Gonalons on cloud nine
Maxime Gonalons has spoken of his delight at scoring against Liverpool barely 12 months after being on the verge of losing his leg.
By Steve Pass and Giscard Gourizro
Last Updated: 21/10/09 7:01pm
Lyon's Maxime Gonalons has spoken of his delight at scoring against Liverpool barely 12 months after being on the verge of losing his leg.
The 20-year-old was on cloud nine after scoring the equaliser in his side's 2-1 UEFA Champions League victory over Liverpool.
But his elation at Anfield contrasts sharply with the summer of 2008 when a blister became so badly infected that doctors started talking about amputating his leg.
Gonalons recalled in L'Equipe: "I was in intensive care in hospital for 10 days.
"I doubted everything a lot, I asked myself many questions, but my family and agent supported me in those difficult moments.
"I was then on antibiotics for months, I took 15 tablets a day.
"Today it's in the past. I'm not thinking about anything but the future."
It took several months for the youngster to regain full fitness but he eventually did so and signed his first professional contract in July.
He added he never thought he would be in the first team so soon, much less scoring at Anfield after he came on as a first-half substitute.
Gonalons said: "I think the fact that I found myself not very far from death gave me a lot of mental strength.
"My aim at the beginning of the season was to impose myself in the reserves but the coach called me up. I knew how to seize my opportunity.
"I'm only just beginning to realise everything that happened yesterday.
"Last night when we came back I couldn't sleep. Instead I stayed up re-watching the match. I was on cloud nine. It's an important moment that will live forever in my memory.
"But I won't forget to keep my head on my shoulders."
Meanwhile, Lyon midfielder Jean Makoun also spoke of his delight to have gained his first win on English soil with a French team.
The Cameroon international told skysports.com: "We deserved to win that game, it was a great opportunity to play them at this time, they are struggling at the moment.
"It would have been an opportunity missed not to take three points from Anfield, it is difficult there.
"I love that stadium, I was very impressed, that stadium gives you the adrenaline to perform at your best.
"Lyon showed they are a very good team who can compete and can play against a top European team even if they concede first in a legendary stadium.
"We dominated 75 minutes of the game. We struggled just when they scored, after that we were always in control."