It’s the story of the young Cameroonian who arrived at Lazio’s Primavera. It’s truly a beautiful story which started as a dream and is now a reality.
Joseph Marie Minala /Cameroon/, born August 24 1996 is now living his dream at Lazio. Minala like most of his compatriots in Africa dreamt of becoming a football player and living a better life. At the age of 15 he decided to leave his home town Yaounde so that he can go to Rome, Italy where there is something waiting for him, as he says, ready to make his dream come true. Little did he know that nobody will be waiting for him when he arrives at Rome. A football agent should’ve been at the aerostation to wait for him and try to help him find a club where he can become a professional football player. Nobody was at the airport and he had no choice but go to the police station.
He had no choice but to be placed in a foster home where he found a good friend – his tutor/educator. He then started playing young football in an amateur club. The president of that club, Maurizio Perconti welcomes him into the ‘family’ and in a short period of time becomes like a second father to Minala.
He is soon spotted by the big teams from Serie A and goes to Napoli where they give him a two month trial period but sadly for him after those two months they don’t leave him in the club. His big dream was to play for Lazio. He lived in Rome for a couple of years and started to get attached to the club. Somehow he gets noticed by Alberto Bollini, former Lazio Primavera coach who is now working shoulder to shoulder with Edorado Reja as his assistant.
Everything happens at the blink of an eye. The Primavera team is in L’Aquila and Bollini calls Minala and wants him to join his team there. He takes the bus and with a lot of confusion and problems he manages to reach his end point. Bollini likes him from day one and shortly after that signs a pre-contract with Lazio’s current director of sports Igli Tare.
Under Bollini’s coaching Lazio Primavera manage to become champions of Italy with Minala in the squad. Now the young Cameroonian’s dream continues with Simone Inzaghi, the new Primavera coach. He is hoping that he will become a successive football player and that in the near future he will wear Lazio’s first team jersey like Keita Balde does now.