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Eduardo Camavinga

Eduardo Camavinga

The boy who saved his family from total disaster

The young midfielder was born in a refugee camp in Angola and faced a life full of adversities including fires and wars. But through it all he never lost his characteristic smile, and managed to fulfill what he promised his parents- to succeed in football and win titles.

Eduardo Camavinga
Eduardo Camavinga
Eduardo Camavinga
Eduardo Camavinga
Eduardo Camavinga
Eduardo Camavinga
Eduardo Camavinga
Eduardo Camavinga
Eduardo Camavinga
Eduardo Camavinga
Eduardo Camavinga
Eduardo Camavinga
Eduardo Camavinga

Eduardo Camavinga, born on Nov. 10, 2002, is an Angolan footballer who plays for Real Madrid. He is one of the most promising youngsters in international football, but before he reached the club of his dreams, he had to go through a rough childhood. He fled a war, survived a fire, and went through financial difficulties.

His parents, Celestino and Sofia, both of Congolese origin, left the country shortly before Camavinga was born. The current Madrid midfielder was born in a refugee camp in Angola. From the first minute of the match that is his life, he was a fighter. He was still in his mother's womb when they had to escape a harsh war at the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In 2003, his family moved to France to try to have a better life. They began their new chapter in Lille, then moved to the suburbs of Fougères. Since Eduardo was very young, he was already good at sports. He started practicing judo, then changed his passion and decided to focus on football.

In 2009, his parents signed him up for his first youth football team. At only seven years of age, little Eduardo began his career in Drapeau-Fougères, the team where his father played. He began to stand out very early. The coach put him on defense and began to perfect his tackles and steals. The boy could hit powerfully and bring the ball over a great distance, so he was a very complete player- something very difficult to see in such young children. Skillful in attack and good in defense, he became a midfielder.

When he was 10 years old, his family's life changed completely. A huge fire burned their house down and they lost all their belongings. Nothing could be recovered from their home: it was a total disaster. Being a family with immigrant parents, they hardly had any savings and could not avail of any aid to rebuild their lives.

The neighbors helped them a lot during the process of looking for a new home. They donated clothes, furniture, and appliances. Celestino told his son something that would be engraved in the child’s head: "Eduardo, now you are the hope of the family, the one who has to lift it up." He carried a huge weight on his back and bore enormous pressure, especially since he was barely 10 years old.

In 2013, Camavinga signed for the Rennes youth system. The dream was gradually being fulfilled and he began to stand out since his arrival. When he was only 16, he climbed to the second team of the French club, where he surprisingly exhibited both personal and athletic maturity. He continued to make waves, and in 2019, he made it to the first team.

On April 6, 2019, he made his first Ligue 1 appearance against Angers. He thus became the youngest player to debut with the club in an official match (16 years, 4 months and 27 days). He was also the youngest player to play in the French championship, surpassing Mbappé's previous record with Monaco. Thus began the legend of Camavinga, one of the most talented young soccer players in the world. He scored his first goal for Rennes against Lyon on Dec. 15, 2019, giving his team victory with just one minute to go in the match.

He played a total of 88 games with the French club, in which he scored a total of two goals and contributed five assists. Camavinga debuted with the French National Team in September 2020, when he was not even of age. He managed to score his first goal in a friendly against Ukraine.

On Aug. 31, 2021, he would achieve his dream. In the last hours of the market, Real Madrid knocked on his door and signed the young midfielder for €31 million. He fulfilled what he promised his father, and would play for one of the biggest clubs in soccer history.

In his first season with Real Madrid, he managed to win four titles: LaLiga, the Champions League, the Spanish Super Cup and the European Super Cup. The Frenchman was key to winning the trophies, while his style of play helped revolutionize the matches. Each time he joined Champions League games, Real Madrid turned up the intensity and came back from the playoffs. In addition, Eduardo also won the UEFA Nations League with his national team. At 19 years old, he can already boast a great track record.

In 54 games with Real Madrid, Camavinga has managed to score two goals and provide two assists. He is learning a lot from Kroos and Modric, two football legends who have little time left before retirement. Camavinga also shares the midfield with his teammate, Tchouaméni, with whom he meshes perfectly.

Nothing could stop Camavinga's dream of being a professional footballer… Not fires, not wars, nor economic problems. He always has a smile on his face, and this attitude has been his key to winning the game of life.

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Mariano Tovar.
Art direction:
Francisco Expósito.
Darío González.
Rodrigo Ludgero.
Texts writing:
David Adán.