Ludovic Blas, the hero of last year’s French Cup triumph for Nantes, is hoping for a repeat success on Saturday against Toulouse as he nears the end of what is likely his final season with the Canaries. Blas has led Nantes to within potentially 90 minutes of retaining their title after his brilliant winner against Lyon sealed a return to the final. The attacking midfielder still has a year to run on his contract, but a move elsewhere in France or abroad beckons for a player ready to make the step up from a club fighting for their Ligue 1 survival.
Blas joined from Guingamp in 2019 months after helping the modest Brittany club reach the League Cup final, and quickly established himself as a central figure in the Nantes team. Only Lionel Messi has successfully completed more dribbles in Ligue 1 this season than Blas, who admits to drawing inspiration from another ex-Barcelona star Ronaldinho. But with Blas out of contract next year and reportedly no talks over an extension, Nantes could look to cash in one of their prized assets who still harbours ambition of breaking into the France squad.
For Blas and Nantes, the immediate task is to beat Toulouse this weekend and then switch their focus back to the fight against relegation. « These are rare, exceptional moments, » said Kombouare after the semi-final victory over a Lyon side managed by Laurent Blanc, the former France and Paris Saint-Germain coach. « When you experience a season like last year, you tell yourself that it doesn’t only happen once in a lifetime, and then here we are again. »
Blas is a talented player who has been instrumental in Nantes’ success in recent years. With his contract set to expire next year, it remains to be seen whether the club will look to cash in on him or try to extend his stay. For now, Blas and Nantes are focused on retaining their French Cup title and fighting against relegation in Ligue 1. The immediate task is to beat Toulouse this weekend, and Blas will be hoping to play a key role in securing another trophy for his team.
Keywords: Ludovic Blas, Nantes, French Cup, Toulouse, Ligue 1, Ronaldinho, France squad, relegation, contract.
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