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01/12/1930: Lennad talks to Raymond Braine
Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2022-01-18 17:30:54
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The great Belgian player Raymond Braine
Roland Lennad | 01/12/1930
He tells us about football in Czechoslovakia; of his professional history; of the Sparta tour; of the sympathy acquired by France in the Czech lands; and a name that is a song.
The Sparta Prague team, which is due to meet the Stade Français team, came to visit the Intran yesterday. The great Belgian player Raymond Braine was one of them and we took advantage of his presence to document us on Czechoslovak football.
Football, Raymond Braine tells us, enjoys an enormous vogue in Czechoslovakia and professional teams abound. In fact, when it comes to Prague, there are only three that are of value: those of Sparta, currently top of the league, Slavia and Bohemians.
— So the public is sporty?
Braine: Excessively. And they have their idols; but these should not think of playing badly, because the public rebukes them on the spot.
— Are you popular there?
Braine: Yes, very popular. And I signed a three-year contract with my club, Sparta.
— A few indiscretions; how long have you been playing? How did you become a professional in Belgium, where there are none? Why did you go to Prague?
Braine: Good God! How many questions! Finally here it is: I have been playing for eight years. I started to hold a place in a first-series team at the age of 15. Two years later I was international. I had a real vocation for football and I was thirty times international for Belgium.
» I had a little cafe some time ago that I was running. The Federation claimed that this was professionalism. I tried to prove that the money came to me from a bank and to claim that any athlete has the right, as well as everyone, to set up on his own by normal flights, nothing helped. I was classified as a professional seven months ago.
» I could therefore no longer play in Belgium where professional teams do not exist and I was too passionate about football to give up playing. That's why I went to Prague. But what is most abnormal is that my brother, who has remained an amateur, suffers from my situation as a professional, because given our relationship, the Belgian Federation only selects him for international matches when they can not do otherwise.
— Is the tour you are undertaking long?
Braine: Yes. We come from Munich and Marseille and, after the main game, we will sail towards Egypt, then go up through Turkey and Greece. It's a ride of a good month, what!
— Not too tired?
Braine: But no! We travel comfortably. And then we trained to fatigue.
— What do you think of the main match?
Braine: Nothing. It is a principle that we have never to judge a team that we do not know. That way, no surprises.
— So, nothing special to tell us yet?
Braine: Yes. France and Belgium are much loved in Czechoslovakia. These are two countries you shouldn't dare to speak badly of over there.
» And then, here, there is a funny story. It is that of the player Madelon, who will be a teammate of Sparta tomorrow. Madelon was never called Madelon. He acquired this pseudonym only by dint of singing the Madelon. And it stayed with him to such an extent that we come to ignore his real name. We only know "Madelon".
» You see, we don't only like France and its ideas, in Prague we also like its refrains...
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