After a four-year absence, Dieumerci Mbokani is making his comeback to the national team of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The former Anderlecht striker arrived in Kinshasa on Friday 28 August and has been called up by Hector Cuper to take part in the first two gamess of the Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
Dieumerci Mbokani is coming out of international retirement. The striker had decided to end his adventure with the Leopards in 2017. It was just after the elimination of DR Congo from the African Cup of Nations in Gabon. "I just wanted to take my time to digest the elimination of the 2017 African Cup. But I never gave up on my selection. Now I feel better and I'm back," said the 36-year-old in an interview with radio Top Congo FM.
The current member of Kuwait SC revealed that he was also convinced by his teammates. In particular Cedric Bakambu, with whom he has been in constant communication. "I had a long discussion with Cedric and I thank him. Personally, I had already made the decision to return to the national team for some time. However, I had postponed this return because of Covid-19.
"I want to go out through the front door''
Now that he is back, Dieumerci Mbokani wants to do things right and he wants to make an honorable start with a participation in the World Cup. "With my age today, I intend to bring my experience to the youngsters in the team. I also think that my name could scare opposing defenses. I want us to win together. That will allow me to go out with a bang. So I came to play in the World Cup. Then I can decide to leave the national team," says the Congolese. In any case, he is already in the annals of Congolese football. With 18 goals in 40 matches, Dieumerci Mbokani is, in fact, the best scorer in the history of the Leopards.
Mbokani - Bakambu duo
While waiting to officially mark his return to the field, Dieumerci Mbokani has already made contact with coach Hector Cuper. "I have already spoken with the new coach. He told me that I am an important player both on the pitch and in the dressing room. We have a good squad with good players," said the former top scorer in the Jupiler League pro. Despite his advanced age, Leopards fans are eager to see his duo with Cedric Bakambu again. What does the player think? "I would love to play with Cedric in attack. Maybe in a 4-4-2 formation," he suggested. We'll see if the Leopards' Argentine coach will follow him against Tanzania (2 September) or Benin (6 September).