IT was the end to a cest une très belle histoire for Jets' French midfielder Jason Berthomier. A beautiful story.
A football fairy tale that began as a 20-year-old amateur playing with his mates at Montlucon in the sixth division of French football.
Its final chapter, playing for Clermont Ferrand in Ligue One against Paris Saint-Germain, led by superstars Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar Junior and Sergio Ramis at the Stade Gabriel Montpied.
"It was a very good moment, an important moment in my career, for sure," Berthomier said.
"To go up to Ligue one with my hometown club and play against PSG and their big players ... it was a very beautiful story of football for me.
"In France, I start as an amateur and finish in Ligue One. It is not a classical pathway, but I am very happy to have done it that way.
"I said to my wife and family that the game was finished in France for me.
"When you play PlayStation, if you finish the game, you don't start [at a lower level] again."
Berthomier was sold to Valenciennes at the end of the 2021-22 season. He gave 100 per cent for the Ligue Two club but longed for a new adventure.
Enter the Newcastle Jets.
"I had a two-year contract at Vallicennes," Berthomier said. "My agent was in Australia for the women's World Cup. At a game, he spoke with [Australian-based agent] Fahid Ben Khalfallah, who has known me for many years.
"Last year it was not possible for me to come. This year it was possible to get out of Vallicennes.
"I spoke with Fahid and [Brisbane's French midfielder] Florin Berenguer.
"My first question was about football. Is it good? I want to play good football. I don't just want to go to the beach.
"Fahid said that the lifestyle is very good, it is very different for you and your kids. The football is good, it is league one here. It may not be a big football country but it is league one. The level is very good."
Berthomier, wife Moeva and boys Andres, 5, and Bastian, 1, touched down in Newcastle on September 5.
The 33-year-old playmaker will make his A-League debut against Perth Glory in the in the season-opener at HBF Park on Sunday.
"We are ready," Berthomier said. "We have a very good attitude to football. All players are on board with the coach's ideas. That is very important. It is a good group with very good guys. I am excited.
"The football is not totally different [to France] but a bit different. I think, the players here are very athletic. Maybe, it is better tactically and technically in France.
"To me, here is the same level as Ligue Two in France.
"The young players in Australia have a very good mentality. They are always smiling and want to work hard."
There is always an element of risk in signing foreigners in the A-league.
Resumes, highlights reels and price tags don't always tell the complete story.
For every success - think Besart Berisha, Thomas Broich - there have been abject failures.
Jets coach Rob Stanton was looking for a centreback when Berthomier was offered up as an option.
"It can be hit and miss," Jets coach Rob Stanton said. "When you are scouting - talking to people and getting references - sometimes you see things in a player that says a lot about character, about who they are.
"There were a lot of flags that said Jason was a good person and I am seeing that. I had this gut feeling that he was the right guy.
"You can see him talking to younger players now. He and Kosta Grozos are getting on really well. He is working with them and building those connections, which is important to have. I'm very happy we got him."
Off the pitch, Berthomier and his family are also finding their feet.
His sons have started kindergarten and daycare and his wife has found work.
"Newcastle is a beautiful city. When we arrived, we were in the park and started talking to a French man, who came here a year ago," Berthomier said.
"He invited us to join a Whatsapp Group: Frenchy Newcastle. Last week they asked if anyone knew any people who were after work. I replied: my wife, but she doesn't speak English. That was not a problem."
Stanton has been blown away by Berthomier's eagerness to embrace Newcastle life.
"I can't believe how quickly he has thrown himself into it," Stanton said. "We had a family day with players and their wives and kids. It was like Jason had been here two or three years.
"It's terrific what he is doing. They want to get involved in the community and become part of it. That is not always the case. It is such a big win."
Berthomier, a left footer, is adept anywhere in midfield. Against Perth he will be deployed in a deep role, in the absence of suspended skipper Brandon O'Neill.
"Jason is suited to that deeper role," Stanton said. "He can control the tempo, switch play, help us get out of tight areas, start play ... he has a calmness on the ball under pressure.
"He is also very good at set pieces. I think there is a final pass in him as well. He has a killer ball when he gets free. As we progress as a team, and we venture into the opposition half with more control, I think you will see that passing range and the extras he has in the kitty.
"He is a good footballer. That is why we brought him here. He is bringing all the things a young team needs."