Camavinga’s tough childhood: a refugee camp in Angola, a war and the burning of her house

Eduardo Camavinga was born in Miconje, a small community in Angola, Cabinda province, in a refugee camp. And after a brief visit to Lille, where he and his relatives arrived fleeing the war in their country, they settled in 2003 in the small town of Fougeres, about 50 kilometers northeast of Rennes. He did not have a simple childhood. Third of a family of six siblings, his ma

Dre first tried to get him to dedicate himself to judo, but after playing so much at home and destroying everything, Celestino, his father, took him to Drapeau Fougeres, a modest club that can get a slice of his transfer to Madrid.

“I didn’t know anything. My mother took me the same day I signed up.

I remember that I caught the ball and started dribbling everyone until I threw the ball over the go, “the player now recalls. At the age of seven he began to kick the ball and from childhood he played in categories above his age. Everything is going so smoothly that Rennes invites him to a summer tournament. An appointment that will be key because Julien Stephan himself, his former coach at Rennes, did not lose any detail about that kid who finally entered the categories. inferiors of the club to begin their meteoric rise.

A fire that changed his life

It was 2013, I was only eleven years old, but all that was about to fall apart. While his landing in Rennes was being processed, the Camavinga house burned down. His training club organized a charity chain to provide the first necessities to a family with nothing. Nicolas Martinais, the person who trained him in his early years and now someone trusted by the family to the point that the player invited him to sign his first professional contract with Rennes still in force, has recalled that episode several times.

: “They lost everything, that house was a sea of ​​tears”

. Camavinga remembers it too. “The day after training, I had to go to practice and football helped me relax. It was a sight of escape.” It was when his father launched that challenge to Camavinga that the player recalled last year in his first interview, in Ouest France. “Don’t worry, you are going to be a great footballer and build this house,” I encouraged him. His departure to Rennes took a little longer as the family lost all papers. They even had problems obtaining French nationality since there are family identification documents that no longer exist.

“It is true that he told me: you are going to build this house because you are the hope of the family

. That was a stroke of humor to me. Raising the family is not just a material thing. My parents are already happy, but it is true that I can make them even happier. It’s true that he told me that. At first I was amused, I was ten years old … But over time, and from so much my mother reminded me of that, I understood that they were serious, that they thought I could go far, “adds the player.

Ability to overcome

Camavinga does not forget that morning: “We had been in that house that my parents had built with their effort for less than a year. And I remember the fire as if it were yesterday. I was at school and I saw the firefighters passing by through the window. end of class the teachers came to my little sister and told us about it. My father came to look for us and took us there, everything was destroyed, everything burned. ”

Now, Camavinga, only 18 years old, is wearing the Real Madrid shirt.

After going through a refugee camp, a war and the burning of his house …

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