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.
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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