Emmanuel Mbende is a footballer from Cameroon who lives in Germany. He plays as a Defender for Chemnitzer FC. in the German League. Now aged 22, he has played for Cameroon at under 20 level, playing in the 2015 African U-20 Championship qualifiers. He began his football career in the Youth set of Borussia Dortmund in Germany who at the time were managed by current Liverpool Manager, Jurgen Klopp. He played two seasons in the UEFA Youth League before spending the 2015–16 season with English Championship club Birmingham City. He returned to Germany to join Chemnitzer FC in 2016.
Emmanuel told us he began playing football from a very early age in Cameroon. Brought up by his Mother and Grandparents he told us they all took on the role of parenting while his father had moved to Germany to work and to study. Emmanuel loved playing football and at around age 5 was inspired by the performances of the Cameroon team, including stars like Samuel Eto, who often as the underdogs showed young Emmanuel that if you have belief you can achieve anything. He saw how Football was able to bring everyone together from every background and culture and how it was able to make so many people happy and so with that knowledge, he grew a desire to use his footballing gift to do the same. He moved to Germany at age 10 and although he struggled with the language and change in culture, he continued to work hard both in school and with his football. That hard work paid off, when he was first spotted at a tournament by one of the scouts from Borussia Dortmund and recruited to the club and from there his career began to take shape. After a couple of years in the Youth set up, Emmanuelle had the chance to move to England and Birmingham but had to move away from his family at just 19. This wasn’t the first time though that he had been seperated from his family, as even as a youngster, with playing football at a very high level, there were many times he would have to spend long periods away from his family, either at training camps or tournaments.
Emmanuel remembers he found those times very lonely. Especially at such a young age when there was a lot of pressure and many times, things weren’t quite going how Emmanuel had hoped. It was at those times that Emmanuel said his faith really helped him. He said there would always be things that happened that couldn’t just be coincidence, that gave him the strength to keep believing and to carry on and it was at those times especially, that he knew God was always with him and always there.
Emmanuel has been supporting you guys for a while now but we’d never really told any of his story pr before, so when I asked him what he hoped sharing his story would do for you all, he said “I hope my story will give the children strength and that they will know everything happens for a reason and so they have to keep believing. I want them to know that there are people out there that care about them and want to show them the right way”.
Emmanuelle has an important season ahead of him. It’s important that the club get a few more good results under their belts. After that Emmanuel has ambitions to play for the senior Cameroon team one day and play at the highest level.