How the low-key Martin Terrier turned into a scoring machine

Fingers pointing to the sky. Martin Terrier’s gesture to celebrate his goals is starting to become a habit in Ligue 1. This season, the striker is exploding the counters and finally reveals all his talent which he has only shown intermittently until now. Already author of 21 goals, the former Lyonnais, landed at Stade Rennais in the summer of 2020, is having his most prolific season by far since his previous record was only nine goals in the league during the 2018/2019 season under the OL shirt.

He is now on the heels of Kylian Mbappé (24 pawns) in the scorer rankings and can still dream, four days from the end, of the title of best pyrotechnician in Ligue 1. Although he admits that he is not obsessed with his stats, Martin Terrier would not be not against a small trophy at the end of the season. In 2019, he also admitted dreaming “of finishing top scorer in the fairly near future”. “We’ll see, but it takes a lot of work,” he conceded.

“He realized his enormous potential”

Three years later, Martin Terrier, like Robert Pires, has beefed up his game. He has also freed himself from his label as a promising but too fragile and inconstant player who has followed him since the start of his career to transform under the Rennes jersey. a real killer in front of goal. “I think he has realized the enormous potential he has and that’s why he is performing today”, underlined his coach Bruno Genesio after the victory against Lorient.

Very skilful in front of goal and comfortable with the ball, the native of Armentières (North) has also taken on a new dimension on the pitch where he is more aggressive. A change of attitude that owes a lot to his replacement. Often confined to a role of winger with Julien Stéphan, Martin Terrier was replaced in the axis by Bruno Genesio. As a real free spirit on the front of the Breton attack alongside his friend Laborde, the scorer is having a blast. “I think my contribution to the game is better than at the start of the season,” he admits.

Compared to Gava by Genesio

A winning bet for “Pep” Genesio which leaves a lot of freedom to the former international hopeful. “He starts from a position on the left, he can dezone, come lower. […] It’s a game of position, passing, movement and he excels in this area”, indicates his coach, who recently compared him to former Lyonnais Franck Gava “by his ability to score goals, to score, to place himself between the lines, his technical quality and his intelligence”. Former educator of Martin Terrier who trained at LOSC, Mickaël Foor can only appreciate the change of his former protege. “We feel he is flourishing at Stade Rennais where he touches as many balls as possible, he says. It is very important for him because he needs to be at the heart of the game”.

To break the glass ceiling, Martin Terrier also had to do violence to himself. One thing that was not the boy’s forte. “He sometimes lost confidence in himself without anyone really knowing why,” says Mickaël Foor. He could be exceptional in certain matches and then disappear completely afterwards. A good summary in short of the start of the career of the striker who left a mixed memory in Strasbourg and Lyon. The interested party does not hide it. “I sometimes tended to step aside a bit,” he says.

He braked on the lever

But at 25, he now claims to have “passed a course especially at the mental level”. “He was perhaps not hungry enough before, underlines Mickaël Foor. He is someone who walks on confidence and the fact of piling up the goals served as a trigger”. Very discreet, “shy even”, according to his former partner Houssem Aouar interviewed by Release, Martin Terrier also forced his nature off the pitch. “It opened up but we also forced it to open up a bit,” smiles Baptiste Santamaria.

Big gamer, the attacker has thus braked on the controller as he confided at the beginning of the year in an interview with France Bleu Armorique. “It happened to me before playing a little late at night in front of the screens, it’s not the best thing, he said. Now, I prefer to do a little session in the afternoon to play calmly and in the evening to rest and sleep earlier”. A peaceful little life, in short, which suits this normal boy well. But exceptional at the moment.

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