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Sometimes fate leaves the traffic signs that do not deceive. Ishak Belfodil's journey between his departure from OL and his return to Lyon on Wednesday in the Champions League with Hoffenheim (21.00) is not a long and quiet river.

The 26-year-old Algerian international striker will be better off returning between the Rhône and Saone, Groupama Stadium, which was still a project when he landed in the City of Lights. Born in Mostaganem, before disembarking in the Paris region and joining the clubs, including the PSG training center for two years, Belfodil had landed at the OL via Clermont. Bruno Genesio keeps alive the memory of his visit to the Rhone Club, seven times champion of France in title at the time of his signature in the fall of 2008. "Ishak is a player in whom we put a lot of confidence," said the Lyon coach. at a press conference on Tuesday. He gave me a little trouble during his training, but he is a caring guy who has a lot of potential. "

This potential, Belfodil was the first conscious, and played tricks on him. He started the first team by Claude Puel at age 17 against Anderlecht in the playoffs of the Champions League, a campaign that will end in the semifinals of the Champions League, he made only 12 short appearances with OL in the next three seasons. Very little for a player victim of the competition of Lisandro Lopez, Bafétimbi Gomis or Alexandre Lacazette. He has opted for Italy to launch his career forever. A first loan of six months to Bologna, then a transfer to 2.5 million euros to Parma, where he exploded in 2012-13 with 8 goals and 5 assists in Serie A. In a stride, Inter Milan acquired 50 % of his rights and Belfodil found himself in the middle of a funny story. He spent only six months with the Nerazzurri, who quickly loaned him to Livorno before reselling his shares in Parma without ever paying 9 million euros to the gialloblu club. This hole in the cash flow caused the bankruptcy of the 1999 UEFA Cup winner, who returned to Serie A just this season after returning to the Italian fourth division.

Other misconduct in September

Prior to this happy ending, Belfodil lived the descent to Parmesan Hell closely in 2014-15. "Until the day before, we do not know if we will play, it is not easy to prepare the matches," he explained. Sunday Team in full turbulence. It is difficult for us players, but we are privileged. It's not just us, all those who get smic and work in a normal club, for them and their families, it's more difficult. Following the example of Jonathan Biabiany or Antonio Cassano, he broke his contract amicably with Parma in May to complete two catastrophic seasons in Serie A (1 goal in 48 matches). Instead of seizing the opportunity to remain in Europe, in Trabzonspor, for example, Belfodil chose exile. Directorate for the United Arab Emirates, where he again relaunched (11 goals and 5 assists in 23 league games). Enough to re-enter the door of the Old Continent, where Standard Liège recruited him in the summer of 2016. Once again, statistics are in the game (17 goals in all competitions in his first season).

But Belfodil, who did not want to register in time in Belgium, always considered the Rouches as a simple step towards a more famous team and assumed this postulate from the beginning. A start for Everton in January 2017 was almost over, before the Toffees came back. The symbol of the interval between the club and the player, whose attitude was regularly pointed out. The same thing at Werder Bremen, where he was loaned last season (4 goals in 26 Bundesliga matches) and where he did not leave an unforgettable memory. And still Julian Nagelsmann appointed Hoffenheim's management to hire Belfodil, a € 5.5m deal. The number 19 TSG makes that confidence for the moment (already 4 conquests), despite bad behavior that deprived him of the first game of the Champions League of the season against Shakhtar Donetsk (2-2). One more … "He evolved very mentally and at the level of maturity and, two weeks ago, we had confirmation that he had become a very good player," Genesio said. And certainly the side roads helped him there.


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