LE BALLON – Ndour: the ambition to reach the first team and the comparison with Pogba (Benfica)

Cher Ndour, 17, shared the joy of signing for Benfica in July 2020, winning the Youth League and having the prospect of playing in the Reds’ first team. The Italian midfielder, in an interview with the newspaper The Gazzetta dello Sport, also pointed out that “Benfica have one of the best formations in Europe” and proved it with the conquest of the Youth League. Against Salzburg in the final, Ndour scored one of the six winning goals.

“It was a great satisfaction, but the important thing was that we finally won the Youth League. We lost [Benfica] three finals and they thought we weren’t up to it. And yet…”, began by saying the international of the Italian youth teams.

Son of a Senegalese father and an Italian mother, Ndour, born in Brescia, started out at San Giacomo, played at Brescia then at Atalanta, before joining Seixal. “After the teams of my city and Atalanta, I wanted to start from scratch. I needed to feel important. Abroad, there are many more opportunities for young people”, justified the desire to go to Portugal, seduced by Benfica. “It was not the only possibility. Bayern and the English teams wanted me, but Benfica’s project is important. Benfica Campus is beautiful: in addition to the stadium and training grounds, it has gymnasiums, a swimming pool, classes dedicated to study and rooms for free time,” said the young man, who somewhat lifted his veil on the festivities in Nyon, after the triumph about the Austrians: “I ran to the grandstand, where my parents were, but I didn’t see them right away, the party had started. Then I found them and we stuck together.

Ndour says that the young people of the Reds team have “heard of” the curse of Béla Guttmann: “But we did not think about it. And then it concerns the first team. We found ourselves partly with her. The young man feels “honored” when compared to Paul Pogba, but immediately adds “it’s still early”. It will be “a dream” to play “against or alongside” the French midfielder. “In the meantime, I’m on my way. In Brescia, I always saw him from my sofa,” he adds.

The Italian midfielder believes that Benfica gives “more importance to young people” than in Italy. “I’m lucky, I trained a few times with the first team. I hope to make my debut soon,” admits Ndour, when asked about the feelings of working with João Mário, Meité or Valentino Lázaro: “The person who impressed me the most was Taarabt. You don’t know what to expect every time you have the ball. It’s incredible”, reveals the young man.

“Now I’m not thinking about Serie A, maybe later. I’m focused on Benfica,” he says, also fueling the possibility of continuing in the Italian youth teams: “I played in all, in March I was with the under 18. In June there will be the European U-19 Championship and I hope to be there.

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