UNFP Trophies: Nîmes Nicolas Rainville named best referee in Ligue 2

UNFP Trophies: Nîmes Nicolas Rainville named best referee in Ligue 2

Nicolas Rainville mettra un terme à sa carrière d’arbitre ce vendredi 17 mai. Archive Midi Libre – MiKAEL ANISSET

Ce lundi 13 mai, Nicolas Rainville a été désigné meilleur arbitre de Ligue 2 lors de la soirée des trophées de l’Union nationale des footballeurs professionnels (UNFP).

In the glare of the spotlights, between the shouts of the stadiums and the din of the actions, there is an often discreet but omnipresent figure: the referee. This Monday, May 13, on the occasion of the prestigious presentation of the UNFP trophies in Paris, Nicolas Rainville was crowned best referee in Ligue 2. The day after this consecration, the Nîmes of 42  nbsp;ans entrusted himself, who, for seventeen years, has ensured that the rules are respected and that matches run smoothly on the pitch.

"I am very happy to leave a small mark at my humble level"

"We feel happy".This Monday evening, there was Didier Deschamps, Kylian Mbappé, Warren Zaire-Emery, Gianluigi Donnarumma… but also Nicolas Rainville. For someone who has been officiating for almost twenty years, whistle in mouth, on the biggest grounds in France and Europe, this award means a lot. "It’is a nice trophy to receive", he admits humbly before rushing to thank "our pairs". "This isn’not something I really had time to do last night but I really want to thank the professional referees who voted".

If it’is a "flavor" that he welcomes "with happiness", for the Nîmes referee who became deputy delegate for sports at the City of Nîmes, this trophy is not the result of chance…hellip; "It’is special for me since it will be my last season. I am very happy to leave a small mark at my humble level, it makes ten- seven years spent in the field", he reveals, happy to have been able to spend this "great evening& quot; in the company of his wife and family.

"This will be my last career"

For Nicolas Rainville, this recognition not only symbolizes the end of a season, it is also the conclusion of a rich career. Behind this modesty lies a journey marked by perseverance and determination. Evoking the rigor and challenges of his profession, the referee with more than 400 professional matches recognizes it: "During all these years we have had our heads in the bag  quot;. But beyond the constraints, there were also moments of glory, moments which shaped his memory and his passion for the game. Started with a certain Dijon – Ajaccio, July 27, 2007, "my first professional match" passing through the European campaigns to the resounding anthems of the great competitions, Nicolas Rainville savored every moment on the field. This Friday, May 17, he will whistle for the last time during the meeting between Auxerre, leader of Ligue 2 and promoted to Ligue 1, and Concarneau (18th and relegated). "This will be my last career".

Yet behind the plaudits and the trophies, there have also been dark times. "Difficult moments, we have all experienced them when we are sporty". Whether it's the injuries or the controversies that have sometimes marred his career. "I still remember this Lens – PSG in 2014. That evening, I handed out three or four red cards in a few minutes. The media coverage that followed was hard to take. It's shocking because it goes beyond the scope of football, he remembers.

Never far from the ball

Now, as he prepares to turn the page on his career as an on-field referee, Nicolas Rainville does not intend to stop there. "I’have had offers to remain a VAR referee", he reveals, he who was one of the pioneers of video refereeing in France and in the Champions League. Committed to passing on his knowledge and experience to future generations, the Nîmes also envisions a role as mentor for young aspiring referees. "I would very much like to hold a position at that level."

Off the field, it is in calm physiotherapy sessions that he finds another form of satisfaction. "It’s nice, it gives me time to put my phone down for four to five hours several times a week", before& ;rsquo;add : "This is my own little reward", fondly evoking the thanks of his patients. Because beyond the football fields, it is in these simple gestures and these moments of humanity that he finds the true meaning of his commitment.

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