Jean-Clair Todibo joined a small football club, located in the north of Paris when he was just six years old. In the French League system, he is currently competing with a first-team in the fifth tier. Todibo used to train in Les Lilas three times a week until the age of 16 before he decided to leave to make his way to Toulouse.
Two years ago, Todibo was still playing at the club where he captained the under 17’s. However, now he is set to play at Barcelona, alongside Lionel Messi, next season after accepting a deal on a free transfer during the summer.
Jean-Clair Todibo’s Football Career
Up until the 2018/19 season, Jean-Clair Todibo had never participated in a professional match in his life. However, after 10 Ligue 1 matches for Toulouse, he is well on his way to Barcelona. It’s essentially a fairy-tale story that can only be written within the world of football. But how on earth did the defender manage to get here?
Bruno Coton-Pelagie, the Les Lilas sporting director, trained under 19’s and 17’s for more than two decades, stated to reporters,
“Les Lilas is essentially a family club, and Todibo formed part of the family. We witnessed how he matured, developed, grew, and become stronger since he arrived at the club. He was always extremely ambitious, driven, and determined. However, Todibo was a local kid from Bagnolet and was hard-working and very respectful. He obviously had the talent, but he had to work very hard to reach the top.”
At the age of 14, Jean-Clair Todibo was not considered one of the best players at the club in Les Lilas. So he did only a few kids would do in such a situation, he continued to work on his skills and abilities. When he turned 16, he managed to become much stronger as a football player and his incredible talent started to shine.
Jean-Clair Todibo’s Transfer to Barcelona
Todibo, a 6-foot-2 versatile centre-back with great technical abilities and pace, had trials at Le Havre, Man Utd, and other European clubs but he decided to sign for Toulouse in 2016 during the summer. Although he played for the under 19 squad, he was never offered a professional deal until he managed to make a remarkable breakthrough with the first-team.
It took Toulouse a total of 2 years before they realised his talent, but it was far too late by then as Todibo avoided signing for the club. After only ten matches, the defender was benched by the club and hasn’t played a match since 3 November 2018 due to his contract situation.
Once Barcelona made their intentions clear, it was quite an easy choice for Todibo. There isn’t a lot of players who will refuse to play at Camp Nou, and Todibo was overjoyed with the idea to play for such a prestigious football club. Now we merely need to wait until next season to see what he is capable of.