The revelation of the season for Saint-Etienne after a successful season, Jean-Philippe Krasso has surprised everyone by joining Red Star Belgrade. Having reached the end of his contract with Les Verts, the Ivorian striker took the gamble of joining Serbia with one goal in mind: to compete in the prestigious Champions League. He talks about the reasons behind his departure and his ambitions.
Just three years ago, Jean-Philippe Krasso was still languishing in the Nationale 2 at Epinal.That was before he caught the eye of Saint-Etienne. But before making his mark with Les Verts, he had to go out on two loan spells to hone his skills, and finally burst onto the scene last season with his 17 goals. That was enough to make him the 3rd best marksman in Ligue 2 and open the door to the Ivorian national team. A rise that has allowed him to take on a new dimension.
"I arrived by the back door, in a dressing room where there were some good players. I was able to progress by working alongside them in training, but I had to get some playing time. My loan spells at Le Mans (National) and then Ajaccio, where I climbed to Ligue 1 and enjoyed a fantastic adventure, gave me a lot," he told Le Progrès. "Last season with ASSE was my best in terms of statistics, thanks to the confidence of my team-mates and the system put in place by the coach. Everyone had confidence in me and I was able to let myself go.
With his 17 goals and 12 assists, Jean-Philippe Krasso not only won over the Geoffroy-Guichard crowd, but also attracted the attention of more prestigious clubs. After a successful first season, there was no shortage of offers, and it was finally Red Star Belgrade that the Ivorian opted to continue his career. Having reached the end of his contract with Saint-Etienne, he decided against signing a new deal and surprised everyone by heading to Serbia. It was a carefully considered choice, given his career path.
Champions League as a driving force
"Everyone wants to play for a club like Saint-Etienne.We've had some great times, on and off the pitch, with some great guys in the dressing room and an incredible crowd. We had a lot of fun and that made me want to stay," admitted Jean-Philippe Krasso, before admitting: "But on the other hand, I also wanted to experience something else.The Champions League was a huge factor in my decision. It's the competition that everyone dreams of playing. It's one thing to be in the running for a club, but to play in it is something else again.When I was in N2 3 years ago, the idea of turning professional seemed far away, and the C1 even more so... It's also a lifestyle choice, the desire to experience something different.
Now a player with Red Star, Jean-Philippe Krasso is embarking on this new phase of his career with ambition. And at the age of 26, he still intends to climb the ladder and finally win titles. "If I do well, I'll be in the limelight and that will perhaps enable me to achieve other goals," he confides. "The Serbian championship is not the most publicised, but Red Star wins it regularly, and I hope we'll manage to win it this year. I've never lifted a trophy in my career.I felt the pressure in the friendly and it was quite impressive. We played 2.5 hours away from Belgrade and the fans made a lot of noise. Suffice it to say that he already knows he is eagerly awaited.