Felice Mazzu hides the disappointment about ‘disastrous’ end at Union: “That top teams no longer think of me? Je m’en fous”

“In Dutch? I speak.” Just before the start of our interview, Mazzu is still laughing with himself and his Dutch. He’s been a bit ill for a week, but he hasn’t lost his sense of humour. But to be clear: we just did the interview in French and it never got as jolly as before.

In the year of confirmation, Union is second in the standings and in the semi-finals of the cup. What is the secret of your former club?

“Union is even better than last season. The core is wider, which means there are more substitution options, especially in the front. There are also other profiles available than when I was still a trainer. There are several keys to that success. The way the transfer cell works there is extraordinary and unique in Belgium. And there is also a lot of quality in the group of players and the staff. There is also continuity.”


When you see those results, don’t you regret not being a trainer there anymore?

“Regret is not the right word, but it is a great disappointment that I am no longer there.”

How so?

“It wasn’t just my own choice to leave.”

You were angry because they made you wait a long time for an improved contract proposal?

“That’s one of the reasons.”

And also because the proposal you finally got wasn’t that much better?

“It was better, but it was not enough. I don’t feel like going into more detail about it, but there were several reasons why leaving wasn’t really my choice. In fact, my departure from Union is the biggest disappointment of my professional life. I have had two fantastic years there, with only positive results. If you promote a team, if you become champion in the autumn, if you are vice-champion at the end of the season and the team qualifies for the Champions League jump-off and ultimately for the group stage of the Europa League, it is difficult to beat that group. to leave. It’s a disappointment.”

Actually, you just wanted to stay with Union?

“That was my goal at the start of the season, yes.”


So if Union had made you a better proposal, you would never have become a trainer of Anderlecht?

“I have already said it: it is not just about that proposal. And I don’t want to say more about it. They wouldn’t hear me, wouldn’t listen to me. I didn’t want to choose an ending like that disasterux was for me.”

Did you learn anything from that departure?

(pauses) “That respect is not the most important thing in the football world.”

How will the reunion with the Union board be?

“I will bonjour say and also byeif we see each other after the match.”

In an amicable atmosphere?

“That is of no importance. I am not there to see the Union people, but to play and win.”

Is a return to Union ever possible?

“Everything is possible in life, but I’m getting old, aren’t I? Maybe I’ll be retired by then. We will see.”


To your adventure with Anderlecht then. How do you look back on that?

“It was too short, wasn’t it. I would have liked to have had a little more time to build something, but I have to respect the decision of the board. The start of our season was fantastic. We did good things, like qualifying for the Conference League against Young Boys Bern. We also played well against Bruges. We barely lost the first six or seven league games. After that there was a short difficult period and then the board made the decision, which I have to accept.”

What do you think went wrong?

“The events in the stadium during Standard’s match pushed the board towards the decision to fire me.”

Without the actions of the fans, which caused the match to be stopped early, would you still be Anderlecht’s coach?

“I do not know. You have to ask the Anderlecht board that.”

How frustrating is it that you didn’t get enough time to put something down?

“That’s frustrating, yes.”

It reminded us a bit of your time at Genk.

“That was different. At Genk I only had a good connection with few people. Everything that happened there was public, both in the locker room and the staff. That was not the case at Anderlecht. Everything went well with the staff there.”

Your temporary successor at Anderlecht was Robin Veldman. After he took over from you, he said several times that the physical parameters of the players were not right. Does that touch you?

“If you say something like that when you follow up with a trainer, then you are one great Sir, with a lot of class. A great gentleman, really. (pauses) Mr Veldman has a lot of class.”

© Isosport

You are ironic?

“That’s right.”

Do you regret your choice for Anderlecht?

“Not at all. You should never regret choices. I regret the end of my course. Just like I regret leaving Union, but I don’t regret choosing Anderlecht. It was a beautiful experience. Working for such a big club, that’s great. But we don’t talk much about the game against Union, do we?”

Just at the press conference. Your friend and lawyer Louis Derwa told us that you handled your resignation from Anderlecht better than your resignation from Genk.

“That’s right. It’s like with a woman. The first time you talk to it is difficult, but the second and third time it goes more smoothly. Then it becomes a habit.”

So you’re in the habit of getting fired now?


After a failed passage at Genk and Anderlecht, are you afraid that top clubs will no longer support you?

(interrupts) I don’t give a damn. Write that down. Today I work for Charleroi. I want to be happy, I want to work my way with people who understand me and who are positive. I don’t care what others think. So if big clubs don’t think of me anymore, I don’t care.”


Did you actually have any doubts when Mehdi Bayat called you with the proposal to become coach of Charleroi again?

“Not a second. It is the only club in Belgium that I would say yes to at that moment.”

Your previous passage at Charleroi lasted six years. Planning to stay here for so long again?

“The intention is to work here long term, to give back what Mehdi gave me by thinking of me when he was looking for a coach. And I feel very good here.”

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