Mazembe Success Extra Special For Tresor Mputu
|Tresor Mputu celebrates with the trophy|
© Photo: MTNfootball.com
November 9, 2009
Saturday's African Champions League success for TP Mazembe over Heartland of Nigeria was a sweet moment for a team that has waited 40 years to be crowned champions of the continent, but it will have been extra special for star striker Tresor Mputu, who had targeted just this kind of success with his hometown club.
The 23-year-old had resisted a move to Europe two years ago, despite plenty of interest, claiming he had promised the president of TP Mazembe, Moise Katumbi, that he would not leave before securing continental success for the club.
And he had an integral part to play in the final triumph as well, scoring the away goal in Owerri that would prove decisive in the tie as Mazembe claimed the trophy on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate scoreline.
When Mputu finished top scorer in both the 2007 African Champions League and the Confederation Cup competitions, he piqued the interest of a host of European clubs, including the likes of English Premiership giants Arsenal.
Having scored 34 goals in 30 League games for Mazembe that same season, he was likened to Cameroon international Samuel Eto'o for his deadly finishing in the six-yard box.The player's agent, Bajo Bujani, claimed that The Gunners had put in a concrete bid for the striker, but there was never any confirmation from either them or Mazembe that this had taken place.
In the end he allegedly turned down the move in order to stay with Mazembe and help them win titles, which he has duly delivered for his club, not only on the domestic front, but also now in Africa.
He was also an integral part of the DR Congo side which claimed the inaugural African Nations Championship in Cote d'Ivoire, the continental competition that is solely open to players who ply their trade in their domestic league.
But now that he has delivered on his promise of titles for Mazembe, both he and the Katumbi have said the time is right for him to move on. Expect a bidding war in January for the hot-shot, with clubs in England and Spain likely to be very interested in the forward, who has shown himself to not only be a great goalscorer, but a loyal servant to his club as well.