Imagine being a French boy born in Paris to two Moroccan parents in 1993. You move to the small district of La Roseraie in Angers, and start dreaming. You’re not predestined, you’re just a boy 1.45 cm tall and you know that your passion could never be your life, even if you work hard, but you’ll try again and again to play with the best Champions of France, in Ligue 1.
This is Sofiane Boufal. At the age of 11 he decided to start his career in the youth team of Angers, in Ligue 2. Stéphane Moulin, seen by Angers’ supporters as a hero, is the manager of the club in which the little Parisien started his career: he immediately noticed the talent in this young, slender boy, maybe because of his humbleness, a quality that differentiates him from the other boys.
At the age of 20 he became a regular in the first team, even if he didn’t always play to his maximum ability. He even admitted that no one would ever have expected to see him playing so frequently.
He started his career in this way. In the following season he scored 4 goals and supplied 3 assists in just a few months. In January he moved to LOSC Lille in a 4 million euro transfer after having been chased by El Loco Bielsa who wanted to recruit him for his Olympique Marseille team, however he had too many wingers at his disposal to ensure Boufal would play enough games.
When he was presented to Lille’s supporters and to the press, he stated that he had worked very hard to gain the opportunity to play in Ligue 1: And it was true.
He arrived at a time when Lille were going through some difficulties, and in the first part of the season he suffered because of this situation: Girard, his new coach, wasn’t in a position to conduct many transfers largely due to the club’s debt. Initially the Moroccan didn’t play in as many games as he would have preferred, but in the last part of the season he started playing more frequently and he gained a regular place in Lille’s starting eleven. .
He’s born as a winger but he can play in the No.10 position and this season he has played as a forward too. He’s fast, quick and possesses great dribbling skills: similar to that of other Ligue 1 greats like Zidane and Ronaldinho, but his dribbling style seems faster than the Brazilian champion (but less technical of course). We could compare him to Belgium’s Eden Hazard who currently plays for Chelsea and has also played for Lille.
He never tries to make things too difficult for himself, which in itself is a rare quality to find in a player so young. But he has some problems physically (he’s now tall 1.75 and his weight is just 70 kilos) and mentally (he could improve his defensive contribution and aggressiveness).
He wore the No.27 shirt in honour of Pastore, in the year he joined PSG; maybe Le Parisien could be his dream? He has been scouted by some of Europe’s elite such as Inter Milan, Juventus as well as a host of Premier League clubs. He has stated his desire to play in the Champions League, which is something that this player deserves and now!
About the author- Marco Santanche
Marco was born in Rome and supports Inter because of Luiz Nazario Da Lima Ronaldo. He is a Brazilian citizen because of his father’s roots. He played futsal for several years, even in the FIGC (Italian FA) as a winger, playmaker and striker. He is now studying for a degree in finance.