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Mame Biram Diouf

Saido Berahino's Journey To The Premier League

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His story starts on the streets of Bujumbura, capital of what the World Bank deems the second-poorest country in the world. “What we used as a ball was plastic bags wrapped around with laces,’’ 

 

Berahino recalled. His country was plagued by violence between Hutus and Tutsis. Many people died.

 

Many left. “We had to flee,’’ he continued. “I left my friends back in Burundi. It was crazy.

 

“In Africa, it’s not like kids here where they say: ‘Mum, Dad, what are we doing?’ You can’t say that in Africa. You just have to follow what your parents are doing. You don’t ask questions. Things just happen.

 

“We left. It must have been to do with the civil war and my mum wanting a better life for her kids. Somehow, my mum got to England. When I landed with a friend I didn’t know where my mum was. I was taken to a care home where I was treated nice.

 

“They traced my mum but I couldn’t see her for a couple of weeks. Immigration made me go through DNA tests to find out whether she was my mum. One day, I met my mum in an office somewhere in London. We saw each other, said ‘hello’, but I couldn’t stay with my mum because we were still waiting on the results. I went nuts. They said, ‘no, you can’t stay’. I had to go back to that home. Mum was all upset. When finally the results came, I was allowed to go to my mum, staying with her in Birmingham. My life

started from there.’’

 

He was 10, lacking English but possessing a gift for scoring. “Football helped a lot in me settling in. I played for the school team, Aston Tower. Everyone was nice to me. They saw me as someone quiet who didn’t talk much but I got on with everyone. Nobody really knew what I’d been through. I didn’t say.’’

Berahino himself has still not asked Liliane how his father died in 1997 during the civil war. “If I ask questions, it will bring back memories that I don’t want to go back through,’’ he said. “But with the football, I’m doing it for my father. I know he’s watching me in heaven. He’ll be excited. God is guiding me. God is looking after me. My father is one of the angels who is happy and smiling.

 

“Religion has played a big role in my life. It is difficult to be a religious person on this earth, not just in this [football] industry. It’s really hard to be a true Christian because of the way society is run. You just have to be a good person, as the Bible says, ‘a good servant to the Lord’. If you live by the Bible, you’ll be OK. I have Bible studies. My mum is really religious. She guides me.’’

 

West Brom have also guided him. When their academy scouts spotted him, the 11-year-old was running amok through opposition defences in the local Sunday league. “I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I was just running, scoring goals and everyone would be like ‘yay, yay, you’re a great footballer, blah, blah, blah’. But when I got to West Brom, it was ‘you need to make that run, you need to hold up the ball, you need two touches’.

 

“It became a bit too technical for me. It took me three years until under-15 until I understood the game properly, although not fully.’’

He has studied three strikers in particular. “I’ve always watched Samuel Eto’o, Didier Drogba and Jermain Defoe because of their movement and the way they finish.’’

 

Berahino certainly took his goal coolly against United, the team he supports. “My mum was laughing at me, saying: ‘How can you score against your own team!’

 

“At weekends we watch the games and talk about football. Always. She supports Arsenal and I support United. When Arsenal play United there are funny moments in our house. She wasn’t too happy when I scored against Arsenal [in the Capital One Cup] but we still lost [on penalties]. She’s really laid-back but she gets upset when Arsenal lose. She loved Thierry Henry. She loved the Arsenal Invincibles. Henry, Patrick Vieira, Pires. She loved them! We both are football mad.’’

 

Berahino loves the backing he is receiving at West Brom. “Steve Clarke is a great guy who has helped me a lot. He’s given me the opportunity. He understands my game and I know what he wants from me. We just clicked basically.’’

 

At Old Trafford, Clarke was typically restrained in victory. “That’s just Steve. He’s always been quiet, humble. He’s a humble guy really. We [players] were all buzzing. All excited. Danny Welbeck was probably the only United person who knew who I was. I met him at St­ George’s.’’

