• Ben Unger / NDR TV

Souleymane Chérif is the African Footballer of the Year 1972. In Guinea he is still worshiped today. His career had started far away from his homeland - in Neubrandenburg. In the early 1960s, he had come to the socialist GDR as a student, as part of socialist development aid. He had left his native city of Kindia - and at times felt very alone. Although there were 29 other students from the socialist brother countries of Angola, Mozambique or Guinea. In his free time he did sports in the boarding school's sports hall, played basketball and also impressed a few SCN soccer players who thought: ‘if you can do such smooth movements, you can certainly kick’. After one year, he joined SC Neubrandenburg in the top division. But he was never allowed to play there himself, because the East German Football Association had issued a ban on foreigners in the Oberliga. His time in Neubrandenburg has left deep traces, with his teammates from back then, and also with Chérif himself.


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