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Super Eagles’ World Cup foes, CAR put hopes on left-sided young star, Marc Raphaël Yapende

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Central African Republic (CAR) may be relatively anonymous in the committee of football powers in Africa, the side could be tricky when they faced the Super Eagles on Thursday in a World Cup qualifying duel.

They carry with them the quality of surprise, often displayed by underdogs. One of their players to watch out for, even though has not yet featured in the World Cup qualifiers, is Marc Raphael Yapende aka Marco.

He was a big revelation in national football during the African U-20 Youth Championship. This left side of the national team has already been selected three times with the main national team. 

According to a report garnered from local radio station, Radio Ndekeluka, for his coaches, Marco is a great future for the Central African round ball. 

In March 2021, Marc Raphael, the national team coach,  Yapende said Marco was the captain of the national team for CAR’s first participation in the Africa U-20 in Mauritania. 

Even if the CAR were eliminated in the quarter-finals, the performance of this 19-year-old push François Zahoui, national coach at the time, to start him during the last three days of qualifying for Afcon 2022.

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His complicity resides in the field when he is with his team mates. Pascal Lafleuriel, a former interim coach of the national team appreciated the qualities of Marco despite his shortcomings.

” Marco, he’s a boy with great athleticism. He has a very good left foot. He has a real quality of speed, play and hitting. He really is a powerful player. Now he has left. to work on his athletic ability, to make the right choice in his passes, in his crosses and positions, “said the coach. 

Freeman Niamathé, his teammate is impressed by Marc’s talent and gives him some advice.

“He’s a good player. I started with him from our childhood. Now he has to work on his personality and his temperament in a game,” he said.

Former student of the Foot School, Jimmy Yanibada (EFJY), Marc Raphael Yapende explains his role in the field.

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“Today my coaches ask me to work a lot on crosses, my placements in the match every time I receive the ball. I don’t like to lose and I always have the thirst to win. evolve outside ” , he says.

Elected the man of the match during the 3rd day of the CAN U20 in Mauritania against Tunisia in March 2021, Marc Raphaël Yapende intends to work hard to stay the course and do better for the senior team.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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