Top 10: stories of maraboutage in football

Kylian Mbappé is not the only footballer to be linked to a history of maraboutage. If the revelations of Mathias Pogba accuse his brother Paul of using witchcraft to harm the PSG player, the latter is not the first to taste this famous magic cocktail. Best of events linking football and black magic.


Senegal and its marabout budget

In this year 2002, Senegal creates the sensation. For the first time in their history, the Teranga Lions reached the final of the African Cup of Nations. Bruno Metsu’s players also discover the World Cup in South Korea during which they beat France (1-0) and qualify for the quarter-finals where the fabulous adventure ends, stopped by Turkey (0- 1). Extraordinary performances under which perhaps hide some secrets. Two years later, the senior officials of the Senegalese Federation are pinned down by the Court of Auditors, suspected of having spent 90 million CFA francs to benefit from the services of marabouts during this auspicious season. For Emmanuel Petit, 1998 world champion who took the door in South Korea, there is no doubt. “The marabouts contributed to our defeathe laughed in the Senegalese daily Recordbefore embellishing it with an anecdote. A year before the World Cup, I’m on a beach in France. I see a street vendor who comes to see me and whom I knew. He looks at me seriously and says: “Do you know the World Cup which is played in a year? France will play Senegal and will lose by a goal to nil, because our marabouts are very powerful in Senegal.” » Does anyone have the number of the Bulgarian marabout from 1993?

1662301283 425 Top 10 stories of maraboutage in football In Paris, the feat at the end of the line

In 1997, PSG lost 3-2 on the lawn of Steaua Bucharest during the preliminary round of the Champions League. Problem: the Ile-de-France line up Laurent Fournier, despite his suspension, and lose the match on green carpet, 3-0. As then-president Michel Denisot revealed in the show It’s up to you from France 5the club called on a marabout to help them recover from their three-goal deficit at the Parc des Princes. “Claude Le Roy, in the staff of PSG and who has trained Cameroon and African teams, tells me that he has phone calls from marabouts who call him. I tell him : “I take everything, truck of candles in Lourdes, marabouts, everything that is legal to try to turn the situation around!” And so, I got in touch with a marabout called Sidi – with whom I still have relations today – and I discovered Western Union to pay him by sending money by post. It wasn’t crazy sums and above all, given what was at stake, it was nothing. At first he said to me: “It’s not possible, I don’t see anything.” And then, two days before the match, he said to me: “It’s good! You’re going to win 5-0! And I even see the game very well. There will be the fourth goal in the 41e minute marked by the n°18.” » Good all the way!

1662301283 814 Top 10 stories of maraboutage in football Rolland Courbis and Ibou Ba’s rabbit’s foot

It’s no secret and Rolland Courbis assumes it himself: “I’ve been superstitious since I was born. I’m not sickly, it’s just garlic, people who bring me luck. I believe in black cats. » That’s why in 1996, he yielded to the request of Ibou Ba, his player in Bordeaux who had met a marabout: he went to Lescure to bury a rabbit’s foot in the central circle. Not too bad, the Girondins finished fourth. So when he comes back to it on the OM bench, he will dig up the lucky charm before the game. “We found him under 30 centimeters of earth. We were jumping for joy as if we had scored three goals in quick succession, we were kissing like madmen” coach Courbis remembered at Radio Iglesias. That didn’t stop his team from taking a 4-1 satchel.

1662301284 840 Top 10 stories of maraboutage in football An imam and a qualifier for the World Cup

Khartoum, November 2009. Algeria and Egypt are vying for a place in the 2010 World Cup. After winning the first leg in Blida (3-1), the Fennecs fell to Cairo (0-2). The qualification is then played on neutral ground, in Sudan, but Algeria faces a whole massacre of injuries. To eradicate the curse, the coach at the time Rabbah Saadane revealed, on Ennahar TV, that the federation had called on an imam to perform Roqya (exorcism) on the players. Saadane, displeased, had underlined the negative influence of the coming of the exorcist. And yet, it is Algeria that qualified for the World Cup.

