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The Clermont Foot Bouba striker, Croix-de-Neyrat’s “nugget”, has never given up on his dream of becoming a professional footballer

It’s halftime for the game of their lives. This Wednesday afternoon meeting; increasingly important than the previous one when you are not yet ten years old. Bouba played a lot in this synthetic in the Parc de la Fraternidad; the beating heart of the city of Croix-de-Neyrat. He was his age when he came to “see the greats”; those who “gave him a taste for football.”

This Wednesday in January; when he steps on the grass; in the middle of the towers; for a photo session; the cries of the little ones pierce the cold. We listened in a happy voice: “Hey; I’m going to take a picture with Bouba!” The 25-year-old Clermont forward was able to measure how far he has come.

Unexpected at 25

The next day; he must fly to Turkey where his new Belgian club; Excelsior Virton; is preparing.. After years of hardships and sacrifices; he is finally a professional footballer. -I had coach Pablo Correa; we argued; he wanted to make me play; he convinced me; I didn’t hesitate; he admits. I told myself that the season would end at Clermont Foot; but many things come into play. At my age; it was unexpected; I had to launch my career; I need playing time; so I think I made the best decision; after speaking with my coach Pascal Gastien. He speaks to me like a father. “

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-I will never be able to forget it–: from La Gauthière to Ligue 1 with Clermont Foot; Mohamed Bayo tells his story in his neighborhood

Courteous and available; sometimes in reserve; the young man advances near the city-stadium of “Croine” and delivers his journey of which each anecdote transpires the game. He landed in the north of Clermont twenty years ago with his father; tutor. building; and his mother; a cleaning lady. With his gaze fixed on his building -27- which is submerged in the clouds; in the distance; he sums up this neighborhood life that he has never left behind:

-Growing up here is being part of a family; together with people you have stayed with since you were young. We live it all together. When you need something; they are there for you; they support you in difficult moments; because I lived it before I got to where I am. There is a lot of solidarity. “

Aboubacar Sidibé (footballer from Clermont)

Bouba is part of a closed circle. Like many; he joined the youth teams of Clermont Foot; that elite that all children and adolescents have encountered on the Auvergne lawns – often going out with a suitcase – and that they envy so much. He; the forward of the Croix-de-Neyrat; stood out.

Former moor; the Fraternity park has become the green lung of Croix-de-Neyrat in Clermont-Ferrand

As a certain Mohamed Bayo; his friend from the ZUP; is one of the few young people in the neighborhood who maintains CF 63. He says: “It is difficult to spend a lot of time in this club when you are inside.” but I did not let go and although that is not where I signed; I am proud of what I achieved. “

Croix-de-Neyrat’s first professional

When others dream of PSG; Real or Barça; he has long hoped to sign professionally at home; next to the Gabriel-Montpied stadium. -They are the ones who trained me and made me progress; it’s my city. “Not being able to contract this bond of the heart; dreams that have become memories are placed in a corner of his head.

Four years ago he played his first professional rojiazul match. “It was the beginning of something;” he snapped; with a sheepish smile. Then come these five suspended minutes; out of time; a month ago; at the Mosson stadium; in front of Montpellier.

Trained at Clermont Foot; Aboubacar Sidibé appeared in the Coupe de France and in L1. Photo Franck Boileau
Clermontois returned defeated; but took their first steps in Ligue 1; those that change their lives and look for a kid from the northern districts; passed through the galleys and demoted as a fan; in Thiers in particular. “I had low morale when I left the club; he confesses; but I did not hesitate; I was prepared and I returned to the charge. “

Because Aboubacar Sidibé speaks humbly; his friends Yadali and Ava speak for him. And of him.

-He was always serious; it was his destiny. He did not give up; he plays to the mind and it pays. We believed in him. It is the nugget of the neighborhood. He’s part of the golden generation; he was the captain. There is at least one that returns a contract to us. Here; it is more than pride. I was already playing Clermont Foot; it was crazy; so here; signing pro is the pinnacle. But that’s just the beginning. “

Yadali and Ava (Friends)

If he inspires both respect and sympathy in “Croine”; it is because Bouba has moved to this neighborhood. With Boucif and Bilal; the Barrios CAN incarnated last summer; won by his Guinea team; thanks to his goal in the final in particular. If you gave so much of your time to this event; it is also to reciprocate.

CAN Clermont in the field of fraternity

In 2019; when he entered the grass of the Fraternity Stadium; his career was at a dead end. -I no longer wanted to play football; remember; and here I found the desire again. A few months later; he will find a place at Clermont Foot. And the taste of the game.

Malik Kebour


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