Cameroonian Ballon D'Or Winner's SA Dream in Turmoil

Cameroonian Ballon d'Or 2022 winner Marou Souaibou is having a torrid first season in South Africa. His South African dream is in turmoil, and this is why:

We are in October 2022, and Marou Souaibou has just been voted Cameroon's best player for the 2021/22 football Season. Souibou's brilliant performances have also helped His club, Coton Sports, win the domestic double, the MTN ELITE ONE Championship, and the Cup of Cameroon 2022. 

Cameroonian Ballon D'Or Winner's SA Dream in Turmoil

Cameroonian Ballon D'Or Winner's SA Dream in Turmoil

Everyone is waxing lyrical about the Coton sports forward, and he eventually gets called up to the national team. Marou will be on the plane to Qatar for the 2022 FIFA WORLD CUP. Even though Souaibou didn't make a single appearance in Qatar, the experience of being part of a world cup squad at such a young age can only be a good thing.

Souaibou Makes a "Dream Transfer" to Orlando Pirates. 

In January 2023, South African Premiership club Orlando Pirates announced the acquisition of 22-year-old Souaibou Marou in a 3-year deal for 200 000 euros (approximately 130 million francs). This news was received with enthusiasm by most Cameroonian football fans and was touted as the beginning of big things for Cameroon's Ballon d'Or Winner. Souaibou was living the dream as he entered a crucial career phase. 
Things could only get better for the Garoua native, right? Answer: wrong!

Cameroonian Ballon D'or Winner's SA Dream in Turmoil

Souaibou's South African Nightmare Begins

Fast-forward to May 2023, Shouibou has been a Pirates player for almost 5 months. Getting into a team that had scored just 12 goals all season, it was widely expected that Souaibou Marou would walk straight into the starting 11 of the Bucs and help sort out the problems of a faltering Pirates attack line.

He has the skill set and statute to lead the attack of such a club; he did it at Coton Sports, Cameroon's most successful club in the last decade. But instead, Souaibou will have to wait until the 17th of February before making his debut, making a 10-minute cameo against Maritzburg United.  

Things got worse for the talented forward as he will only make 4 further appearances in four months, non as a starter. With just two games left, Souaibou's total minutes played since joining Orlando Pirates is a paltry 45 minutes.

Why has Souaibou Struggled in South Africa?

It is hard to pinpoint a specific reason for Souaibou's struggles. Still, we can only suggest that it's down to a combination of factors, including the language barrier and manager Jose Riviero's preferred tactics.

The Pirates head coach uses a 4-5-1 and 4-3-2-1 formation with the lone striker upfront, meaning the new recruit has a more significant task competing for the striker position with a host of more experienced and more settled strikers. In conclusion, Marou Saouibou's struggles could be down to adaptation issues, first to the South African Culture, and most importantly to the manager's tactics. 

What Next For Souaibou Marou?

Considering that only two games are left in the current season, and with no assists or goals so far, Souaibou will be happy to see the back of the current season. We hope that a proper pre-season and more than five months of learning the ways of his new place of work, Cameroon's Ballon d'Or winner, will finally show what he is made of, beginning next season and why not beyond?

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