Eric Djemba-Djemba

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Eric Djemba-Djemba
Eric Djemba-Djemba (2008).jpg
Djemba-Djemba playing for OB in 2008
Personal information
Full name Eric Daniel Djemba-Djemba[1]
Date of birth (1981-05-04) 4 May 1981 (age 40)[1]
Place of birth Douala, Cameroon
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Position(s) Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001–2003 Nantes 42 (1)
2003–2005 Manchester United 20 (0)
2005–2007 Aston Villa 11 (0)
2007Burnley (loan) 15 (0)
2007–2008 Qatar SC 26 (3)
2008–2012 OB 102 (3)
2012–2013 Hapoel Tel Aviv 28 (0)
2013 Partizan 16 (0)
2014 St Mirren 2 (0)
2014–2015 Chennaiyin 9 (0)
2015 Persebaya 0 (0)
2016 Châteaubriant 0 (0)
Total 271 (7)
National team
2002–2011 Cameroon 34 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Eric Daniel Djemba-Djemba (born 4 May 1981) is a Cameroonian former professional footballer who played as a midfielder. He previously played club football in France, England, Qatar, Denmark, Israel, Serbia, Scotland, India and Indonesia. In international competition, he represented Cameroon, having appeared for his country 34 times, including at the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

Club career[edit]


Djemba-Djemba rose to prominence with Nantes in France, where he forged a successful partnership with Mathieu Berson.[2] His impressive performances as a feisty and uncompromising tackler for the French club earned him a dream move to Manchester United for £3.5 million in the summer of 2003, signed by Alex Ferguson as a possible eventual successor to the 31-year-old Roy Keane.[3]

Manchester United[edit]

Arriving in England, Djemba-Djemba was unknown to many fans and pundits alike. He established his aggressive style on his debut against Arsenal in the FA Community Shield, with a tackle on Arsenal's Sol Campbell which Arsène Wenger called "obscene".[4]

In 18 months at Old Trafford, Djemba-Djemba found it difficult to maintain a period of sustained form, and he was eventually unable to establish himself as a player capable of eventually succeeding the ageing captain Roy Keane in the centre of the United midfield. A highlight during his United career was when he scored a looping volley against Leeds United in the League Cup. With the score at 2–2 and 3 minutes of extra time left, Quinton Fortune swung in a corner which reached Djemba-Djemba, who hit it first time and it looped over Leeds goalkeeper Paul Robinson which secured a 3–2 win and progression to the next round.[5] He scored only once more for United, in a 5–0 UEFA Champions League win over Greek side Panathinaikos.[6]

Aston Villa[edit]

Djemba-Djemba was sold to Aston Villa in the January 2005 transfer window for a fee of £1.5 million.[7] However, the move did little to restore the player's reputation as he found it difficult to move ahead of Gavin McCann and Steven Davis in Villa's midfield. After being played only once, as a late substitute against Arsenal in the first ever game at the Emirates Stadium,[8] by new Villa manager Martin O'Neill on the first day of the 2006–07 season, Djemba-Djemba was loaned out to Championship club Burnley for the remainder of the season in the January transfer window.[9]

Loan to Burnley[edit]

Djemba-Djemba made his first appearance for Burnley on 13 January 2007 against Southampton, playing the full 90 minutes.[10] Early in his time at Turf Moor, he was sent off for the Lancashire side after a second bookable offence at Derby County;[11] however he impressed with his skillful and effective play during his loan spell.

During July 2007, all signs pointed to Djemba-Djemba leaving Villa Park after he was the only member of the first-team squad not to be included in the North American tour and his contract was subsequently terminated by Aston Villa.[12]

Qatar SC[edit]

Following his departure from Aston Villa, Djemba-Djemba joined Qatar SC.[12] He only played one season at the Qatar-based club, but managed to get his football career back on track.

Odense BK[edit]

On 16 July 2008, Djemba-Djemba signed a three-year contract with Danish outfit Odense Boldklub, the contract was later extended with a year.[13] He previously went on a trial with the club[14] and made his Odense debut against former club Aston Villa in the Intertoto Cup.[12] Odense drew the match 1–1, losing 2–1 on aggregate.[15] In his career in Odense, Djemba-Djemba impressed the club's fans, with his good ball skills and great performances.[citation needed] In his first season as an Odense player, he played good football and was by many called the league's best player.[16] In 2009, in the 72nd minute against Esbjerg fb away, Djemba-Djemba became the first player in the Danish league to assist with his sock, as the sole of his right boot had come off, forcing him to finish the game with one boot.[17] Later that year, Djemba-Djemba was among three other players to be nominated for the SAS Liga player of the year.[18]

