Congolese Chancel Mbemba won the Marc-Vivien Foé prize. He thus becomes the best African player in French Ligue 1 football.
This is only his first season in Ligue 1. But already, the Congolese Chancel Mbemba has made an impression. On the occasion of the Marc-Vivien Foé award ceremony, the Olympique de Marseille player dethroned the Ivorian of RC Lens, Seko Fofana. "Winning this trophy was also one of my goals," Mbemba told RFI. Fofana won it and, before him, it was Gaël Kakuta, a Congolese like me”. To get there, Mbemba worked and made himself indispensable within the Marseille workforce.
The road traveled has been impressive, for “Demi-God”, as he is called in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The central defender has indeed risen through the ranks, joining Anderlecht while he was still in Congo. Before joining Newcastle United and, above all, FC Porto where he cut his teeth. It was 138 matches later that he joined Marseille.
Work as a leitmotif
A historic club, but no longer really used to playing the leading roles since Paris Saint-Germain are at the top of Ligue 1. Coincidence or not, since Mbemba is there, Marseille has regained its colors and will finish, this season, on the podium even if the Olympians had, for a time, hoped to compete with Paris.
This arrival in Marseille, remembers Mbemba, “was first of all a challenge”. The Congolese wanted to "turn the page" Porto and find a new challenge. "OM gave me this opportunity, I also wanted to come to France, because it's more publicized, it's a showcase, we watch the French championship more in the country," he continues.
But it is work that best symbolizes the player, whose motto is “Work-palace”: in other words, after work, there is no question of having fun or going out. “For me, to be well in my life and to be successful, I do my job, I come home. I enjoy my children at home. I will enjoy the rest after my career. Currently, it is work. It is thanks to my work that I am here. The work values you, it is through the work that everyone can see what you are capable of. If you don't work…it's hot,” he continues.