Euro 2016 is over, and with Portugal defeating the hosts 1-0. Even though they lost their chance at glory, France did seem to win a fair piece of talent in Samuel Umtiti, as he was prolific in the defense throughout the knockout stage of the tournament. Many football fans might not even have known his name before he was signed for Barcelona this summer, and now with his glorious performance in the Euros, we are here to see spread some spotlight on the Cameroon born French international.
- Full Name: Samuel Umtiti
- Date Of Birth: 14th November, 1993
- Playing Position: Defense- Center Back/Left Back
- Nationality: France, Cameroon
- Preferred foot: Left
- Current Club : FC Barcelona (Since July 12, 2016)
The Beginnings at Lyon
Umtiti was initially part of Lyon B for a span of 2 years , and made his debut with the senior team in August, 2011. From starting as an unused substitute, to a regular in the playing 11, Umtiti showed signs of real progress at Lyon. He further went on to score 3 goals and had 130 caps for his side. Even though he was one of the youngest members in the squad, he lead the defense at the main line, and was given the captain’s arm band on multiple occasions. Most of his shots on goal came from outside the area, proving his utility in that department. He often fancied himself when his team had a corner. But his major break and announcement to the world was yet to come, with his call for representing his team at the Euros.
Junior International Calls
He represented his nation in both, the 17 and 21 year old divisions. In France’s first ever FIFA U-20 World Cup trophy, he was the lead defender and was one of the stand outs of the tournemanet. He played every minute of the tournmaent, only to miss the final against Uruguay due to a red card he had received in the semi-final against Ghana.
EURO 2016- Announcement To The World
Raphael Varane and Jérémy Mathieu were injured to join the France international side for the Euros. Didier Claude Deschamps then decided to call the 22 year old for his side. He was kept on the bench for most of the tournament, until Adil Rami’s suspension prompted his involvement against Iceland. He had a huge impact in France’s 5-2 victory against Iceland, with all of his passes finding their target, ie all 72 of them. Deschamps showed trust in his youngster and gave him a chance in starting eleven against the world champions.
He was perhaps the best player on the pitch against Germany. He showed immense strength and maturity that one can expect from the likes of some veteran defenders. His block from a thunderous Thomas Muller shot still remains as the highlight of the first half of the semi final.The French Captain, Hugo Lloris said, “He’s so sure of his ability,” “He’s strong in the challenge, very good at playing the ball out from the back which marks him out, and at his age, at this level, he’s achieving something great.”
Even though is performance against the Portuguese was no different, he’ll always be criticized for not stopping Eder from shooting towards the goal, the ball that finally landed up on Lloris’s net. Left dejected, the French international surely did win big time from the tournament. World wide fame, if not the trophy.
Luis Enrique has shown great interest in his 22 year old defender, and looks forward to having him in his rooster. Umtiti has cost £21m as the club looks forward to habing him on board. It’ll still be time for him to find his spot in playing 11, with Gerard Piqué and Javier Mascherano in the center of the defense. Perhaps he could be a back-up left back when his side needs him to be. But without any doubt, he’ll make be looking forward to making an impact on the Catalan giants.