Friday's terrorist attacks across Paris hit close to home for New York Red Bulls defender Ronald Zubar.
The Guadeloupe-born center back spent most of his adult life in France, plying his trade for Caen, Marseille and Ajaccio before joining RBNY in January, and spent much of a sleepless Friday night on the phone making sure that his family – an uncle, a sister – and friends in Paris were safe in the wake of the coordinated spate of bombings and shootings that shook the City of Light.
“It was a tough night on Friday, can't really sleep,” Zubar told reporters on Monday, according to Metro. “But unfortunately, a hard time for the country. I'm so proud, everyone in the world has been supportive. I've seen from everybody [with] text messages.
"Those [terrorists] are trying to scare the world right now. But, everyone wants to be strong and show them they’re not afraid. We’ll keep on doing what we’re doing and believe what we believe and keep moving forward."
Recalling the “Charlie Hebdo” attacks on members of the French media earlier this year, Zubar said the latest violence was not entirely unexpected, though the severity and ruthlessness certainly was. His teammate and fellow Frenchman Damien Perrinelle took to social media to express sympathy and solidarity with the victims, as did Orlando City's Frenchman Aurelien Collin.
I love My Country ! Vive la France ! LIBERTÉ ÉGALITÉ FRATERNITÉ !— Damien Perrinelle (@DamP_92) November 13, 2015
“We didn’t expect it that quick, and [with so much] damage,” Zubar said. “This is really something. Can you imagine? Eight people setting something like that together, organized everything for a couple months and nobody saw it coming? That’s why it’s weird and what’s scary about it.""
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Zubar said his homeland will stand strong in the face of the attacks, credited to the Syria-based extremist movement ISIS, but suggested that tighter border controls and better intelligence measures might be needed.
“[France] is a very open country, very supportive, a very democratic country, and that’s why sometimes some people don’t like it," he said. “Hopefully we will learn from this. . . . We need to find a way to move on and prevent that in the future, because we can’t let that happen.”