Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting: Good Things Come to Those Who Wait
A Cameroonians Career Beyond Belief
Every footballer across the globe has their sights set on playing at the highest level. Whether it be the World Cup Final, Champions League Final or winning a league title. Every player dreams of claiming the most prestigious piece of sumptuous silverware.
For some footballers, when it comes to making it to the top it doesn’t matter what age you reach that point or how you reach that point, it’s simply just that you reach it. One footballer that often comes to mind when we think of strange careers, goes by the name of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.
Choupo-Moting (A player who has played for Hamburg, Schalke and Stoke, but also PSG and Bayern) has been transferred for a grand total of €0 in his career. How is this man starting CL games for holders Bayern in 2020? 😭 pic.twitter.com/R47hQ1FID8
— Tongee Lo Celso 🇰🇳 (@FlyingThfc) December 1, 2020
Hamburg to a Handful of Silverware
On the 23rd of March 1989 Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting was born in Hamburg, Germany. Born to a German Mother and Cameroonian Father, the striker currently represents his father’s nationality despite being German born and bred.
In 2004 after playing at youth level for various clubs, Choupo-Moting joined Hamburger SV. Just 15 years old at the time and already peaking over 6ft tall, a lot was expected from the young man-mountain. It’s fair to say that he didn’t impress at all during his spell at Hamburg. Choupo-Moting made 31 appearances for Hamburg II scoring just once along with one assist. This is not ideal for any attacking player.
Luck must have been on the Cameroonian’s side when he was later promoted to the Hamburg first team. The same problem occurred again for Choupo-Moting. He struggled for game time and was helpless in front of goal. Over 4 seasons with Hamburg (2007-2011) he accumulated just 5 goals in 37 league and cup matches.
It wasn’t all rotten luck for the physical forward. The time he spent with his boyhood club did come with a silver lining. Choupo-Moting was lucky enough to develop versatility at Hamburg. His coach at the time, Martin Jol, had developed the forward to make him capable of playing in a left-wing, right-wing and false 9 position. This gave Choupo-Moting the chance to be a more creative, ball playing attacker instead of spending every game firing at the target and repeatedly missing. The strikers versatility became an attribute that massively dictated his success later on in his career.
Choupo-Moting’s Move to Mainz
A season long loan at Nuremberg saw Choupo-Moting prosper. He spent that 2009/10 season racking up 6 goals in 28 appearances. His debut goal was scored against Bayern Munich. As well as this he helped his side narrowly avoid relegation and remain in the German top flight.
At this point in Moting’s career, the Cameroonian was still just 20 years old however beginning to garner attention on the international stage, making it into the Cameroon national team. He made his international debut against Portugal in a friendly, losing 3-1, although he did get to play up top alongside the great Samuel Eto’o.
Some impressive performances earned Choupo-Moting a permanent move to Mainz. 3 seasons, 81 appearances, 22 goals in all competitions. Things looked to be on the up for the dynamic dribbler. After securing a Europa League spot in the 2013/14 campaign with Mainz, Choupo-Moting decided not to sign a new contract with the club after talks with bigger clubs were on the horizon.
— Choupo-Moting (@Mr_choupo) October 18, 2020
Schalke 04. One of the Giants in German football. A trophy cabinet, stashed with silverware. 7 Bundesliga titles, 5 German cups and the list goes on. This was Choupo-Moting’s next destination on his topsy-turvy pathway to glory. The Royal Blues play at the Veltins Arena, a truly gargantuan venue that contains some astonishing features including a giant video cube the size of an average family home. Choupo-Moting was quick to become a fan favourite at Schalke. Quality performances earned him regular game-time in front of 60,000 fans week in week out.
For such a tall attacking player, you’d never expect his dribbling ability to be quite so spectacular. Choupo-Moting had really created a name for himself at Schalke. After 3 seasons with the Royal Blues, the forward’s next transfer was really quite baffling.
Can he do it on a Cold Rainy Night in Stoke?
From the Veltins Arena to the Bet365 Stadium. Over 526 miles apart, the Cameroonian made his move to Stoke. Things certainly didn’t go well for him in England. Despite scoring 5 and assisting 5 in 30 Premier League games, Choupo-Moting quickly became a Championship player. It was the 2017/18 Premier League season which saw Stoke’s 10 year stay in England’s top flight come to an end. For Choupo-Moting, a career that looked to be lifting off had suddenly taken a turn for the worst.
A Place in Paris for Choupo-Moting
Straight off the back of relegation Choupo-Moting began the 18/19 Championship season without making a single appearance for Stoke City. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, the striker was on a plane off to Paris, signing a 2-year deal for French champions Paris Saint Germain.
In his first season for the Parisians, Choupo-Moting made 22 Ligue 1 appearances along with 4 Champions League appearances. To transition from Stoke City in the Championship to PSG in the Championship League so quickly was an incredibly enthralling switch.
On the 14th of September 2019 Choupo-Moting made headlines across the globe. Not for a good reason. A Ligue 1 fixture at the Parc des Princes, between PSG and Strasbourg, saw Choupo-Moting receive the ball at his feet on the opposition goal line and miss an open goal by miraculously kicking the ball away from the gaping goal. Just to rub salt into the wounds, the Cameroonian actually ended up preventing his own teammate, Christopher Nkunku, from scoring a beautifully crafted chip shot.
Luckily for the forward, he ended his time in Paris by scoring the winning goal for PSG in the Champions League quarter finals. A last gasp 93rd minute winner knocked Atalanta out of the tournament. The goal sent PSG to the semifinals, who were then able to make it to the Final where they faced Bayern Munich. Choupo-Moting was brought on as a substitute in the Champions League final, although the Parisians lost a goal to nil.
A Crazy Career for Choupo-Moting
Choupo-Moting assisted PSG to two Ligue 1 titles along with 2 domestic cup victories and the French Super Cup. As his spell in Paris came to an end there were numerous reports of him signing an extension however, the striker didn’t hesitate to sign for current world champions Bayern Munich and he headed back to Germany on a 1-year deal.
Having put pen to paper on the 5th of October 2020, the fiery forward made his debut for the Bavarians just ten days later. Choupo-Moting scored a brilliant brace for Bayern as they starred in the first round of the DFB-Pokal.
Now at the age of 31 Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting will hope he can continue stacking up the silverware. It will be intriguing to see where the man-mountain will end up next in his career but if he continues to improve with age then things can only get better for him.
We hope you enjoyed this article ‘Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting: Good Things Come to Those Who Wait’. Can you think of any other footballers who have had crazy careers? Let us know!
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