From £4.5m Spurs and France star to playing Boreham Wood in seven years

Pascal Chimbonda

Pascal Chimbonda featured for France just once in 2006, but while they beat Ukraine yesterday he played against Boreham Wood for Carlisle United.

Last night two games were in progress that made me realise how things quickly turn in professional football - those games were the crunch European play-off between France and Ukraine; and the just as important to some FA Cup replay between Carlisle United and Boreham Wood.

Because a French international was playing in the latter.

Seven years ago, while playing superbly for Wigan Athletic, Pascal Chimbonda made his international debut for France as a substitute for Willy Sagnol against Denmark. He then went with the team to the World Cup in Germany in 2006 - but did not feature as France made it to the final.

Nowadays however he finds himself playing for Carlisle United with former team-mate Graham Kavanagh as his boss.

Chimbonda’s career began to go downhill after he left Wigan - joining Tottenham Hotspur for £4.5 million at the conclusion of the World Cup.

But since his time at Spurs he has played for Sunderland, Tottenham again, Blackburn Rovers, QPR, Doncaster Rovers, non-league Market Drayton Town and now Carlisle United.

You might be thinking - so what?

And fair point - Chimbonda is 34-years-old now so perhaps this is the level he should be playing at.

And also why is it a negative thing?

Sure he could be sunning it up in Australia like William Gallas, or playing for bags of money in Qatar - but instead he has decided to stick around and have a real go of it with a team in the lower leagues of English football, and I think that is commendable.

It is the same sort of attitude that saw him play for Market Drayton for free - a real desire to play football of a competitive nature, rather than go into semi-retirement in a far flung corner of the world.

Carlisle won last night, after an entertaining game against Boreham Wood, themselves an ambitious non-league side with big plans for the future.

For Chimbonda’s future, it is all about enjoying it while it lasts. And while a little part of him would have twanged with jealousy whilst hearing of Les Bleus claim a historic win over Ukraine - he will always have that one cap to look back on with pride.

image: © wonker

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