Kambwala reveals Old Trafford destiny

Tuesday 04 June 2024 10:00

Willy Kambwala has explained how his first visit to England, in 2018, helped shape his destiny.

The defender headed to Old Trafford on a trip with his youth side Les Ulis in the April of that year, when he watched the Reds lose 1-0 to West Brom and made a vow that he would, one day, play for the club.

After moving from Sochaux in 2020, he made his senior bow in the Premier League game at West Ham United last December, ensuring that professed wish came true.

Kambwala's journey to Old Trafford Video

Kambwala's journey to Old Trafford

Willy Kambwala talks about growing up with a dream and managing to realise it...

"It was the first time in my life to be in England and at Old Trafford as well," he told Inside United, the official club magazine. "It was one of my dreams. Just coming on that day and being able to be in the stadium, watching the game.

"I know the result wasn’t what I expected, but the game was just electric. It was the first time I met the fans here at Old Trafford and they were brilliant that day. It just helped me to keep dreaming and say to myself: ‘Okay, one day: me too. I want to be there.’

"I think I was sat just behind the goal and it was so good, man. I'm going to remember it all my life."

Kambwala was never lacking in confidence and made his prediction to a team-mate, near the famous Trinity statue of George Best, Denis Law and Sir Bobby Charlton.

"I remember everything, you know?" he said. "It was just in front of the three legends’ statues, the front of Old Trafford, I just said like: ‘One day, I will be there.’ Everyone looked at me like: ‘Are you serious?’ But I remember, I’d just signed for Sochaux, but I was still playing for Les Ulis.

"Everyone was like ‘are you serious?’ and I was like ‘yeah, one day I will be there. I will be playing for this team, I will be playing in this stage and I will make everyone proud.’"

Willy Kambwala attended Old Trafford as a youngster, with big dreams.

Hence, when United made a move for the centre-back, he had no hesitation in accepting the chance to switch to England.

"Just after Covid time," the 19-year-old recalled. "Sometimes, you hear some rumours and some things, but I was focused on the moment at Sochaux.

"When my agent came to say to me, after Covid, ‘Manchester is here, what are we doing?’ I just said: ‘Okay, that’s my dream to go. For the moment I stay focused at Sochaux, but we’re going to do everything we can do to go there, because it’s what I want to do.’

"I’m going to say I was excited, but I kept my feet on the floor because you never know what can happen in football. It was my priority to come here."