Xavier Mbuyamba says that Chelsea were the club who “stole his heart” in the first place, but his quest to join and play for the Blues has been rather adventurous thus far.
He was ready to join last summer, but Chelsea’s transfer ban prevented him from doing so. Instead, he signed with Barcelona (not a bad second choice, in fairness), and spent a season in their U19 team.
He may or may not have been willing to stay beyond that, but all the Blaugrana club politics soured him on the experience, so back to his first love he went, signing with Chelsea on a free transfer four months ago.
Alas, the happy ending still eluded him, thanks to a meniscus injury suffered just a couple days later.
But now, after surgery and months of grueling rehab, he’s ready for his comeback. Yesterday, the 18-year-old posted this rather inspiring (and quite well written!) note on his Instagram. With an attitude such as this, his name is certainly one to remember and watch for.
“Imagine being an 17-year-old boy from a small city in the Netherlands who all of the sudden gets the chance to live his dream life of becoming a pro-footballer. I know many of you think I have it all right now... the money, attention and best players in the world around me. I can’t blame you, because to a certain extent I thought the same.
“This summer it was time for me to make the transfer to the club that stole my heart in the first place, a place where I could see myself grow and flourish into the player I believe I can be. Chelsea FC. I was ready to give it my all, to put all of my heart, blood, sweat and tears into it.
“Now imagine... your second training and... SNAP! There goes your knee in the blink of an eye. A torn meniscus so no football for at least 4 months. Here I was with all I thought I had, but it turned out to be worth nothing in that situation.
“I got surgery and started rehabilitation. Away from home, away from family, friends, and not even knowing how things would turn out. It was up to me to prevent my mindset from snapping like my knee did. I remember all the days of feeling like I couldn’t do anything. The first months of rehabilitation started and day in day out I was at the physiotherapist, the gym, on the massage benches. One day after the other, they all seemed the same. I haven’t touched the ball on a pitch in ages which may have led to me losing a bit of my feeling for the ball but I gained so much more and thats all represented in this one thing: THE SCAR.
“This scar to me represents my hunger which has never been so big, my mental strengths which made me trust myself in this process, the power I gained in the gym over the last months, the pain after surgery and during treatment afterwards, the people that where there to help me, the friend and family I could always talk to and a constant reminder of my beautiful journey so far. The story of that boy from a small Dutch city seemed so perfect so far... the boy who came up out of no where and made it big. That boy has learned and grew a lot wiser. I now see that only imperfections can lead to a perfect story. That what I see when I look at the scar.
“What do you see? ”
-Xavier Mbuyamba; source: Instagram
I see a great career ahead for this young man.