Retirement, a small death, some say. On the epitaph of Demba Bâ’s career, the words “talent”, “conviction”, “commitment” will have a good place to qualify the now ex-Senegalese international.
When the end comes, memories arise. The flashbacks crackle to fix definitively the image, the images, of a player who will have crossed the world of football for 16 years. And not like the others.
The native of Sèvres once confessed, he had “Everything to succeed, it just took a while”. You time, you labor and certainly noise. Because, the world of the foot has long refused to those who did not go through a real training center and who presented themselves as a defensive midfielder in those of Lyon and Auxerre with the hope of becoming professional. The refusal of these prestigious clubs could have sounded the glass for the young Demba who grew up in Le Havre, the same district as Mamadou Niang and Souleymane Diawara. But, he will have allowed the future Chelsea Blues to know that his life will be a fight on the pitch, always, and off, often.
More than a soccer player
Rouen, Mouscron, Hoffenheim, West Ham, Newcastle, Chelsea! The Demba Bâ course to reach the top of a model for all these young people who have passed through the drops of training centers.
At the time of drawing the curtain, enchanted memories mingle forcefully with eternal regrets. Memories of a Champions League night where he scored in the 87th minute against PSG, in the quarter-final second leg in 2014 (2-0), cruelly putting an end to the Parisian dream. Cruel also for the supporters of Liverpool, this goal scored after the famous slip of Steven Gerrard which will deprive the red legend of what could have been his only title of champion of England with his club of heart.
Do not forget, either, this goal against Cameroon, March 26, 2011. In a sold-out Léopold-Senghor stadium, when the darkness had set in, enveloping in a black veil the hopes of beating the indomitable giant , Demba Bâ had arisen, at the last minute of the match, to send a whole people to paradise, and Senegal to the CAN 2012. An achievement that will remain his only coup in a career in selection escorted by misunderstandings, tensions, corn especially regrets.
“The fight goes on
At the time of seeing Demba Bâ putting away his crampons, it is time to remind – “the recall benefits …” – that he was more than a football player. In any case, far from bling bling, rhinestones and sequins and close to his convictions built on his Pulaar culture and his Muslim faith. He has always had Islam anchored to the body to the point that Besiktas supporters sang to him: “Demba Ba, take us to Friday prayers”.
He thus carried many fights through his Twitter account: Palestine, the Rohingyas, the Uighurs, the migrants had right of citizenship on the wall of Senegalese-French. The cause of blacks and racism have also found a standard bearer with Demba Bâ. As during PSG-Istanbul Basakşehir last December where he trains his teammates and opponents to interrupt this Champions League match after the fourth referee pronounced “NegroTo talk about Cameroonian assistant coach Pierre Webo.
At 36, therefore, the skinny kid, who dreamed of a grandiose career by combining sport and studies in Saint-Valéry-en-Caux, can look back with pride on his career and inspire many children. But it is certain that “the fight” continues, because for someone who spent his first life fighting, the second cannot be easy.
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