In the summer of 2010, Djemba-Djemba was linked a move back to England by joining West Brom and Italian side Lecce.[19][20] After traveling to England for transfer talk, the move was broken down and this led accusations against West Brom by the club and Djemba-Djemba, himself.[21][22][23]

At the end of the 2011–12 season, Djemba-Djemba's future at OB was uncertain after his contract expired. Despite expected negotiations,[24][25] Djemba-Djemba instead left the club.[26] The year before, he, along with Peter Utaka, had been told by the club's officials that their contracts would not be renewed.[27] As a result of their contracts not being renewed, the club decided to release players sooner rather than later.[28]

Hapoel Tel Aviv[edit]

On 14 August 2012, Djemba-Djemba signed a two-year contract with Israeli club Hapoel Tel Aviv.[29] Djemba-Djemba played a total of 28 league games with the Tel Aviv-based team.


On 24 July 2013, Djemba-Djemba signed a two-year contract with Serbian side Partizan.[30] He made his debut in a Champions League qualifying match away to Ludogorets Razgrad on 31 July 2013, coming on as a substitute in the 64th minute.[31] However, Djemba-Djemba hardly played for Partizan during the first half of the season. The club's signing of Nikola Drinčić on 20 December meant that Djemba-Djemba became surplus to requirements and his contract was terminated on 23 December 2013.[32]

Upon joining St Mirren, Djemba-Djemba once went on three month unpaid at the club.[33]

St Mirren[edit]

On 5 February 2014, Djemba-Djemba signed a short-term deal with Scottish Premiership club St Mirren.[34] He said he hoped his move to St Mirren can help him gain a place in the Cameroon squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.[35] Upon joining the club, Manager Danny Lennon described Djemba-Djemba as the club's biggest signing.[36]

Djemba-Djemba made his debut for the club, in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup, as St Mirren lost 2–1 against Dundee United. After making just three appearances in all competitions, he was released by the club at the end of the season and also failed to secure a place on the Cameroon squad for the world cup.[37]

Chennaiyin FC[edit]

In October 2014, Djemba-Djemba signed a short-term deal with Indian Super League club Chennaiyin FC.[38]

Later career[edit]

In February 2015, Djemba-Djemba signed for Indonesian Super League club then legally known as Persebaya Surabaya.[39][40] Before he could make a debut, the league was cancelled following FIFA's sanction on Indonesia for governmental intervention.

In 2016 Djemba-Djemba joined French fifth-tier club Châteaubriant.[41]

International career[edit]

Djemba-Djemba was a member of the Cameroon team that won the 2002 African Nations Cup and finished as runners-up to France at the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup. While in the Confederations Cup, Djemba-Djemba revealed that he was the last person to have a conversation with Marc-Vivien Foé before Foé collapsed on the pitch and later died in the hospital.[42] He also appeared at the 2002 World Cup. However, Djemba-Djemba was not included for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, due to managerial differences.[43] Despite his attempt to make the Cameroon squad for the 2014 World Cup, Djemba-Djemba was not included in the 28-man provisional World Cup squad and thus missing out on the World Cup under the management of Volker Finke.[44]

Personal life[edit]

Djemba-Djemba was born in Douala, Cameroon.[1] He was declared bankrupt following his move from Manchester United to Aston Villa in 2007.[45]

Djemba-Djemba was married and fathered four children before being divorced.[46] Djemba-Djemba is a Christian.[47]



