“A gold bar for the coach” … The gifted Dika Mem returns on the proper time

The Karabatic brothers, Valentin Porte, Elohim Prandi, to not point out the seven injured earlier than the beginning of the competitors… Accidents are piling up within the French handball workforce, however possibly there is a cause to look there. The Blues, who will face Sweden within the semi-finals of the World Cup this Friday, have managed to climb into the final 4 whereas their #1 weapon Dika Mem has but to begin. Additionally injured after the primary recreation towards Poland, the Barça right-back solely returned for the final regular-season match towards Spain earlier than actually discovering his place towards Germany on Wednesday.

Whereas Nikola Karabatic lingers in foot ache, it is time for the 25-year-old left-hander to lastly assume the function he is been destined to play for years, which is the chief of the following technology. Like his companions Nedim Remili, 27, and Ludovic Fabregas, 26, Dika Mem has been with the Blues for a very long time. Accurately in a royal dynasty, the Blues of hand steadily took its place, hatched by the fantastic elders Michaël Guigou, Luca Abalo or Cédric Sorhaindo. The 2017 world champion on the age of 19 is now a kind of who “have one thing to say and are listened to”, brags captain Luka Karabatic.

Dika Mem as a youth in The Blues jersey in the course of the 2017 World Cup in France. -AFP

Nevertheless, greater than phrases, it was because of his quantity of play and weird left hand that the Ile-de-France participant gained. Naturally and inevitably, as in all places he went because the handball received caught in his palms. The story is beginning to grow to be recognized. On the age of 13, Dika Mem, extra keen about soccer and basketball, had by no means set foot on a handball courtroom earlier than being dragged there by a pal picked on a Val-d’Oise discovery day. “We could not discover left-handed folks, so we requested younger folks in the event that they knew anybody who is likely to be ,” recollects Fabrice Le Roy.

Thus, the previous Sannois-Saint-Gratien coach who was concerned in these detections noticed the arrival in coaching behind an already tall, burly child with apparent expertise in his palms, along with representing the massive benefit of being left-handed. “It is arduous to explain it, however you may instantly see his ease within the race, his leap. After which he had technical know-how, for instance in pouring, when he didn’t know the hand – says his first coach. He had the innate traits of a coach. »


That is adopted by an categorical and intensely uncommon ascent to the very best French degree. Inside three years, Dika Mem joined hope heart Eaubonne, French youth groups, Saint-Gratien’s first workforce within the Nationwide 1 after which Tremblay-en-France within the first division. – I had two left-handers, together with the consultant of Slovenia. He put them on the sidelines in a few video games,” notes David Christmann, then coach. Much more than the boy’s offensive qualities, it was his protection that satisfied the technician. “He was mon-tru-ich,” she insists. An actual gem. »

And all this, though in keeping with the assurances of the individual involved, the hand didn’t hook him greater than at first. “I by no means felt it at dwelling,” Fabrice Le Roy cuts off. However he’s an clever child, I believe sooner or later he felt that he may break by this sport, that he had one thing extra. Being among the best, first at departmental degree, then regional, and many others., successfully served as a driving drive for younger Dika.

A really mature teenager for his age, he found at an early age a way of duty and the trouble that have to be made to attain his targets. Requested by all the largest French golf equipment after the explosion at Saint-Gratien, he selected Tremblay due to the arrogance of the sport, but in addition due to the geographical proximity that allowed him to proceed to take care of his grandmother and youthful brother.

World reference or not?

“He is an amazing man, teaching gold within the bar,” assures the previous Ile-de-France membership coach, now sporting director of Cesson. He was stronger than anybody on the pitch, however most of all he was a child who listened. Many individuals are silly at this age. He was very severe, very skilled, at all times on time, on demand, in trade. He stood out from the remainder along with his conduct. »

David Christmann would have just one criticism that he left after solely a yr for Barcelona. He want to full his coaching at Tremblay and even at a extra unique membership like Montpellier earlier than going overseas. He believes that once you come to a giant membership you study rather a lot, however there isn’t a time for the fundamentals. With us he had some flaws, regular for his age, however I nonetheless discover them after I see him play. “For instance, in his studying of the sport and his ‘good relations’ with an inside or winger. “It would at all times be lacking that little one thing to be a world-class benchmark”, slice Christmann.

Catalan emblem

Fortunately for us, we have (normally) nonetheless received ten years to go earlier than we now have to consider the mark the Mem will go away on the sport’s historical past. In the intervening time, the man (1.94 m, 104 kg) is proud of Barça, the place he arrived barely a serious and of which he’s turning into an emblem. The nice champion of the final two campaigns – victorious – within the Champions League, appointed vice-captain this season, the Frenchman prolonged his keep at this membership till 2027, wherein, as he says, he feels “at dwelling”.

In Catalonia, we honor her exemplary nature, arduous work and fixed progress. “He’s a participant of an unbelievable degree, however for a 25-year-old participant his potential stays large,” his coach Carlos Ortega emphasizes over the telephone. He’s at all times in demand and that is essential for a membership like Barça as a result of when one in every of your stars reveals a lot want and pleasure every single day, others don’t have any selection however to observe her. »

Dika Mem aged 19 in a Champions League match against Barça on November 12, 2016.
Dika Mem aged 19 in the course of the Champions League match towards Barça on November 12, 2016 – SIPA

The previous Copenhagen and Hannover coach, who changed the historic Xavi Pascual in 2021, knew the famend joker. What he noticed upon arriving nonetheless shocked him. Tactical Decryption:

“It is very sophisticated for a defender to defend towards Dika as a result of for those who go as much as him he is higher at one-on-ones and may cross you however for those who keep again to cowl he is in a position to ship out loopy pictures [de loin]. Along with excessive jumps, he arms himself with insane energy in a short time. He’s a really full participant. »

Creator of 5 targets towards Poland earlier than an stomach damage, the Blues’ right-back appeared on Wednesday towards Germany (3 of seven within the forty second minute of the sport). Don’t fret although, assembly the European and world runners-up Sweden at dwelling in Stockholm is the kind to get up the beast. “There is not any doubt about it, he is among the best gamers on the planet, that is clear to me,” begins his pal Yanis Lenne. We are able to depend on Dika Mem to see huge issues on the night of his a hundredth anniversary in a blue jersey. Then it will likely be a matter of main the Blues to an historic seventh world title, however as soon as with him, all in due time.

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