, Real’s training center and the Bernabeu. But it was in Paris that he was able to meet Zinedine Zidane, the then coach of the merengue club. Time to say a few words to him and snap a collector’s photo. “One of my most impressive encounters,” said Kalash, a strong supporter of PSG.
Initiated by his father at the time of Bernard Lama (also West Indian, originally from Guyana), the one who made himself known in dancehall fell in love with Ronaldinho. Before he fell in love with Marco Verratti. “I like him. He’s combative. He’s aggressive. He doesn’t let go until the end. Often we say we should take him out on the 60th because of his cardio, but in big meetings he is there “I think that he is ruthless. He looks like a bull. He’s on the ball all the time, he doesn’t let go. He sacrifices himself for the team. He throws himself. He has invested in the team.”
‘Can’t wait to see what becomes of Mbappe’
Kalash was able to talk to the Italian midfielder several times during events he attended with Layvin Kurzawa, whom he met during one of his concerts at La Cigale (a venue in the north of Paris): “Verratti is super nice, laughs with everyone. me a super cool guy.”
Like all Parisians, he is delighted that Kylian Mbappe has chosen to remain in his hometown despite Real Madrid’s diligent courtship: “I can’t wait to see what he will become in history. Because he is incredible when he is on the field is.” He has a way of moving, seeing and changing the course of the game, it seems like it’s too easy for him. The more time passes, the more impressive he is. It looks like he has five lungs. Such guys, so complete, they come once every ten years. He’s really strong, he can play anywhere. I think he’s very mature. He reminds me of Zlatan, but more thoughtful and less nervous.
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