Manchester United




  1. ^ a b c "Eric Djemba-Djemba". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Berson going nowhere". Sky Sports. 31 January 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  3. ^ Buckingham, Mark. "United sign Djemba-Djemba". Sky Sports. BSkyB. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  4. ^ Davies, Christopher (16 August 2003). "It's business as usual as for Wenger and Arsenal". Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  5. ^ "Leeds 2–3 Man Utd". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 28 October 2003. Retrieved 16 September 2009.
  6. ^ "Man Utd wreak Greek havoc". British Broadcasting Corporation. 16 September 2003. Retrieved 3 November 2009.
  7. ^ "Djemba-Djemba wraps up Villa move". BBC. 31 January 2005. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2013.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  8. ^ Austin, Simon (20 August 2006). "Arsenal 1–1 Aston Villa". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  9. ^ "Burnley seal Djemba-Djemba loan". BBC. 12 January 2007. Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2013.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  10. ^ "Southampton 0–0 Burnley". BBC. 13 January 2007. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  11. ^ "Managers sent to the stands as Howard keeps Derby soaring". The Guardian. 31 January 2007. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  12. ^ a b c "Where are they now? Eric Djemba-Djemba". Birmingham Mail. 6 November 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  13. ^ "Ex-Red Devil joins Odense". Sky Sports. 20 July 2008. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  14. ^ "Tidligere Man United-spiller til prøvetræning i OB" (in Danish). 15 July 2008. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  15. ^ Malam, Colin (20 July 2008). "InterToto Cup: Martin O'Neill pleads with Gareth Barry as Aston Villa reach Uefa Cup". The Telegraph. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  16. ^ Jackson, Jamie (16 November 2013). "Eric Djemba-Djemba: 'I was happy at Manchester United – I've no regrets". The Observer. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  17. ^ "OB sejrede på nyt stadion". Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  18. ^ "[Three foreigners can be player of the year]" (in Danish). 5 October 2009. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  19. ^ "Italienere lurer på Djemba-Djemba" (in Danish). Bold.dsk. 12 July 2010. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  20. ^ "Djemba-Djemba in Baggies link". Sky Sorts. 26 July 2010. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  21. ^ "Baggies end Djemba interest". Sky Sports. 28 July 2010. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  22. ^ "Odense refute Baggies claims". Sky Sports. 29 July 2010. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  23. ^ "Djemba-Djemba blasts Baggies". Sky Sports. 1 August 2010. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  24. ^ "Djemba-Djemba: Måske forlænger jeg med OB" (in Danish). 23 August 2011. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  25. ^ "Djemba-Djemba vil forlænge med OB" (in Danish). 15 May 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  26. ^ "Mendy og Djemba-Djemba forlader OB" (in Danish). 24 May 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  27. ^ "Avis: Djemba-Djemba og Utaka forlader OB" (in Danish). 25 November 2011. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  28. ^ "OB: Overvejer salg af Utaka og Djemba" (in Danish). 25 November 2011.
  29. ^ "Djemba-Djemba signed for Hapoel: I found a warm home" (in Hebrew). ONE. 14 August 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  30. ^ "Đemba Đemba potpisao za Šampione" (in Serbian). 24 July 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  31. ^
  32. ^ "Partizan raskinuo ugovor sa Đemba Đembom" [Partizan terminated the contract with Djemba Djemba]. Kompanija Novosti. 23 December 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  33. ^ "St Mirren midfielder Eric Djemba-Djemba keen to extend his stay in Scottish football". Daily Record. 9 March 2014. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  34. ^ "Saints sign Djemba-Djemba". 5 February 2014. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
  35. ^ "Eric Djemba-Djemba hopes St Miren move can force a World cup place". STV Sport. 6 February 2014. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  36. ^ "Eric Djemba Djemba is St Mirren's biggest signing ever according to manager Danny Lennon". Daily Express. 6 February 2014. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  37. ^ "St Mirren: Eric Djemba-Djemba among Buddies departures". 20 May 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  38. ^ Prasad, Vishnu (20 October 2014). "Former United Star Joins Chennaiyin in Late Movement". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  39. ^ Farabi Firdausy (3 February 2015). "Ini Nilai Kontrak Eric Djemba-Djemba Di Persebaya Surabaya". Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  40. ^ "Eric Djemba-Djemba Akhirnya Gabung Latihan Persebaya". 4 February 2015. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  41. ^ Eric Djemba-Djemba signs for fifth division Swiss club‚, 6 November 2016
  42. ^ "St Mirren's Eric Djemba-Djemba on Marc-Vivien Foe". The Scotsman. 9 February 2014. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  43. ^ "Djemba-Djemba kommer ikke til VM" (in Danish). 11 May 2010. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  44. ^ "World Cup 2014: Cameroon coach picks familiar line-up". BBC Sport. 12 May 2014. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  45. ^ Ollerenshaw, Tracy (4 November 2014). "Premier League footballers: four who went bankrupt". BBC Newsbeat. Retrieved 19 September 2020.
  46. ^ "Eric Djemba-Djemba was on £75k-a-month at Man United.. but every penny was going on loan repayments, reveals St Mirren new boy's ex-agent". Daily Record. 6 February 2014. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  47. ^ "St Mirren new boy Eric Djemba-Djemba: I've lost millions.. but now I'm a simple man who takes the train and eats at KFC and enjoys sea bass on occasion". Daily Record. 7 February 2014.

External links[edit]