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Name Eric Bailly
Gender Male
Ethnic Ivorian
Job Ivorian Footballer
Desc One of the most underrated centre-backs currently plying their trade in the Premier League, some of Bailly’s performances during the second half of last season were bordering on sensational. Injuries have hampered his progress during his first 18 months at Old Trafford but if he can remain fit, he is surely the man that United can build their future defence around

Affiliation

Org Ivory Coast National Team
Club as Player Manchester United

2017 08 19 Retrieve

[Eric Bailly speaks about the players he has looked up to throughout his career] I was following Marseille and looking up to my compatriot playing there, Didier Drogba, and my team was Marseille. I would try to be a striker even though I wasn’t and once I started growing up and seeing professional football was a step closer I would look at Sergio Ramos. I always looked up to Ramos as an example and watched him a lot

2020 01 29 Retrieve

[Bailly targeting silverware with Man Utd as he aims to repay faith shown in him] Through all the tough times I’ve had, the club has always shown a lot of faith in me. And, as part of that show of confidence, they have given me this contract extension.

So I need to be thankful for the confidence that they have shown in me, thankful and ready to give my best when I return to the team, to show them that I am completely behind the team, and, hopefully, to go on to lift some silverware in the future.

There are still a lot of matches to be played. We’re still in all the different cups - the FA Cup, League Cup and the Europa League, as well as continuing to work in the Premier League. We’re going to keep on it in training and stay united as a team, right through to the end of the season

I’ve always remained motivated, equally at my best, as well as in my worst moments of injury. I had some difficult times last year but, once those times have passed, they are the past, and it’s time to make the most of these opportunities now presenting themselves. I’m fit and well, I’m back training with the team, building confidence for my return. This is going to be a very important year. Given those conditions [at Tranmere], it wouldn’t have been the right pitch for a player returning from a long-term injury to start his returning match on such a surface. But I was happy to be with the team, to see them win the game, and that’s my focus, to prepare for the day when I’m back playing with them

2020 02 18 Retrieve

[Eric Bailly needed a ‘few minutes to settle’ against Chelsea due to nerves] It’s not easy when you don’t play for so long. But it only gets easier by playing games. I have been telling the manager that I want to play. I’ve been working hard after a bad, long, injury. I’ve been ready to play for a week and told the manager that. I took a few minutes to settle when the game started. I was nervous if I’m honest after so long away because it was almost a year when I was injured against Chelsea, but then things went OK. I felt the support from my team-mates and my manager which is important

2020 02 27 Retrieve

[Eric Bailly has his sights set on a second Europa League triumph] First of all, nothing is impossible at Manchester United. It would be brilliant if this time we were able to go all the way and I was part of the team in the final. That’s what I’m working towards. Manchester United is a club that is used to being in the Champions League year after year, but the Europa League is a competition that not every team gets to be in, so it’s something we’re working hard in. Two or three seasons ago we were fortunate enough to go all the way and win it

We’re in it again, this time with a younger squad that has lots and lots of talent, and I think there’s a real energy about the place that could help us to continue to progress through the tournament. This season we’re hoping for a repeat and that continue with the next challenge against Brugge

2020 03 05 Retrieve

[Bailly makes Man Utd future vow after extending contract through to 2022] For me it was very important. At a time when I was suffering a little bit and struggling with my injury, the club showed great confidence, enough to extend my contract, and it gives me a real feeling of prestige to be able to continue being part of this squad and this club. The feeling then is that I want to pay back that faith and confidence they’ve shown in me and being part of something here

The sensation I always get whenever I play for this team is to give my best and go as far as I possibly can for the team, and I think that feeling is accentuated when you come back from injury. You want to make up for every second that you’ve missed, so now I’m fully fit, I feel 100 per cent in myself, I’m really excited to be back part of things again and do what I do

I think it’s always important to welcome new players such as Odion Ighalo into the fold to keep progressing the team. Back in the summer we managed to get Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James in, who’ve really been a big part of things from the word go and they’ve really added to the squad. You always want to have quality signings coming in and I think the signings we’ve added during the January transfer window have been really positive as well. The quality they have added is great. We’ve seen in training so far that they’ve added to the squad. Odion is a very experienced player with Premier League experience from Watford, so that’s adding good know-how to our attack. Bruno is a real talent, a pure talent. He was voted the best player in the Portuguese league in previous seasons and we’ve seen already the quality he’s brought. Even though he’s not used to the Premier League we’ve already seen his quality and what he can do. They’ll just want to give their very best to the squad to help push us forward

2020 03 07 Retrieve

[‘Uncle’ Solskjaer offers inspiration for Bailly in Man Utd trophy chase] It’s important being able to work with someone who is a former player. Someone who understands the players’ situations, understands all the things that can happen from time to time. Because football is not just played on the pitch, it’s also about all the things that go on around the game, the things that people don’t see, and he is someone that gets that and it helps the team a lot. Besides being a coach, he’s just a normal person you know? I would say like an uncle

Considering the position we are in now, I would prefer to win the Europa League because when you win that, it takes you to the Champions League. So for me, that’s my favourite. However, trying to win every game is important and that’s all we can do and see where that takes us

When you’re injured you basically can’t do anything. The emotions you feel are just rage. But if it happens to you then, that’s that. You have to find some peace with it. It really was difficult seeing the team suffer at times and losing important matches but you know, it’s still such a young team and we still have so much to learn. But right before my return, the team was growing in confidence and I was lucky to return to the team that has a strong mentality

2020 03 15 Retrieve

[Man Utd’s Eric Bailly eager to get back to his best after injury nightmare] It was such a difficult time. I was basically injured for almost a year and that’s the worst thing that can happen to a footballer or any athlete.

But anyway, as I always say, when something bad happens you have to hope for something good to come your way and during that time, when I was recuperating, I had people that helped me with the physical aspect and my family too. I had to be strong, especially mentally strong and I’ve done it and now all that bad stuff is behind me. Thank goodness for that.

The most difficult part was the moment that you get that injury, and when I say injuries I mean that there are different levels of an injury. There are injuries that can keep you out for one week, others that keep you out for less and others that will keep you out for a lot more. And in my case, it was almost five months, and to hear that, honestly it was very difficult.

Mentally, I had to be strong. I knew what I had to do to recover well and I listened to the advice from everyone that was helping me and here I am, and I’m doing well. If you’ve not been playing for a long time in a league as strong as this one, the truth is that it’s hard. Imagine with an injury as long as mine too. But the truth is, I’ve been lucky with my teammates to have their help and support and I had a phenomenal return

[He was thrust into action against Chelsea and he said the 2-0 win gave him tremendous confidence] It was a difficult match against Chelsea, my first match back, and thank God that we won and well, I’m very happy

2020 03 16 Retrieve

[Manchester United’s Eric Bailly aims dig at Mourinho with Solskjaer comments] Yeah, it’s also important being able to work with someone who is a former player. Someone who understands the players’ situations, understands all the things that can happen from time to time. Because football is not just played on the pitch, it’s also about all the things that go on around the game, the things that people don’t see… and he is someone that gets that and it helps the team a lot. Besides being a coach, he’s just a normal person, you know? I would say he’s like an uncle… and having someone like that in the club gives the players more strength. The truth is, he’s someone that will always talk to you. He always communicates well. He gives you so much confidence… because as a footballer, you go through moments where you feel low and he can read that and when he sees that he immediately comes over to you and talks to you. He offers advice so that you can regain confidence and for me that’s so important because, like I said, we have a very young team and if we have a coach like that then the team will go from strength to strength.