Chimbonda's World Cup dream a distant memory

From the World Cup final to non-league football in just seven years, the tale of Pascal Chimbonda is a sad one, but he's putting things right.

As a child, most football mad children have dreams, maybe it's to score the winner in the FA Cup final, an act which was practised with aplomb against the garage door or down at the local playing field.

For others the dream is to play in the World Cup final.

For Pascal Chimbonda, dreams really did come true, the Frenchman was part of the squad which went all the way to the 2006 World Cup Final in Germany, making the bench for the game’s biggest clash, (France lost on penalties to Italy) and was forging a career in the Premier League with Wigan Athletic.

But despite all of this, as well as spells with Sunderland and Tottenham, where he won the League Cup, Chimbonda now finds himself playing free of charge for the lowly Market Drayton Town, in the tongue-twisting, Northern Premier League Division One South.

Chimbonda sites bad luck and a breakdown in a deal with Chicago Fire in the MLS as the reason for his demise, but the 34-year-old is keen to rise once more and believes that he could compete in either the Premier League or the Championship.

The fall from grace shows just how difficult it can be for a player to not only play week in week out, but to also just sign a playing contract.

You have to admire what Chimbonda is doing, his presence gives not only the team a boost but also the community. The 100-mile round trip from his home in the leafy suburbs of Cheshire is a daily commitment in itself, especially to play in front of an average of only 100 on a Saturday.

If his fitness remains high and his body stays free from injury, then there's no reason he can’t start moving up the football ladder again.

Sometimes the love of the game is just too strong.

image: © warrenski

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