You probably do not know how former Super Eagles Captain Austin Okocha’s skills as a footballer influenced Frenchman Blaise Matuidi into becoming a professional footballer.
Matuidi grew up with four other siblings; Emmanuel, Jacqueline, Sylvie, and Junior. All kids grew up in the Parisian suburb of Fontenay-sous-Bois, a place where emptiness ends when there is football at one’s feet.
As a child, Blaise attended Victor Duruy school (located at Fontenay-sous-Bois). Luckily, this school allowed Matuidi to play competitive soccer.
To the amazement of all, little Matuidi would do what other kids couldn’t do on the field. His quick rise to football fame during his schooling d.ays came, all thanks to a PSG Legend Austin Jay-Jay
It was the skills of Jay-Jay Okocha that made Blaise think of going professional.
At the age of six, Matuidi’s parents felt it was right for their son to begin a football career after recommendations from his school coach who first discovered his talent. Matuidi got accepted at his hometown club US Fontenay-sous-Bois where he spent 5 years. Below is a photo of little Blaise Matuidi and his teammates.
After five years at the club and in a bid to get further experience, Maltuidi joined CO Vincennois where he was teammates with Yacine Brahimi for a year. It was in the year 1999 age 12 that Matuidi became rated as one of the best players in the Île-de-France region (a region in north-central France).
Again, in a bid to get more youth experience, Matuidi starting multitasking his career. He accepted an offer from the prestigious Clairefontaine academy even while at Vincennes. Matuidi would train at the academy for three seasons, playing there on weekdays while simultaneously playing for Vincennes on the weekends.
In 2001, he again left both clubs to sign for Créteil before finalizing his youth career at Troyes between 2004 and 2005. After playing his senior career at two clubs (Troyes and Saint-Etienne), Maltuidi became the most sought-after player and he got the best transfer opportunity.
On 25 July 2011, Paris Saint-Germain who just became rich confirmed Matuidi’s signature as a replacement for the departed Claude Makélélé, who retired from the sport. The rest, as they say, is now history.
Without a doubt, Matuidi’s playing ability as well as his lifestyle off the pitch builds up a complete picture of him. It is pertinent to say that behind every French footballer, there is a glamourous wag, girlfriend or wife.