Back in January of this year, Antoine Brizard was chosen as the best volleyball player of 2021 according to the International Volleyball Federation. Brizard reacted to this for France Sport Info; "Well already, it’s not true (laughs).
Volleyball is the team sport par excellence, it’s difficult to bring out individualities. It is above all a collective consecration. We are five players in the ranking. It’s very specific to what happened this year and what we did at the Games.
This reminds us that the year 2021 was particularly good for French volleyball." he said as quoted by paudal.com Antoine also reacted to the rise of the French national team and their game. "Completely ! I’m happy to see that, among all that happened there, many considered our run in the elimination phase to be the most beautiful moment of the Games.
It’s huge that our sport has been so followed. The French have been marked by our journey, they feel that we love each other and that we are more than just a team. We are proud of it."
After he played great games, his popularity increased.
People recognize him, ask for a picture with him. However, he is modest, and denies that he has so much 'great popularity' "People don’t recognize me a lot, but when they recognize me a little, it’s already more than before (laughs).
After the Games, it was a few times a day. Here I am in Italy, so less, but yes, very clearly. It’s still cool to have personal recognition and to be put forward." Antoine currently plays for Piacenza. He started his career in France, where he played for many years.
Italy, however, is something completely different and a higher level of the game. Brizard is also aware of this. However, he emphasized that he still loves his homeland and would like to play there, but he is not paid enough for what he does.
"I think we all want to go back to France! If we could come back tomorrow, we would. It is not a pleasure to be abroad. Even if it’s going very well and we love our lives, it’s sacrifices to be far from our family and our country.
Afterwards, the financial and level gap is too great between France and Italy… The French championship is often underrated. But even at a slightly lower salary and at the same level, we would all return."