Chancel Mbemba has won the Prix Marc-Vivien Foé 2023. He is neither the first winner from Marseille nor the first from Congo. However, he is the first defender to win the award since it was created in 2009.
Chancel Mbemba has been crowned the winner of the Prix Marc-Vivien Foé. The Congolese player was voted winner of the Prix Marc-Vivien Foé 2023 on Tuesday 30 May. The prize is awarded to the best African player in Ligue 1. It is awarded by a jury assembled by RFI and France 24. The Olympique de Marseille player is ahead of last season's winner Seko Fofana from Côte d'Ivoire and Terem Moffi from Nigeria. This is also the first time a defender has won the award. Moreover, Mbemba aka 'demigod' is the second Congolese to win the award after Gaël Kakuta in 2021. And he is only the second Marseille player to win after Ghana's André Ayew in 2015.
Chancel Mbemba was awarded 207 points by a panel of around one hundred judges. However, his lead over second-placed Seko Fofana was just 11 points. Both players are well ahead of Terem Moffi, who scored 125 points. Initially, the list consisted of 11 names. Chancel Mbemba, who arrived as a free agent last summer after the end of his lease at Porto, has had an outstanding season, playing 44 games in all competitions, including 38 as a first-team regular, scoring 7 goals (OM's 2nd top scorer) and 1 assist. In Ligue 1, the Marc-Vivien Foé 2023 award winner played 35 games, starting 31 of them and scoring 5 goals.
Chancel Mbemba est le deuxième joueur congolais à être sacré après Gaël Kakuta en 2021
L’ancien défenseur de Porto est arrivé à Marseille le 15 juillet 2022, libre de tout contrat, pour trois saisons
Ecoutez-le ici ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/3OMSFnvHbp
— RFI (@RFI) May 30, 2023
A goal achieved
As soon as he arrived in France, Chancel Mbemba had the Prix Marc-Vivien Foé in the back of his mind. "Winning this trophy was also one of my objectives. Fofana won it and, before him, it was Gaël Kakuta, a Congolese like me. When I arrived in France, I said to myself that I had to work hard and show my qualities to everyone so that I could be like them and go down in history. It's thanks to them that I won. I have a strong relationship with Gaël Kakuta. We're always together in the national team. He was an example for me to follow when I arrived in France," the 28-year-old told RFI.
"I'd like to say thank you to everyone who voted for me. Being on the list isn't easy, because there are a lot of Africans in Ligue 1, and I never thought I'd win it. But now I've done it, I can say "Thank you". As a Congolese, it's a pleasure. What's more, in my first year in France, I really worked hard, because there's a lot of talent in Ligue 1. But, thank God, I won.
The winners of the Marc Vivien Foé Award
2023: Chancel Mbemba (OM/ DR Congo)
2022 : Seko Fofana (RC Lens/ Ivory Coast)
2021: Gaël Kakuta (RC Lens/ DR Congo)
2020 : Victor Osimhen (LOSC/Nigeria)
2019 : Nicolas Pépé (LOSC/Côte d'Ivoire)
2018 : Karl Toko-Ekambi (Angers SCO/Cameroon)
2017 : Jean Michaël Seri (OGC Nice/Ivory Coast)
2016 : Sofiane Boufal (LOSC/Morocco)
2015 : André Ayew (Olympique de Marseille/Ghana)
2014: Vincent Enyeama (LOSC/Nigeria)
2013: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (AS Saint-Etienne/Gabon)
2012: Younès Belhanda (Montpellier HSC/Morocco)
2011: Gervinho (LOSC/Côte d'Ivoire)
2010: Gervinho (LOSC/Côte d'Ivoire)
2009: Marouane Chamakh (Girondins de Bordeaux/Morocco)