Selma Bacha – Part of an Exciting New Generation in French Women’s Football

Jean-Pierre Thiesset spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Olympique Lyonnais and France U20’s star Selma Bacha (22/2/21).

Above: Selma Bacha in action for Olympique Lyonnais. Photo: Damien LG

Selma Bacha was born on 9th November 2000 in Lyon. She is French of Algerian and Tunisian origin. She started her career with FC Gerland in Lyon at the age of five-years-old after following her older brother at a training session. Bacha played as an amateur in 2008 and 2009 with FC Gerland before joining Olympique Lyonnais.

One of the brightest potential future stars of French women’s football, the young left back signed her professional contract with OL during the 2017/18 season on 1st July 2017 at the age of sixteen.

Selma has made nine appearances for the France U16s squad in 2016, scoring two goals, thirteen appearances with the national U17 squad between 2016 and 2017 (and five goals), which included three games at the U17 European Championship final phase in 2017. Additionally, she appeared five times for France U20s since 2017. This includes playing in the 2018 U20 World Cup in France as well as being in the winning U19 European Championship French team in 2019.

Above: Selma Bacha during the D1 game between Rodez and OL game on September 30, 2018. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset

At only 20 years old, Selma has an impressive prize list that a lot of international players in the world could envy her.


Jean-Pierre Thiesset: What is your preferred position and which other positions could you play?

Selma Bacha: My preferred position is at left-back because I have learned to like this role. I like also to play left midfielder to be able to go up the field a little more and participate more in the team attacks. However, at Olympique Lyonnais, the left-back plays rather high because we are a team who attack a lot and this is what I like.

Above: Selma Bacha during D1 game between OL and Metz on May 4, 2019. Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset.

JPT: Who/what inspired you to become a football player?

SB: My brother, who brought me to a training session when I was five years old. I love it so much that I engaged myself in football; it is as simple as that. I had tested Gymnastics before, but I did not like it at all.

JPT: Who are your favourite women players (French and foreign)?

SB: Wendie Renard, Amel Majri, Griedge Mbock and Pernille Harder.

JPT: Who is your role model if you have one?

SB: When I was young Amel Majri was my model but now that I have grown up, I do not have a role model anymore and told it to Amel. I just want to be myself.

JPT: What is your greatest challenge on and off the pitch?

SB: On the pitch, always obtain what I want and win. On the other hand, outside the field, I do not really challenge myself.

JPT: Who are your closest teammates?

SB: Griedge Mbock, Amel Majri, Delphine Cascarino, Wendie Renard, Sakina Karchaoui and Melvine Mallard who is a close friend.

JPT: What do you like to get up to off the pitch?

SB: First rest, I love so much to rest. I like to watch action films. I like also to read books on life in general; I try to read books that tell real stories for example but no science fiction. I spend time also to learn English because I told myself that it could useful to speak English for my career.

JPT: You do not play video games?

SB: No, I am not too much into that.

JPT: What is your preferred animal?

SB: Baby cats. Because they are so cute.

JPT: What are your preferred foods?

SB: My Mother’s couscous.

JPT: What makes OL such a great club to play for?

SB: First, because we have an excellent president, Jean-Michel Aulas, who does everything to ensure that we succeed. The prize list of the club, because nobody has ever achieved what OL has done and I hope that it will last a long time. Additionally, the club has the best players in the world.

JPT: The other players should be pleased also to play with you.

SB: I hope so (laughs).

JPT: You are beginning to become an important player in the team.

SB: When I will be selected in France senior squad, then I will be an important player. This is one of my main objectives.

JPT: What is your main quality?

SB: Generosity.

Above: Selma Bacha “generous” even during training session in Groupama Training Center on September, 2019; Photo: Jean-Pierre Thiesset

JPT: What do you need to improve in your game?

SB: I think that I must still improve myself a bit defensively especially on the tactical level; know how to place myself, read what the opponent will do, and anticipate even if I have already made progress. Otherwise, on technical, athletics, and mental levels, I think that I have progressed very well.

JPT: Is there a message you would like to give to your fans?

SB: First take care of yourself and of your relatives, even if this period is a bit complicated. We missed you on the fields because it is empty without you. Thanks to everyone who support me, and I hope that we will see you soon on the pitch.

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