Saturday 27 May 2017, 06:30

Faitout Maouassa, France's multi-tasker

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  • Faitout Maouassa is a left-back for France's U-20 team

  • He helped France win European titles at U-18 level in 2015 and U-19 level in 2016

  • He joined up late with the France squad after contesting the end of the season with Nancy

Some names seem almost predestined for the people who carry them. Take, for example, the five different players called Ronaldo at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017, all in Group B. Each was named after the former Brazil star, and, judging by their performances, each is now eager to live up to the comparison. Then there is France's Christ-Emmanuel Faitout Maouassa – more commonly known as Faitout – whose name is the French word for a stew pot that 'fait tout' (does everything). Much like Faitout himself.

A forward in his younger years, the 18-year-old was converted to a midfielder after joining Nancy in 2013 and currently serves as left-back for France's U-20 team. He can operate practically anywhere on the pitch, and, like many modern players, he also boasts a full array of skills, being able to tackle, pass and score. Those qualities have made him indispensable for his country, and he travelled to Korea Republic after representing France at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015 as well as UEFA EUROs at U-18 and U-19 level. In short, Faitout Maouassa can do it all – and rarely seems to stop.

"I don't know where that nickname comes from. You'd have to ask my parents," he told "I've never been curious enough to ask, but it doesn't bother me – I like it! Let's just say that you get used to it in the end.

The versatile talent joined up late with the rest of his team-mates on Monday, but, true to his name, he had a very good reason. "I had to stay on with Nancy to finish the season," he explained to, having tried his best to save the club from relegation. Maouassa found the net against Saint-Etienne on the last day of the campaign, but ultimately it was not enough. "It all finished badly and it was very tough. Joining up with France has done me some good, especially as I know the squad and feel good being part of it. I'm really happy to be here."

He is not alone. Maouassa arrived at just the right time for coach Ludovic Batelli, who plans to rotate his squad, especially now that France have clinched a last-16 berth with a game to spare in their group. Indeed, the newcomer was brought on as a substitute against Vietnam and could well be in line to feature against New Zealand on Sunday.

Success in blue Batelli is a big fan of the all-purpose defender, and he is not afraid to let his feelings be known. As he told before the tournament had even kicked off: "The 1997 generation has got a lot of talent. I know how fortunate I am to have these players available to me and to have been able to bring the younger guys in gradually, based on their maturity and talent, like Kylian Mbappe and Faitout Maouassa. It's a privilege to coach players with their quality and mindset."

The facts speak for themselves. Maouassa has been integral to some standout successes with France, becoming a European champion at U-18 level in 2015 and repeating the feat with the U-19s the following year. "It's true that I do well with France," he said. "But it's not like I've won anything on my own. Both times I was part of great teams. Those are two wonderful memories, but if I had to say which one made me proudest I'd have to choose the second, because it was a real honour to be in a higher age group."

Modest to a fault, Maouassa is just about willing to concede that he can do a lot on the pitch, and has already done much in his career. But he certainly does not see himself as a bringer of good fortune for his country. "No, no, no. I'm not a lucky charm. I don't believe in that. I'm just another player like all the others." Perhaps, but he has also won every tournament he has entered with France – at least until now. "I haven't won the World Cup!" he shot back, setting himself one more task to do.


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