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Jean-Pierre Nsame: The Interview

Cameroon International Jean-Pierre Nsame learnt to walk by chasing a football.

Part of Cameroon’s 2022 World Cup team, he also helped BSC Young Boys to have one of their best spells in history, winning the league five times, lifting the domestic cup three times, and competing in the Champions League since signing for the club in 2017.

Now a forward for Como 1907, having arrived during the January transfer window he talks to Como Magazine about the footballers and other sports personalities that inspire him.

2006 FIFA World Cup

Jean-Pierre has loved football, “a sport that gives joy and brings people together”, since the very beginning. He says that it was by chasing a ball that he learnt to walk. His fondness for football grew more and more until 2006 when 13-year-old Jean-Pierre watched the World Cup final on TV: “The atmosphere of that match was magical. It was then when I realised I wanted to become a professional player, to feel and experience the emotions I had felt during that World Cup.”

32 years after: Young Boys wins the league

Bern, Switzerland, 2018. Young Boys had not won the league for 32 years. Nsame comes in and scores the winning goal in the 89th minute: “One of the best moments of my career so far. The whole city was waiting for that”, he recalls. At that moment, his mind brought him back to the 2006 World Cup: “I was then the main character and grateful to live that moment. My desire to win since then started to grow even more.”

Cristiano Ronaldo

Jean-Pierre says he does not have football idols but rather has a footballer who inspired him: “Cristiano Ronaldo. He is a clear example of the fact that, without work, you cannot achieve anything. Talent is also important, but it is not enough. Without working hard, you are simply a talented player. Following Ronaldo’s career has given me the drive to improve continuously and achieve important goals.”

The Old Trafford tunnel

Jean-Pierre says that playing in the Champions League was “incredible”. That time when Young Boys played at the Old Trafford, memories of him and his brother watching Manchester United games on TV came right to his mind. “When I came out of the tunnel, I imagined my brother on the other side of the screen. I also projected myself on the other side while watching Manchester United. I had never imagined that one day I would have walked through that tunnel, which I have seen a thousand times on TV.

A team player

Jean-Pierre feels akin to Karim Benzema: “I like his mentality on the pitch. Benzema is a complete striker who knows how to score but is also good at playing with and for his teammates.“. I consider myself a team player. I am inclined to help the squad and open up spaces. I am also happy when others open up spaces for me. And I like assisting and scoring.”

Never stop improving

Behind Jean-Pierre’s achievements is an enormous amount of work that means physical and mind preparation, nutrition, and sleep: “I have my staff, a trainer, a dietician, a mental coach. They all help me, along with my family, to maintain the level I have reached. I always try to progress, physically and tactically. As long as I stay in football, I will continue to do so. I still have this drive, this flame, as if I were 20 years old.”

Food and the team

New teammates have welcomed Jean-Pierre brilliantly. Among those with whom he bonded the most is Daniele Baselli: “The more you get to know your teammates off the pitch, the easier it is to play with them.” Nsame organised a first restaurant dinner in Como with some of his new teammates. They went to Locanda dei Giurati before going into the Serie B final rush: “I think that a dinner could unite us even more and face this important moment in the best possible way.”

Dragon Ball Z

Jean-Pierre likes cartoons: “They remind me of my childhood as I always try to stay in touch with the child in me. At home, I have a picture of me playing turned into a drawing of Dragon Ball Z, a series I adore.”

The priceless dream

Jean-Pierre not only finds inspiration in other footballers such as Ronaldo and Benzema but also in other sports personalities like Rafael Nadal, LeBron James: ” What interests me most about them is not what they have achieved, but the path they followed and the difficulties they encountered on that path. They dream big. It is as if they are reaching for the stars to reach for the sky. The dream is priceless, but there is always a huge amount of work behind it .”