Charly Musonda never gave up, even when doctors told the former Chelsea super prospect that playing again was an “impossible mountain to climb” after one of his countless knee injuries and setbacks.
Well, on Tuesday, January 3, 2023, on a nice warm day in the city of Valencia on the Mediterranean coast of Spain — should’ve used a beach metaphor, Doc! — Musonda did in fact climb that mountain, and planted his proverbial flag on top of the center circle at the Estadi Ciutat de València.
It was Musonda’s first start for Levante, whom he joined in the summer after leaving Chelsea for good. It was his first senior professional start in over four years. It was the first start of the rest of his career. (Still just 26!)
He had made five appearances earlier in the season, all off the bench, before suffering yet another injury, but hopefully he’s now fully turned the corner. He played left wing for a little over an hour as Levante beat Getafe in the third round of the Copa del Rey, 3-2.
Sixty-eight minutes. Nearly sixty months in the making.
Musonda’s last proper start came in February 2018, for Celtic against St. Johnstone in the Scottish Premier League. He would start a few games for Chelsea’s U21 and U23 sides over the course of that calendar year as well, including once in the EFL Trophy, but if we’re counting only proper senior competitions, it’s been in fact nearly five years between starts.
Never give up!