Iliman Ndiaye has made a triumphant return to Olympique de Marseille this summer after signing with the club. Having spent time in OM’s youth system, the forward looks poised to carve out a name for himself at one of the clubs that witnessed his growth.
Ndiaye started his football journey with the French clubs Rouen Sapins, Rouen, and Marseille. Later, he moved to Senegal, joining Dakar Sacré-Cœur. Following his father’s relocation to England, Ndiaye joined him and became a part of the youth side at Boreham Wood, ultimately signing his first contract there.
After spending four years with Boreham Wood, he took the next step in his career, signing with Sheffield United and spending five years with the Blades. Last year, he decided it was time to head home and joined Marseille.
OM’s No. 29 recently talked with Get French Football, describing the emotions experienced upon returning to Les Phocéens.
“Of course, there have been a lot of emotions over the past few months. Now they have come down a bit and I am more focused. The emotions were high. Obviously, it is a childhood dream to play for Marseille. Of course, I had played for them before, but playing in the stadium, in front of all the fans, was unbelievable. But now, I have had to put those emotions aside and really focus on my football in general in Marseille. I have been really focused, kept a smile on my face. I am more ready than ever.”
Using his high-profile Marseille move, Ndiaye has secured a spot on the Senegal national team for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations. Additionally, the young player has emphasized the connection between Africa and OM.
“Obviously, it means a lot to represent my country, Senegal. It is a dream that is coming true to play in the AFCON. I can’t wait to get started. There is a lot of pride in representing Olympique de Marseille in Africa because Marseille are really big in Africa. So to represent them for me is a very proud moment, and I can’t wait to get started.”
If the reigning AFCON champions want to win back-to-back titles, they must rely on all players, including Ndiaye, to play their part.