“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 in opposition to Poland, the Barça right-back solely returned for the final regular-season match in opposition to Spain earlier than actually discovering his place in opposition to Germany on Wednesday.

Whereas Nikola Karabatic lingers in foot ache, it is time for the 25-year-old left-hander to lastly assume the position he is been destined to play for years, which is the chief of the following era. Like his companions Nedim Remili, 27, and Ludovic Fabregas, 26, Dika Mem has been with the Blues for a very long time. Correctly in a royal dynasty, the Blues of hand regularly took its place, hatched by the wonderful 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 throughout the 2017 World Cup in France. -AFP

Nevertheless, greater than phrases, it was due to his quantity of play and weird left hand that the Ile-de-France participant received. Naturally and inevitably, as all over the place he went for the reason that handball obtained caught in his palms. The story is beginning to turn into recognized. On the age of 13, Dika Mem, extra enthusiastic 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 ,” remembers 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 large benefit of being left-handed. “It is laborious to explain it, however you possibly can instantly see his ease within the race, his soar. 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 specific and very uncommon ascent to the very best French stage. Inside three years, Dika Mem joined hope middle 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 response to the assurances of the particular person involved, the hand didn’t hook him greater than at the beginning. “I by no means felt it at dwelling,” Fabrice Le Roy cuts off. However he’s an clever child, I believe in some unspecified time in the future he felt that he may break by means of this sport, that he had one thing extra. Being top-of-the-line, first at departmental stage, then regional, and so forth., successfully served as a driving pressure for younger Dika.

A really mature teenager for his age, he found at an early age a way of accountability and the hassle that have to be made to realize his objectives. Requested by all the largest French golf equipment after the explosion at Saint-Gratien, he selected Tremblay due to the boldness of the sport, but additionally 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, all the time on time, on demand, in alternate. He stood out from the remaining together with his habits. »

David Christmann would have just one criticism that he left after solely a 12 months for Barcelona. He wish to full his coaching at Tremblay and even at a extra unique membership like Montpellier earlier than going overseas. He believes that if you come to an enormous membership you study quite a bit, however there isn’t any time for the fundamentals. With us he had some flaws, regular for his age, however I nonetheless discover them once I see him play. “For instance, in his studying of the sport and his ‘good relations’ with an inside or winger. “It’ll all the time be lacking that little one thing to be a world-class benchmark”, slice Christmann.

Catalan emblem

Fortunately for us, we have (often) nonetheless obtained ten years to go earlier than we now have to consider the mark the Mem will depart on the sport’s historical past. In the mean time, the man (1.94 m, 104 kg) is proud of Barça, the place he arrived barely a significant and of which he’s changing into an emblem. The good 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, through which, as he says, he feels “at dwelling”.

In Catalonia, we honor her exemplary nature, laborious work and fixed progress. “He’s a participant of an unbelievable stage, however for a 25-year-old participant his potential stays enormous,” his coach Carlos Ortega emphasizes over the telephone. He’s all the time in demand and that is essential for a membership like Barça as a result of when one in all your stars reveals a lot need and pleasure day-after-day, others don’t have any alternative however to comply with her. »

Dika Mem aged 19 in a Champions League match against Barça on November 12, 2016.
Dika Mem aged 19 throughout the Champions League match in opposition to 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 in opposition to Dika as a result of for those who go as much as him he is higher at one-on-ones and might go you however for those who keep again to cowl he is capable of 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 objectives in opposition to Poland earlier than an stomach damage, the Blues’ right-back appeared on Wednesday in opposition to 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 sort to get up the beast. “There is not any doubt about it, he is top-of-the-line 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 one centesimal anniversary in a blue jersey. Then it is going to 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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