Sylvain Wiltord, the new life


By: Nicolas Gerbault

Having entered the history of French football thanks to his equalizing goal in the Euro 2000 final, Sylvain Wiltord retired in 2012. Since then, he has changed sports.

If he was not part of the world coronation of the France team in 1998, Sylvain Wiltord did, however, leave his mark on the victory of Roger Lemerre’s Blues in the Euro 2000 final. France was on the verge of losing, the offensive appeared to equalize in stoppage time (1-1, 90th + 4), allowing his team to snatch an unexpected extension, during which David Trezeguet would then score the winning goal (2-1, 103rd). Retired from the football fields on June 11, 2012, Sylvain Wiltord has since changed careers.

And inevitably, a change of life also for the one who had the heyday of the Girondins de Bordeaux or even Arsenal. Because if he for a time embraced a short career as a consultant for various media, Sylvain Wiltord gradually turned to the world of tennis. Passionate about this sport, the native of Neuilly-sur-Marne however had to deal with a wrist injury which forced him to turn to another sport, until then much more confidential: padel. A discipline that he immediately liked, so much so that he decided to make a place for himself in it.

“This sport is crazy”

Today, Sylvain Wiltord has become a padel teacher. A few months ago, he spoke about his new life in this universe, in front of the camera of France 2. “ I found a new sport that allowed me to continue my passion for racquet sports. I discovered padel, I was hooked, I loved it. This sport is crazy, crazy, crazy! (…) The mentality of padel is a bit reminiscent of football because it’s a lot of fun, it’s teasing, we give each other little challenges. »

Aged forty-nine, Sylvain Wiltord continues his passion for sport. Champion of France with Bordeaux (1999) and Olympique Lyonnais (2005, 2006 and 2007), the one who also won the Premier League with Arsenal in 2002 and 2004 has therefore found a way to continue to have fun through this new challenge around padel, a sport whose number of practitioners has doubled in the space of four years, going from 80,000 in 2019 to more than 150,000 today.

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