Ihlas Bebou, The new light for Togo?


Togolese football had long been in the dark ages of African football and world football at large since time immemorial. However, a seeming change in fortune came in 2005 when
they qualified for the 2006 FIFA World Cup for the first time. This new generation of Togolese heroes, coached by late Stephen Keshi of Nigeria and led by then Arsenal striker, Emmanuel Adebayor seemed ready to make a meaningful impact on African and world stage but theirs was a flicker. A not too impressive world cup debut and a disastrous 2008 AFCON outing spelt a downward spiral for the team and a gun attack on the team’s bus in 2010 meant Togolese football was back in the doldrums. Emmanuel Adebayor’s dirty personal details washed in the public domain as a result of a family feud as well as crises within the ranks of the countries football administration meant the Togolese football image was at its lowest point, Perhaps, a glimmer of hope is shining through all the way from Germany for football in the tiny west African country, Togo

Ihlas Bebou, a 23-year-old Togolese footballer is looking like that light Togolese football needs at this time.

He plies his trade in the highly regarded and competitive German Bundesliga, right from Fortuna Dusseldorf where he began his youth career to Hannover 96 where he currently
plays. Bebou has been very consistent which of course drew the attention of the management of Hannover 96. Although Bebou is a right-footed player and plays mainly as a right winger, he
can also play anywhere upfront – left wing or centre-forward. His versatility makes him a very important player as he offers different options to
the team. His highly impressive performance capped with a well-taken brace against Bundesliga powerhouse, Borussia Dortmund, yesterday, means his stocks are rising and if he
continues on this path, can become the new leader of the Togolese National team as Emmanuel Adebayor is nearing the end of his career. His efforts have Hannover 96 to climb to the 4th position on the Bundesliga table with 18 points. The youngster made his debut for Togo in September 2016, in a routine 5-0 win over Djibouti.

Bebou has 5 caps already for Togo with no goal to his name yet but with his steady rise in the Bundesliga, he can be looked upon by his country to lead the nation to a new path of success

Samson Oloyede Elprincipe for

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