“I’m leaving with no regrets”, Maxime Médard explains why he is retiring

Excluding RMC Sport – This 18th season at the highest level will be the last. At 35, the international rear (63 selections) Maxime Médard has decided to stop here. After winning everything with the Stade Toulousain, the one who will remain the man of a club has chosen RMC Sport to tell about this very special moment, but also to take the time to rethink his long journey.

Maxime, after 18 seasons with the Toulouse shirt and when your contract is up, the question of your future has been on the table for some time. Verdict?

I decided to end my career at the end of the season. It is a considered decision. There was, at some point in the season, the idea of ​​potentially continuing for another year. But you need to know when to stop. I think I have yet another season in my legs, but there is the after, the second chapter of my life, which attracts me. I too have thought about it for a long time, with my wife and family. And now is the right time.

Isn’t that an easy decision to make, to draw a line on a rugby life?

A rugby life, for the moment dedicated only to that, even if for some years I have been working for the “after”. Since I was born, I was five years old, I live rugby, I eat rugby, I sleep rugby. After all, there is a time for everything. We are just passing through, at the Stade Toulousain or other places. I’ve had a great career. I am quite happy and proud of this. So I think I’m ready.

Were you afraid of this moment?

I’ve been thinking about it for a while. Even in the middle of my career, I was wondering how I was going to end up. What actually happens next? But I trained last year with TBS (Toulouse Business School, earned the Business Unit Manager diploma, ed), I prepared my “after” in the sports sector (invested in several well-known companies worldwide in the field sporty). So I stay in my DNA and I can have fun.

Is it not without emotion that we announce it?

After, today, it is quite easy to talk, we are not yet at the last game, the season is not over. It is certain that at the end of the season, in the morning, when I get up, it will be strange for me to say to myself: “where am I going?” Because I’ve been getting up and going to the stadium for over twenty years. After… (stops) mid-season I wanted to continue for one last goal, but we have to deal with the facts: there are young people who are arriving and they are growing a lot. Certainly there are many emotions, because I built myself as a man, as an athlete thanks to the Stade Toulousain. I have experienced extraordinary things with this club, I have met fabulous players, I have compared myself with some of the best players. It is an opportunity for me to have spent my entire career at the Stadium because it is rare. And it’s rare to still be at the bottom, in this club, at 35. I’m very lucky. And I stop on a season where things are going well, where we have a lot of fun. We have come out of this somewhat delicate period of the club. I leave without regrets and I am happy.

What are you most proud of?

The people I met, with whom I confronted. Also the way I have evolved. I have often questioned myself and evolved as a man. I am also proud that my daughter saw me play at the Stade Toulousain, it was important to me. It is a set of things. I am someone thanks to the Stade Toulousain. When you belong to this club, when you win titles, it stays, it’s engraved in history. This is exceptional.

“I had the chance to make my dream come true, playing at the Stade Toulousain”

Not everything was linear …

No, no (smiles)… sure! Yes, it’s true, not everything has been linear, but in any case I have worked to be more regular. I had a difficult time but it was still the most rewarding. Why I questioned myself, why I went to look for other things, on a physical level, on a mental level. I think those were the seasons where I improved the most.

And what were the strongest moments during these 18 seasons?

There are many ! When I left Blagnac, it was to be champion of France at least once in my career… I was with the youngsters and I was lucky enough to be so many times with the first team (five Brennus Scudetti and three European Cups, ed). 2008 was the year I exploded, 2019 the year we made a comeback. Two strong years for me. Because there was the game, there was the fun. The consecration of a title also at the end and its sharing with people. It was exceptional.

Can you hardly dream of a better track record?

Yes, that’s for sure (smile)! Once again I had the chance to play with great players. And the titles are a set of elements that will allow you to be successful. There was the karma, the team, the staff and, as they say, the fireworks around. Personally I am happy with all these titles and frankly I realize it. Because it is long, it is difficult to win a title. So it’s mostly to thank my teammates, the people I bicker with on the pitch from time to time (smiles). That’s it, it’s huge.

Like Rougerie in Clermont, Ouedraogo in Montpellier, does your career in a club make you proud?

There were times when I could potentially have gone elsewhere. I tried to picture myself with other colors, but I had a hard time. The stadium, when I was a child, when I watched games with my family, vibrated. I had the chance to make my dream come true, playing at the Stade Toulousain. And for having done so many years, it’s just huge.

“I’ve always given everything to win”

People counted in this course?

My family already. Because living with a top athlete isn’t easy. Above all, it is the people who accompany us every day. All the people who work for the smooth running of this club. Because we often see the first team playing, but there is a lot of work behind it! From volunteers to supporters. Later the educators I had, who allowed me to give myself this passion and these values ​​of this sport. There was a turning point, it was Robert Labatut, who sadly passed away, who was the person who believed in me and who recruited me as a cadet. Even Emile Ntamack, who put me back on track at a time when I was a bit lost in my career. Everyone gave, everyone left a mark on me in his own way. It is a whole.

How would you like them to be in the last few weeks?

Bah, later, I would like us to go through with it. If we could delay it as much as possible, it would be nice (laughs)! Because even if we say we’re ready, we’re never ready enough, we don’t really know what’s behind us. Well, I try to have fun, to train, to perform well during the week to be there on the weekend. So if we can wrap up with something nice, it can be good for me.

After this announcement, the match at the Stadium against La Rochelle will be a special moment for you. Won’t it be obvious?

No, but I’m already relieved. Apart from my family, the first to know was President Didier Lacroix. After I told Ugo Mola. Then I wanted to announce it to my teammates. But the president and the coach have known this for two or three weeks. He actually lifts me up. I didn’t really know what Stade Toulousain had wanted for two or three months. Even though there were big names, big full backs who stood out in the media as rookies. So, inevitably, we say to ourselves, “well, they don’t count on me much.” But it is normal, it is life. So making the decision to quit, I repeat, relieves me.

What do you want the Toulouse fans to remember about you?

Who am I a competitor? Otherwise, I think I’ve always been smiling and friendly to people. Later, they will remember what they want to remember. I have always respected them. I have been here for 18 years, not for nothing, because we know the requirements of this club. Well, if they hold back a badly hit kick or an uncaught candle, too bad, that’s it (laughs)! No, I think they will remember that I have been loyal to this club and that I have always given everything to win.

Collected by Wilfried Templar

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