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My Ligue 1: Kim Kallstrom

Publish on 03/02/2019 at 00:00 - S. WILLIS

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Lucas Tousart and Tanguy Ndombélé may be bossing the Olympique Lyonnais midfield this season, but not so long ago that was a role for Kim Kallstrom, the fourth most-capped Swede of all time…

Kallstrom sat down with the Ligue 1 Show on beIN SPORTS to pore over a career that took in back-to-back Ligue 1 Conforama titles with Les Gones, and also the emergence of a certain Karim Benzema…

Kallstrom on his…

Best moment…

"I would say our first league title in Lyon. Being top of the league is hard but winning the league is really, really hard so to be able to win a title abroad was something extraordinary."

Best goal…

"Probably the one with Rennes against Lyon! It was a high ball coming in, and I was a bit lucky with the control, it just bounced in front of me and I hit it on the volley and it went in the top corner. You always want to put the ball in the top corner, no? And after I signed with them like one month later, so I just shot my way there to Lyon!"

       Juninho (l.) and Karim Benzema (c.) - two of the best players Kallstrom's played with.

Best player…

"Juninho, and Karim Benzema. It's difficult to choose one of them because obviously Juninho was the guy with the free-kicks. But he was so much more, he was the leader in the dressing room, he was also the leader on the pitch and he wasn't super-fast but he always played with such grace, and yeah, I learned a lot from him. And then obviously Karim Benzema he was only like 17, 18 years old when I arrived and you could just see straight away this guy was going to be a world star. He was a brilliant striker, so it's always fun to look back at times you played with great players. I'd go with Juninho though, because he’s a midfielder and he's a great guy!"

Toughest opponent…

"I think it was Mahamadou Diarrra, when I played for Rennes and he was at Lyon. He was a hard guy, physical. They were always tough games against him, unfortunately his career ended a little too early with all the knee problems but you really felt it when you had played against him so yes, I would say Mahamadou Diarra."

Best teammate…

"Andreas Isaksson. We spent so much time together, we were roommates in the national team for like 15 years and before that in U21s. We played together in Rennes, two years in Sweden too with Djurgardens so easy question!"

       Gérard Houllier (l.) led Lyon to the title in 2006 and '07 before leaving for Aston Villa.

Worst moment…

"When Gerard Houllier was fired or left Lyon. He was the coach who brought me there, he was, as you say in France 'un grand monsieur'. He was a class act and I really liked his way of managing the team and he was there only for two years. I think and he was really building something and after that we were struggling for a couple of years and I think the turning point for me who was there as a player was when they fired Houllier."

Best atmosphere…

"In the derby in Saint-Etienne. I think I never lost actually over there, I even scored one time, so in our stadium it was great but in their stadium you can really touch the atmosphere so it was quite amazing! It was not the best place to go in the corners and hit the corners. So, it was like 'Juninho, you can go this time, you can take this one!'"