|Org||xxxx National Team|
|Club as Player||FC Vallorbe-Ballaigues|
2019 08 22 Retrieve
[Eric Djemba-Djemba says Paul Pogba faces the same problem at Manchester United as Mesut Ozil does at Arsenal] Pogba has his style and he can’t do anything about that, he has always played like that since he played back in Italy. But English football is different; you need to work hard, tackle and more. Italian football is more tactical, but you need to be box-to-box in England, tackle and work hard. If you watched Wayne Rooney playing as a striker, he would still come back and tackle hard. Pogba has his style and he is a very good player. When you put Paul Pogba in the right position and he has the confidence, he is absolutely amazing. It’s like Arsenal fans with Mesut Ozil. They think he is not trying but of course he is trying. It’s crazy!
[Paul Pogba’s failure from 12 yards saw him attract more racist abuse on social media] For me it’s awful to see, its just football and there’s no need for it. Imagine how Paul’s child or family feel about seeing that abuse. Racism has no place in either football or this world, and it’s a real shame to see
2019 08 22b Retrieve
[Eric Djemba-Djemba says Cristiano Ronaldo never frustrated his team-mates at Manchester United despite being the complete opposite to David Beckham as he loved the tricks] The players didn’t find Ronaldo frustrating, he was just young. If you look at Ronaldo now versus playing 15 years ago, you can see the difference. He was young and that was his game. Sometimes it was hard for Ruud van Nistelrooy, Louis Saha and Wayne Rooney because they didn’t know if he would cross the ball, when you’re waiting for the cross and it doesn’t come. But they knew that was Cristiano’s game, and they knew that he wouldn’t cross the ball so they waited for the cross, for Ronaldo to dribble past the defender before he would cross. He wasn’t like David Beckham, he would take one touch and whip it in. Cristiano loved the tricks!
Sometimes Ferguson would tell Ronaldo ‘no’, but I never saw Fergie angry or unhappy at Cristiano. For Ferguson to be unhappy was very hard for him; he was like a dad with his kids! He could be unhappy if we were drawing a game or not playing well. He was like everyone, you can be unhappy because you’re not playing well. He never had a go at me; he was like my dad! He was a dad for Cristiano, John O’Shea, Darren Fletcher, David Bellion, even Rio Ferdinand!
[Ronaldo has gone on become a five-time Ballon d’Or winner] People can watch Ronaldo on the television, but they don’t know the real Cristiano. Cristiano is a man, who had a difficult time as a kid in football. People see him on the television and think he is arrogant or takes the piss out of people, but Cristiano is an emotional man. You need to talk to him to see who he really is. My mum passed away and he said Eric if you need me, you can call me, you can visit me, don’t worry I am here for you. Every day when we were together at United, we drove to training together. Sometimes we would drive in my car; sometimes we would drive in his car. After training we went to eat at Nandos in Manchester; he helped me discover Nandos! When we went to away games, we were roommates. He was my best friend. We were together every single day for training; sometimes I would go to his house to eat as his house as his mother was there with him when Cristiano was young. Sometimes he would come to my house to eat, as I was living alone in Rio Ferdinand’s old house!
2019 11 08 Retrieve
[Eric Djemba-Djemba: From Nando’s with Ronaldo to happiness in Swiss amateur football. The player himself admitted he struggled with the pressures of being at Old Trafford, having to compete with the likes of Keane, Paul Scholes and Darren Fletcher for a spot in the team] It was difficult. I was 22, I came from France and I went straight into a team that was one of the biggest in the world. There was a lot of pressure, and Roy Keane was a man. Everybody listened to him. At the beginning it was good, I played matches because Keane was injured. But when he came back, it was hard for me. Sometimes I played with him, sometimes with Paul Scholes or with Darren Fletcher.
[Djemba-Djemba denied the speculation about his finances but revealed his struggles in dealing with the extravagant lifestyle of a professional football star] It was difficult handling the money. Now I am a grown up, I have learned. I was too trusting. I trust in God and he opened my eyes. Maybe he wanted that to happen to me so tomorrow I might be better. I didn’t lose everything but I lost a lot. It was said I had 30 bank accounts as well. Come on, no one has 30 bank accounts. When I read stuff like that it upset me
[It wasn’t until he was considering retirement at the age of 35 that a surprising phone call from a friend would allow Djemba-Djemba to finally find a home at Swiss amateur side FC Vallorbe-Ballaigues] [I joined] because of my friend Jacques Etonde, who I grew up with in Cameroon…it was a boyhood dream for the both of us to play together in Europe after we’d grown up together in Africa. I just love playing and, when I finish training, I’m happy to carry the balls or the water bottles
[After years of travelling to all corners of the globe, the Swiss move allowed Djemba-Djemba to be closer to his family in Nantes] I went everywhere in the world, but in the meantime my kids were growing up fast in Nantes and it was difficult for me. I could only really see them about two times a year. It was a sacrifice [to come here]. I’m happy I’m in Switzerland because I wanted to be close to my kids