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Baldé: From having 100 euros in Senegal to making a living off his dream

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Pin Baldé left Senegal when he as just 16 and now features for Real Oviedo. Twitter/RealOviedo
Baldé left Senegal when he as just 16 and now features for Real Oviedo. Twitter/RealOviedo

Baldé: From having 100 euros in Senegal to making a living off his dream

by 0 1,669

The story of Ibrahima Baldé, currently of Real Oviedo, would not be out of place in a movie. At just 16 years of age, the attacker left everything behind as he chased his dream to become a footballer - which has now come true.

The Senegalese forward is enjoying his football again at Oviedo and, after bad experiences at Reims and Cluj, he seems to be back to his best.

Baldé has found the net seven times this season and his side's hopes of promotion to Spain's top division will rest upon his performances as they enter the home straight.

As he looked to chase his dream, Baldé had nothing handed to him. At 16, he still roamed the streets of Dakar in poverty while searching for a way to become a professional footballer.

He always imagined emulating his heroes, including idol Zlatan Ibrahimovic, in Europe, but his opportunity arose from a somewhat unexpected destination: Argentina.

With nothing to lose, Baldé took 100 euros worth of cash and travelled to South America to try his luck in the land of Messi and Maradona. After a start full of obstacles to overcome, such as having to wait a month to see the person who had offered him the opportunity, the youngster began his footballing career at Vélez Sarsfield.

Here he found the going tough, struggling with the language and finding it difficult to get the correct work permits to play in the Argentinian league. His performances in the reserves, however, quickly caught the eye of Atlético Madrid, who offered him a contract shortly after.

The Senegalese failed to make an impact in the Spanish capital, but he had no such trouble in Russia. Between 2012 and 2016 he enjoyed a successful spell at Kuban Krasnodar.

Now, at 30 years of age and far from the cold of Russia, Baldé is shining once more as he eyes a return to La Liga with Real Oviedo.

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