Aurélien Tchouaméni: Meet the French soccer star everyone is talking about
The 22-year-old has made the switch to European football after scoring 12 goals in 27 games for his club in France’s Ligue 1 last season
Aurélien Tchouaméni is a French soccer superstar.
The 22-year-old is a French soccer superstar. He has scored 12 goals in 27 appearances for French club Olympique de Marseille this season and in January he signed to play for Spanish club Athletic Bilbao. He is the latest in a string of African-born professionals and internationals who have made the switch from one European league to another to sign for top clubs.
The French player was born in Burkina Faso and came through the ranks of his local team, ASAD, before eventually joining Olympique de Marseille in 2005. He played in their U-23 team, before being taken to Marseille by his friend, Yannick Carrasco, along with two other players, Amine Ahadi and Jérémy Dessenne.
His first season, 2005-06, was a difficult one for Tchouaméni, who has said in interviews that his first season was the toughest he has ever had, as he struggled with injuries and was often on the bench. Tchouaméni says he was “trying to be strong and tough,” he said, but “there were times I was so weak.” But he wasn’t playing much.
In 2006-07, he made his first appearance for the first team, and it was a promising start. He played in 10 games and scored 2 goals against Lens, after which he was given a yellow card. The next season, 2007-08, Tchouaméni made his European debut, appearing in 5 games in the UEFA Cup and scoring 3 goals in the competition against Rapid Vienna, Anderlecht, Valencia and Dinamo Zagreb, to help the Marseille team win promotion to Ligue 1.
He also appeared in 5 games and scored 4 goals in Ligue 1, and went on to score 12 goals in 27 appearances with the club. His performances and form have led him to the attention of Spanish club Real Sociedad, who signed him in January as a replacement for