Salim Akkal found his place at Le Puy after starting his career between Angers and Algiers

Describing his inspirations, from Andrés Iniesta to Luka Modric, Salim Akkal does not forget to mention the player who left his mark during his young semi-professional career. “Nabil Bentaleb… He arrived in Angers in the fall of 2021. remembers the middle of Puy. He is training with us, as a reserve, to get back in shape and get back into rhythm. He was in the basement after leaving Schalke 04 and full of injuries he endured to return. He could only play friendly matches with us, but he did damage. » Although shy, Akkal (age 24) could benefit from his “advice” : “About placement, the way of positioning in spaces, in relation to partners, hardening my game. He spread his tactical intelligence. A real football player. »

Bentaleb returned to the professional group of Angers at the beginning of 2022, and Akkal was very close to experience his baptism in L1 with him, on January 29, 2023 in Brest (4-0 for the Bretons). “Coach Abdelaziz Bouhazama has known me for a long time, between my training in SCO and my experience in the reserve, he slips. I often went to training sessions with professionals, and he invited me to this first group in Brest. »

Akkal preferred not to return to Île-de-France

Akkal finally left his youth club last summer, for the second time, after a funny experience at USM Alger, at the end of 2020, when he was a professional trainee at Anjou. “I joined USMA through Antara Yahia, a big man, I signed for a couple of seasons. But it wasn't necessary, there was too much status, He said. By resigning, I chose passion, not money, I earned a very good living at USMA, almost 6,000 euros net per month. »

This tireless community regrets nothing and is glad to belong to it “Le Puy Adventure”in the Coupe de France, with a quarter-final against Rennes on Thursday in Geoffroy-Guichard (20:45), as in National 2 (2nd in Group A, one point behind Aubagne). “I could have joined the national club this winter, but I'm enjoying it here, smiles Akkal. Already last summer I preferred to come to Puy rather than sign for a club from Ile-de-France. I couldn't imagine living with my mother at my age… even if it would make her happy! My mother, Hassina, is very important to me, especially since my dad died when I was 15 years old. But friends from the neighborhood, habits from the past, that would not be ideal! »

Originally from Les Tilleuls, in Blanc-Mesnil (Seine-Saint-Denis), Akkal started as a youngster at the city club, alongside a certain Pape Gueye. They had a joint trial, in Le Havre, and only his friend, now in OM, was taken. He also faced solid players (Amine Adli, Melvin Bard, Pierre Kalulu, Niels Nkounkou…) in the French U18 team, during the Mediterranean Games 2018. When we later spoke to him again about a professional contract, this holder undisputed du Puy modestly eludes : “I want to keep improving. »

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