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“He radiated”: the immense emotions of his former partners after the sudden death of Modest M’Bami

It’s hard to find words. Many players who have played alongside Modest M’Bami, whether in Sedan, PSG, OM or in the Cameroon national team, are unable to play this Sunday, the day after the former midfielder’s sudden death at the age of 40.

“Too shocked, too early”; “tears are still flowing”; “Words will not be enough”: Bernard Mendy, Fabrice Pancrate, Ronald Zubar, Toifilu Mawlida, Mamadou Nyang… Tributes are multiplying in social networks. Parisians or Marseillais, everyone remembers their “brother”, born in October 1982 in Yaounde and died on Saturday of a heart attack in Le Havre, the city of his last club.

“Last year there was Christophe Revo, now Modest… It’s a bit amazing,” said Jérôme Alonzo, M’Bami’s former PSG teammate from 2003 to 2006. “A few days ago,” explains Erik Mombarts, Le Havre manager from 2012 to 2014. He was trying to attract talent from Cameroon. He sent me videos of players that I had to answer. I didn’t have time to do it, it touches me all the more. It’s incredible. We have kept many contacts. There was a mutual appreciation, although I didn’t see him for a long time. He often sent me very nice messages.

“I will keep your good mood, your talent and your joy of life from you”

Having played almost 300 professional matches in France, Modest M’Bami has managed to acquire a huge group of friends. His kindness and smile are greeted by everyone, long before his talent as a midfielder who never lets go. “When he was at Le Havre, he was no longer the brilliant Modest M’Bami from PSG, but he had good leftovers,” says Momberts. He brought all his experience. It had a radiance and an infectious joy. It radiated around him. We need such a player in the dressing room, in the group. He radiates… He allows others to transcend themselves. He was an extraordinarily kind person.”

In Cameroon, the country with which he won the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney (Australia), this “indomitable lion” became a legend thanks to the golden goal scored in the epic quarter-final against Brazil. Along with stars such as Samuel Eto’o, current president of the Cameroon Federation, or Patrick Mboma. “I will keep your good mood, your talent and your joy of life from you. Rest in peace my little brother,” writes Rigobert Song, the current coach of the Lions, on his social networks.

“I helped him because I believed in his qualities”

For all his experience, Modest M’Bami has remained a low-profile man who has not been seen in public since his playing career ended in 2016. Based in Le Havre, he was just beginning to take a step towards retraining. “His future was to be a go-between, to recruit, to find talent in Africa, especially in Cameroon, to make them experience what he experienced. He wanted to help them find clubs,” explains Eric Momberts. To thank the youngest, a way to emulate the legend of Joseph-Antoine Bell (70 variants) at the origins of Modest M’Bami’s installation in Sedan in 2000.

“I did him a disservice,” Bell says today. The goal was not to save a child from Cameroon. I helped him because I believed in his qualities. His relationship with France could only be linked to his talent. Results, he had a very good career. Not everyone can play in Paris and OM. Leave such an eternal memory too. And this is the main success of Modest M’Bami.

Source: Le Parisien

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