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LIGUE 1 - Anger's Doumbia on signing for Bari and racism in Italy.

Published on: 16 October 2021

Angers midfielder Souleyman Doumbia spoke to Le Parisien on his career thus far as he prepares to face his hometown team at the Parc des Princes tonight.

The 25-year-old Ivory Coast international speaks candidly about his time playing for Bari in Italy, emphasizing the hardships he encountered due to prejudice.

"We couldn’t reach an agreement with PSG. On the one hand it was good, it allowed me to go abroad, to see the “real football”. At PSG, you’re in a cocoon, and by leaving it I discovered the real difficulties of football.

"I was 19, almost 20, when I left, I didn’t speak Italian, I had to adapt quickly. The racism as well – I know it’s well known in Italy, but I wasn’t expecting it. I was coming from Paris, I didn’t know what racism was apart from seeing in on the TV. I had to hold on, fight for a few minutes, whether that was at Bari or in Vicenza where I was then loaned out.

"I mostly felt it [racism] from the supporters, but also in life. I remember, in Vicenza, I was in a restaurant with a friend and they thought I was someone who had come to eat without paying. I had to justify myself by saying I was a football player and that I could afford my meal. Over the long term it’s a pain in the arse."


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