1662301284 521 Top 10 stories of maraboutage in football A pee to break 30 years of curse

Liverpool’s title in 2019 is not the work of Klopp, Salah or Mané. Do not look for tactical solutions or any kind of public support. If Liverpool won the Premier League after 30 years of drought, it was simply because Bruce Grobbelaar urinated on the posts at Anfield. In any case, that’s what a marabout said in 1990, explaining that the Reds won’t win the title again until their former Zimbabwean keeper spills his urine on the stadium uprights. At first skeptical, the years without success pushed him to act. “During a game between companies at Anfield, I took a bottle of water, emptied it and urinated in it. During the first half in front of the Kop, I spilled it on the posts. In the second half, I did the same on the posts in front of the Anfield Road stand. » No more reason to attack Stevie-G for his slip in 2014, it came from above.

Top 10 stories of maraboutage in football

1662301284 374 Top 10 stories of maraboutage in football Emmanuel Adebayor, marabouts and bits of string

If there is one for whom maraboutage no longer holds any secrets, it is Emmanuel Adebayor. The Togolese striker is not really in the odor of holiness in his own family, so much so that the former Arsenal player is convinced that his mother, who practices black magic, tried to put him in trouble via his sorcery. Also, Adebayor would have been scammed by a marabout who sold him mountains and wonders; inventions made from scratch, but very profitable, since he continued to collect the money from Captain des Éperviers.

1662301285 932 Top 10 stories of maraboutage in football Big Sam, more than big luck?

Final of Euro 2016, Samuel Umtiti holds in central defense alongside Laurent Koscielny. However, a month earlier, he was starting from afar despite his good performances at OL. The packages of Varane, Sacko and Zouma at least let him join the list of reservists. A new fixed price, that of Mathieu, opens the doors to him of the 23 of DD. Making a good impression in training, he passed Mangala in the eyes of the coach, and only Rami prevented him from running for a starting spot. Umtiti took advantage of his competitor’s suspension in the quarter-finals to steal his place, without ever giving it back to him. Often questioned about this exceptional set of circumstances allowing him to finish the titular Euro, Big Sam gave a completely different explanation to The Team : “I want to say that the marabout is work. To play a quarter, then a half and a Euro final, I don’t think a marabout can do much. » And if he had hired one, we hope at least he would have made us win this damn final. Unless the price to pay is that high…

1662301285 194 Top 10 stories of maraboutage in football

1662301283 425 Top 10 stories of maraboutage in football For Paris, all good things have a sequel

If it works once… why not twice? Last April, The Team revealed that PSG, which surprisingly had no assigned mental trainer despite its European disappointments, had called in a marabout after another defeat in the Champions League, without however specifying the year. Whatever it is, the sequel doesn’t really argue for witchcraft anyway. Moral of the story: magical powers are not automatic.

1662301285 913 Top 10 stories of maraboutage in football Asamoah Gyan pleads guilty

While maraboutage is taboo in African sports federations, former Ghanaian captain Asamoah Gyan put his foot in the dish in 2017, assuming to have resorted to the mystical practice throughout his career. He even stood up against those who demonize the practice. “Football is also a spiritual exercise. People just used the word “marabout” to mean something out of this world. Just as pastors lead Christians in prayers, marabouts lead Muslims in prayerexplained the former Rennais. So there’s nothing wrong with them praying for success in your career or rewarding any effort in your life. » It didn’t really help him when it came to sending his Black Stars in the semi-finals of the 2010 World Cup, the striker sending his penalty in the last minute of extra time against Uruguay de Forlán & Co.

1662301285 307 Top 10 stories of maraboutage in football N’Zigou, a family affair

First known for having started his career in the early 2000s, at FC Nantes then at the Stade de Reims, Shiva N’Zigou made appalling revelations in 2018. Among these: a falsified age, relationships incestuous or the fact that his mother was sacrificed by his father so that the spirit of his motherhood would allow him to succeed in football. N’Zigou also reveals her mother’s attraction to witch doctors, because she thought a dark force was monopolizing her husband. The Gabonese player, he admits having had a first contact with black magic at the age of 25, even if he thinks that his father acted on him without his knowledge.“When I played football, I happened to score goals that were not normal, not naturalexplained the player for The Dokimos.For example: to get a corner, I step back, the ball bounces against my thigh then goes into the top corner. I scored some really weird goals. When it happened to me, I asked myself questions…”

By Clément Barbier and Alexandre Le Bris

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Top 10: stories of maraboutage in football

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