 

Berahino has played all the way through England age groups up to the under-21s. For all the emotional pull of Burundi, Berahino never considered representing his homeland. “It’s a non-starter. I want to play at the best level with the best players at the best tournaments. Burundi is motherland to me. I will always be a Burundian regardless of what happens, even if I become a successful Premier League player. I will still have the Burundi culture in me. Playing for England is totally different. They have given me a second chance in life, provided my family with a different type of lifestyle. I feel very, very grateful to what England have done for me and my family. So, when I play for England, I play with passion and excitement, joy and desire to win.’’

 

And England’s seniors? “Of course I would love to play in any World Cup. If I get a chance to play for England in Brazil, I wouldn’t even think twice about it.’’ He knows Roy Hodgson from West Brom. “When I saw him at St George’s, we exchanged a few words. He said how well I was doing.’’

 

Next week, Berahino trains alongside United’s Wilfried Zaha and Liverpool's Raheem Sterling. “I see them as a motivation. I admire their work and I want to one day play for a big club, too. If they can do it then why can’t I? That’s what I’m striving for: play with the best players, get managed by the best coaches, play in the best stadia. I’m not a money guy. People might say, ‘he’s talking rubbish, money’s important’, but money has never been that important to me. The Bible teaches you that somebody who loves money will never get enough of it and it will destroy you.

 

“What is important to me is my family being happy with what I’m doing. Success comes and the money will come. We are a family who’ve never had a lot, so when we do get a lot we appreciate it and don’t go mad over it. One of the things I’d love to do is help people back home in Burundi.

 

Jay-Z-clapping-whew.gif

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My mum was laughing at me, saying how can you score against your own team

 

:lmao:

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HIS JOURNEY IS no different than the millions of refugees who fled from civil war to be here

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West Brom have always vehemently denied the forward will leave, however, while Berahino wants to make sure the Midlands club are in the top tier next season, he views his long-term future elsewhere.

 
"I've got to stay focused on what I'm doing right now, which is scoring the goals and keeping West Brom in the Premier League," Berahino told Sky Sports News .
 
"If I can keep them in the Premier League and score as many goals as I can, I'm pretty sure the fans wouldn't mind me pushing on and going on to bigger things."
 

 

25 mill to Liverpool then

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Not worth 25m

 

 

Kane > Saido

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pmsl this move will happen 100%

we are sniffing around danny friking ings too

its 2015. same old liverpool smh

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Hes a bottler.

 

Was f*cking terrible against us last week.

 

If hes worth £25m Kane is £50m.

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The Prince>>This guy

I did say Prince Harry was hybrid of Sheringham/Klinsmann

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Swear the other day you were complaining when pundits start comparing dons to old niggas

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I was complaining about when they bring up another players who are irrelevant to the situation.

"If Messi done this We all would be going crazy"

Thats what I was complaining about

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Hes a bottler.

Was f*cking terrible against us last week.

If hes worth £25m Kane is £50m.

Try £90M

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Berrahino career over

Media burying him

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Hes a bottler.

Was f*cking terrible against us last week.

If hes worth £25m Kane is £50m.

Try £90M

you rate our harry porch?

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Hes a bottler.

Was f*cking terrible against us last week.

If hes worth £25m Kane is £50m.

Try £90M
you rate our harry porch?

Prince Harry

I rate the way he has performed

(Vision,first touch,work rate,team work also a big game player)

Want him to keep doing it until the end of season and go to a next level next season

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hopefully he dont get called up to England until after the under 21s in the summer

let the national team rot with waste like wellbeck, lambert and carroll for the time being

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pmsl or Republic of Ireland can always try and cap him

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Surprised he does not have a topic but dusty players like

Berahino

McClean

Albrighton

Do

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Because nobody makes topics on here

I could always screenshot you the process of how to make one?

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21 million club record bid rejected

Why won't they just let him go?

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Middle of the season

Albion don't need to sell and are in a good position financially 

he's been a idiot about the whole thing

 

Alot of people who seem him out in Brum say he's a c*nt aswell. It wouldn't surprise me if there's more things going on behind the scenes we don't know about.

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18 months left on his deal

He hates wba, gets no minutes

20mill buys them 2-3 first team players minimum

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