Sébastien Pocognoli joined Standard at the age of 10 and played 153 official games for the first team so far as well as 53 friendlies. In total, ‘Poco’ played for the Rouches during three distinct periods. In between he was also active at AZ Alkmaar, Hannover 96, West Brom and Brighton & Hove Albion. The defender has also been Standard’s captain for the past two seasons, and like no other, monitors the true values of the Rouches.
5 minutes with...
You have been a Standard supporter since childhood. What is your first memory?
My first memory dates from the 94-95 season (vice-champion) and I was about 7 years old. My father took me to Sclessin where we stood in Tribune 3, to the the right against the wall. I was very impressed with the atmosphere and that immense stadium. I also remember the smell of cigars, hamburgers and the fireworks. We went home soaking wet because there was no roof in our stand at that time. That first match remains a magical souvenir.
People often talk indeed about that magic. Why is Standard so unique in that regard?
Because Standard is a passion for those who love the club. And when you love something, you expect something in return. If the players give their everything and are proud to wear the shirt, there is an osmosis which takes place and Sclessin becomes magical. On the other hand, it becomes a rather difficult situation when the osmosis is not there. It is therefore not given to everybody to manage those parameters.
What is your best memory as a player? Do you have certain games that stand out?
Well there are many memories. All clasicos, my first goal against Westerlo, the remontada for PO1 in 2012, and my first match as a captain at Sclessin against Genk. The latter made me enormously proud, just like it did for my family and friends.
You played with a huge number of very skilled players at Sclessin. What would your ideal setup look like?
Sinan Bolat – Réginal Goreux, Zinho Vanheusden, Eliaquim Mangala – Sébastien Pocognoli – Razin Marin, Axel Witsel, Moussa Djenepo – Mehdi Carcela, Mohamed Tchite, Renaud Emond.
And what if you can add another player with whom you played abroad?
Bruno Saltor: Emblematic right back of Brighton, who ended his career at the end of last season at the age of 37. He was an exemplary captain, gentleman and respected by his club. Today he is an assistant trainer, and a source of inspiration. Another option was Moussa Dembele, a friend and a unique player.
Thank you Captain!