Almost half a million people inhabit the fourth largest city in France. Toulouse is beautiful, a jewel crossed through by the Garonne River. Over the bridge of La Croix de Pierre is the Stade de Toulouse, with a 37,000 capacity and, although it is the last thing one would think, seeing its modern look, it was built in 1937, before World War II even broke out. The training complex of Toulouse is there too. Up to six adjoining fields (two of them with natural grass) carefully cared for, where from the first team (the luxury cars parked right next to us quickly indicate that they are training) to the youth levels train.
Despite being a relatively humble club without too much history in France, it shows that TFC care for the youth team. The residence for the players of the lower categories is attached to the training complex. There, has been living for two years, until recently an unknown 19-year-old football player named Jean-Clair Todibo.
Born in French Guiana, at only four years old he left the waters of the Caribbean to go with his family to the outskirts of Paris. There he kicked a ball for the first time. In Les Lilas FC, his training team, they have very good memories of him. In fact, and contrary to the history of the majority of young players who reach the elite, Jean-Clair was at this small club until the age of 16. From there, as a teenager, he took the first big leap of his life, to Toulouse.
Returning to the French Guiana (where, by the way, basketball player Kevin Séraphin is from, who congratulated his compatriot for his recent signing), Jean-Clair has been able to visit a couple of times to see his origins. His grandparents still live there. After coming to Toulouse Todibo moved into the club’s residence. There he has spent the last two years and he is still waiting for an outcome for his near future. The club has an agreement with several schools in the area and the boys are divided up to go and study there.
Jean-Clair has a very good background. Maybe he has not yet been touched by the flavors of fame, but his education and good manners hint that he is a good lad. A good lad to whom the sudden jump to Barça has caught a little unsuspecting, but whose eyes distill a tremendous hope. He only wants to play and to be able to triumph at Barça. It is sure that his grandparents, on the Caribbean coast, are very proud of his path.