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The Man, Charles Hurbet Itandje 

By Basil K. Mbuye — After a great show of form in the Lions last two encounters, Libya and Tunisia, The Post takes a look at the hero, Charles-Hubert Itandje. Born in Bobigny (a suburb of Paris) of Cameroonian parents, on November 2, 1982, Itandje began his professional career at French Club RC Lens in 2001, for which he made 170 league appearances and 21 appearances in European games.


He later became Lens’ main goalkeeper from 2003-2007 and played alongside veteran lion, Rigobert Song. After spending six years in Lens, Itandje left for Liverpool FC in England. He made his first team debut for Liverpool in a League Cup match against Reading and in total, made three League Cup appearances and four FA Cup appearances for Liverpool in the 2007–08 season.

Playing as a first choice goalkeeper was not easy since Pepe Reina was in superlative form.
Things became sour for Itandje after the Hillsborough incident where he was spotted by TV cameras laughing and acting the fool at the service to mark the 20th anniversary of the deaths of 96 Liverpool supporters at Hillsborough. In 2009, Itandje moved on loan to Kavala in Greece for the whole of the season making 19 appearances with nine clean sheets for the club.

In 2011, he joined Greek club, Atromitos, on a free transfer. Itandje made 22 first-team appearances for Atromitos in 2012/13, including playing twice against Newcastle United in the play-off round of the Europa League. He later on moved to another Greek side, PAOK, where he signed a 2-year contract and was later loaned to Turkish club, Torku Konyaspor, shortly before the start of the 2013/14 season.

Itandje has represented France at under-21 level. In 2006; he was called up for pre-selection for the French squad after a fine season at RC Lens. He became known for his dance to destabilise opponents during the penalty shoot-out. In October 2010 he was cleared by FIFA to represent Cameroon after expressing his desire to play for the Cameroon national team.

First published in the Post print edition no 01472

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