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From Refugee Camps to Champions League: The Inspiring Tale of Camavinga

In 2002, Camavinga was born in a refugee camp in Angola. 20 years later, the 19-year-old is a Champions League winner

Year after year, football has given birth to many inspiring tales. On 29 May 2022, the game gave birth to another motivating anecdote when a 19-year-old Eduardo Camavinga lifted the Champions League trophy wearing the royal white jersey of Madrid; a youngster who was born in a refugee camp in Angola.

Angola, 2002

In 2002, Angola was burning because of its civil war and in a refugee campof that war-torn country, Camavinga was born. A year later, his family fled to Fougeres, a menial town merely 50-60 kilometres away from Rennes, France.

Into judo

Camavinga was an athletic child who was good at sports. Therefore, his mother made several attempts to enrol him into a martial arts institution with a specialisation in judo. However, his father introduced Camavinga to football by enlisting him at a local club.

Introduction to football

At the local club named Drapeau-Fougères, Camavinga was unstoppable because the seven-year-old midfielder used to humiliate not only players of his own age but also the senior ones. From 2009 to 2013, Camavinga won several matches for Drapeau.

At Rennes

Camavinga’s footballing prowess quickly gained the limelight, and therefore, he was signed by Rennes. From 2013 to 2018, Camavinga proved his worth in the youth team of Rennes. In 2018, the French club promoted the defensive midfielder to its B team and within a year, the Camavinga secured a place in the first team of the Ligue 1 outfit.

Taking football seriously

Although football has always been in Camavinga’s blood, the junior player was not serious about football during his childhood. In fact, the refugee-born player never thought of playing football professionally. However, in 2013, a tragic incident changed his thought process.

Just when Camavinga and his family were getting back on their feet, in the mentioned year, their house caught fire and the family lost everything. That was Camavinga’s turning point, which forced him to take football seriously.

Donning the white jersey

From 2019 to 2021, the French player impressed football scouts from different parts of the world. However, it was Real Madrid who picked the promising player last year. In his debut season (2021-2022), the Frenchman appeared in 40 games along with two major wins: the La Liga title and the Champions League at 19.

Rohit Chatterjee

An alumnus of the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media, Rohit Chatterjee is a bona fide moto-enthusiast who has worked with several media houses in his brief career. Chatterjee mostly writes features and news articles related to automobiles and motorsports. When not working, he is found on the interstate clocking over 100kmph on his NS200!
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