He was dying to wear the Barcelona shirt. SPORT visited Jean-Clair Todibo in Toulouse and were able to find out first hand how the player took his signing on at the Catalan club.
Dressed in sports clothes and with an unworried air, the player got out of a car at the gates of the residency where the French club’s youth players live.
That’s where he’s been for two years, since leaving Les Liles in Paris, to join one of France’s biggest clubs at youth team level. It was the first step towards elite football. He arrived late, at 16 years old, but since then his rise has been meteoric.
The player approached with a smile and offered us his hand. We congratulated him on his move to Barcelona, “It was my dream, to tell the truth I’m really happy,” said Todibo. He had just turned 19 and you could see the hope in his eyes. Who wouldn’t be on top of the world to sign for the best club in the world at this age? Far from disappearing rapidly, it was clear he was keen to talk. He is not going through an easy time at Toulouse, who have dropped him for his contract situation, but he is grateful to the club for betting on him and doesn’t have bad words for them. “We love Todibo, he’s a great guy but this situation is not easy for him,” one of the youth team staff told Sport.
We asked the player born in French Guyana how he’s taking these crazy weeks. “The two clubs are negotiating, we hope they reach a deal. I’m impatient to play for Barca,” he said, smiling. He knows the chances of coming to join Barca now are small. Everything is open still but it will not be easy. There’s the chance he could go on loan to another club in France or La Liga too. It doesn’t do him much good to play with boys of his age, he needs to be surrounded by the elite.
Jean-Clair has no problems posing with a Barcelona flag. It is his first photo with a Blaugrana item. After 15 minutes of conversation, Todibo said he had to go to meet his coach and eat dinner, and off he went.