There are experiences that impact so much that the mark they leave changes the way of seeing life forever. she happened to Alfred Gomis. the goalkeeper of Rennes and the selection of Senegal -Part, initially as a substitute for Edouard Mendy- He grew up in the Italian Piemonte but visited Dakar at the age of 16 and there, on an excursion to a pavilion where hundreds of slaves were housed precariously before being shipped to America, he became determined not to lose his roots.. A revelation that led him to play with Senegal even though he was a well-regarded goalkeeper in Calcio until the end of have even been cited by the Azzurri in the Under-21 category. Alfred, Alfred as his Italian friends know him, decided to be a Teranga Lion Senegalese and with them he will play the World Cup from today.
A lion that started out as an ugly duckling. As a child he was chubby and that generated hurtful comments. His father, Charles, favored the integration of the Senegalese and African community in the Italian Piemonte with the association Manko. That was the footbridge by which he managed to take her family from Senegal to Italy. “To get ahead for me and my three brothers, he practically gave his life”, says Alfred himself in an emotional letter to his father, now deceased, on his Instagram. Although he does not use the word, he hints that he suffered in some way. bullying. “When I was an ‘ugly duckling’ and everyone made fun of me, you were the only one who always believed in me”.
Child cruelty gave way to the haunting shadow of racism. Gomis, in an interview not long ago in the Corriere dello Sport, exemplified what it is like to be in his skin. “Although I am and I feel Italian, there are always sometimes little things that disturb you. When I enter a disco, I notice that they change the way they look at me, but everything returns to normal when they hear me speak the language perfectly. It is not a question of racism, it is a problem derived from this current political situation that leads people not to consider other cultures and to increase their prejudices”.
They say that racism and xenophobia can be cured by traveling. If we believe this optimistic thought of human nature, it should also be expanded with reading as medicine. Books are not a field in which footballers tend to go too far (Luis Enrique, for example, he was one of the few from La Roja who read his petate for rallies) and even less so that they do so openly. Alfred Gomis is not one of those cases. He likes to read, a lot. Especially the biographies and from time to time he asks his friends for advice. followers in social networks. Recently one sent him the one of the rapper Tupac Shakur.
Gomis is an unusual goalkeeper from his own career. His older brother Lys cleared part of the path for him because he was the first black goalkeeper in the history of Serie A. A milestone that occurred the day before yesterday like the one you say, in 2013. An unequivocal sign of what Alfred was talking about precisely, prejudice. Alfred contributed with his part, when he was called up by the Sub-21 of the Azzurri although he would later resign nationale by Senegal. The funny thing is that his brother Lys is also a Senegalese international… but his other brother, Maurice, plays for Guinea-Bissau because the family also has origins there. Three goalkeeper brothers in two different national teams. alfred qwanted to be a Teranga Lion and as such he went to the last World Cup in Russia and won the 2021 African Cup. Today the tournament will begin, in principle, as Mendy’s squire from the bench against a Netherlands in crisis of goalkeepers. How ironic.
The lion who suffered ‘bullying’ and was able to play with Italy