Hervin Ongenda, the faded glory: from the praises of Ibrahimovic to PSG to Chievo

Recordman of goals in the PSG youth teams, he became an attacking midfielder and failed to break through despite promising debuts in the first team. Flop in B.

It happens so suddenly. One moment you are a PSG player and the next wow, you have become the protagonist of an Instagram page that focuses all on the melodramatic tale and often attracts-likes in an embarrassing way. From the richest team in the world to the old Serie B Cinderella. More than a leap, a challenge to be won for the person concerned, Hervin Ongenda.

Being a young player from PSG, the pivot of the rising Next Generation in Paris, seemed to lead nowhere before the advent of Al-Khelaifi and the Qatari millionaire wave. The revolution in the capital, however, has led the new premises to be often considered their own ahead of their colleagues in Nice, Angers or Nantes. The strength of the name, which in Ongenda’s case seemed well placed.

Too ahead of his peers, in the name of Ronaldo the Phenomenon and sharp from the left like George Weah. French, with Congolese genes, not at all wait-and-see: no desire to wait for the ball as a center-forward on the offside, but rather a forward-playmaker in search of the ball and consequently of the goal, in love with Hervin, magnetized by his desire to achieve every position and in every context at the time of the PSG youth teams.

Unearthed in Spain, Ongenda is one of those guys beyond the wall in his own category. The Under able to attract the bored citizens of the municipalities that Paris-Saint Germain visits week after week to the sound of five or six goals per game. Before the nascent new world power, he scored something like eighteen goals in eight games and scoring two hundred in a single season at the age of twelve.

The number of scoring is such that the leap to the first team is only a matter of time. A useful frenzy when in front of you experienced colleagues do not respond to the name of Ibrahimovic, for example. If you are not Mbappè, you turn out to be a young French prospect unable to overcome the certainties of the jersey.

Ongenda does not escape this rule. Yes, the beginnings are great. At 18 he scored in the French Super Cup, taking over from Pastore to be decisive and snatching Ibrahimovic not only the assist for his goal, but also a very famous statement in the post-match interviews. No name, such is the sudden arrival of the little boy in the first team:

“The boy who scored in the second half isn’t bad at all …”

At that moment, slammed on the front page as a predestined of records, grown up for years in the youth academy, he seems to have the way to be one and many. The tactical change, from relentless goalscorer to pure ten behind the strikers, is due to the evolution in adolescence, which leads him to forget the three-figure goals to become a playmaker. A tough role, in which you tear yourself apart or get torn apart. How to be the quaterback, the lead actor or the frontman. You must always have something more.

He knows how to do it. Yet Hervin fails to overtake any of Blanc’s greats on a permanent basis during the 2013/2014 season. For PSG it is the sign of the need for a loan, namely the one at Bastia. A mess that does not bring luck to Ongenda, immediately stopped at the stake of a growth that seemed relentless.

Without nets, the return to Paris is again from the second line, the beginning of constant loans implemented only to keep it away from the explosion. He gets lost between the Dutch PEC and the Spaniards of Murcia, until he seeks shelter in Romania, on the Botosani side. The engagement aside of Chievo in 2020when Ongenda is 24 years old, it is nothing strange or particular, simply yet another attempt to be noticed again by elite football, from which he was expelled with disarming speed, very similar to that of many peers who came out of the best teams on the continent.

“We had followed Ongenda also in the summer with the idea of ​​finding a player with Vignato’s qualities, with whom to replace him and the boy seemed the right one” Sergio Pellissier, Chievo’s sporting director will highlight on the sidelines of the boy’s presentation. “Then in August we could not find an agreement. Now was the right time to complete the operation. He is a good player with his feet, who knows how to jump the man, has an excellent shot and an exceptional assist. Now it will take time to fit in, hopefully as soon as possible. Ongenda is here to make it big again, getting back into the game for six months with an option for the next two seasons. This is what Chievo need: players who have enthusiasm and a desire to get back into the game. “

A desire that Ongenda translates into challenge, according to the words during the opening of the curtain as a new Chievo player:

“I’m very happy to be here, I want to train day after day and do better and better. I like Italian football, Chievo are very strong, I’m here to learn. They have an important goal, and I was looking for a challenge like this. I like it. I play behind the first striker, but I can occupy all the offensive positions. I play with two touches, I verticalize and I often look for the goal. I play with my head “.

His being a former PSG is only useful for the palmares he has won (seven trophies, three of which are Ligue 1) and the sensationalism of the web pages. When he arrives at Chievo, crammed into the limbo of the Serie B of January 2020 pre-Covid, Ongenda has not succeeded: he has overcome the possibility of being a Frenchman of Europe, limited to being a baby phenomenon of the youth who stopped on the same wall in which hundreds of promising young people stopped. His Veronese period is reduced to the limit, from three appearances until June.

“The boy doesn’t play and we don’t understand why” thunders the agent. “If we are unwanted, let’s get rid of the trouble. He was stopped since the end of November for the break in Romania and he had to fuel up: he found the field against Empoli on January 24 and from that moment on we thought he had seen the field with more and more continuity. Instead he only played eleven minutes with Crotone, then always on the bench or in the stands.At the second half a small physical problem, but nothing special. Stuff to skip a match.

He continues to train to the maximum, he had no problems with either the team or the coach. De Giorgis both a month and ten days ago told me that there were no problems, that he would play because it is played every three days. But this moment never comes: Chievo always plays with the same players. The player will continue to train professionally as he has done so far. I don’t know how many chances of staying there are, so far they have only been talking. If it is not desired, we remove the disturbance. “

The possibility of extending until 2022, present in the loan agreement at Botosani, is quickly extinguished, so much so that Ongenda is brought to Cyprus. In Romania he lived his best period as a professional and now, 27 years old in Limassol, he could be on the right path to record other top numbers after the experience at Botosani, the first with a good dose achieved, albeit light years away from the times. of the PSG youth teams.

The way to greatness has closed and voila, you have become what you never hoped to be. A story of a social page, the possibility of the grown-ups ended up making the small ones dream. Succeeding in part, not in Italy on the Chievo side. Too bad, Ongenda, number 374885592: another name in the cauldron of missed opportunities.