After eight years away from Ligue 1 Uber Eats, Bakambu returned from Chinese outfit Beijing Guoan in the winter transfer window, and scored just two minutes into his Marseille debut, coming off the bench to net the second in a 2-0 win at RC Lens .
“I was feeling good when I was warming up“Bakambu told the Ligue 1 Show on beIN SPORTS.”I could not wait to play in Ligue 1 again, it had been such a long time. So to make my comeback in Lens – against a super team – it was really a nice moment for me.
“I’m not going to lie, I did not expect to score quite so quickly! Thanks to God it happened and I’m happy. I flicked the ball behind my leg to Mattéo Guendouziand I made a run in behind, and he played it through perfectly, I could finish without controlling the ball. The goalkeeper does not read it well so I’m lucky, but that’s part of the game.“
Watch: Bakambu opens his account against Lens
A former France youth international, Bakambu cut his teeth at FC Sochaux-Montbéliard, scoring 17 goals in 94 Ligue 1 Uber Eats appearances. Now an experienced international with DR Congo, the elegant attacker went on to forge his impressive career outside of France, playing for Bursaspor in Turkey, Villarreal in Spain as well as most recent club Beijing.
“I’m proud of my journey“Bakambu explained.”If I had to do it all again, I’d do exactly the same thing. Right from the start of my career, I felt I wanted to play abroad, and I’m lucky to have had that opportunity.
“In Turkey, the atmosphere and the fervor is incredible. I’ll tell you a story: we played the Turkish cup final against Galatasaray, we lost 3-2, the fans were fuming. I saw one guy throw his keys on the pitch .I looked at home and thought ‘mate, how are you going to get back into your home tonight? ‘ You throw your keys ?! Seriously, the Turks are so passionate about football!
“In Spain, they have amazing discipline. The football is Tiki Taka, it’s so fast! When I arrived, the coach said to me” over here, it’s one touch, no more ‘. Everything was so fast, I struggled to keep up in the first weeks.
“In China, the culture is totally different. There’s the jet lag for starters, when it’s night there it’s day over here! It’s another world and the mentality there is totally different. To discover the Chinese culture was amazing. I did not have any Chinese friends, so going over there really opened things for me.It was a great experience.“
A versatile attacker who can both lead the line or drift inside from the flank, Bakambu’s three goals in six league games for OM have been scored at a rate of one every 81 minutes he has played. Now 30, Bakambu shows little sign of slowing down.
“I‘ve grown, but I’m still the same Cedric Bakambu in the way I play“he continued.”I’m an attacker who likes space, who likes to run in behind; but with an extra string to my bow: experience. So I’m coming back to Ligue 1 a little bit better equipped than when I started out at Sochaux.
“I know what OM represents in terms of fervor. So to play in a packed Stade Vélodrome, it makes me feel proud. It’s a lot of pressure, but we play football for that.
“My role is to score. But I won’t score in every game, that’s sure. But I’ll do everything I can to help the team to reach it’s objectives. That’s why the president wanted me too. I’m motivated and I really want to see this project through. “