After having had the promising Leandro Trossard and Charles De Ketelaere under his management, Philippe Clément will have the mission of raising another great hope of Belgian football in Monaco. We therefore present to you a little more, Eliot Matazo, 19 years old.
Can we already speak of a Philippe Clément effect in Monaco? This week, the Principality club announced that the young Belgian Eliot Matazo extended his contract until 2026. It would obviously be a little easy to link the arrival of the former Bruges technician to this contract extension, even if the young man from Brussels was the starter alongside one of the other Monegasque nuggets, Aurélien Tchouaméni, for the premiere of Clément in his new costume as ASM conductor.
Can we already speak of a Philippe Clément effect in Monaco? This week, the Principality club announced that the young Belgian Eliot Matazo extended his contract until 2026. It would obviously be a little easy to link the arrival of the former Bruges technician to this contract extension, even if the young man from Brussels was the starter alongside one of the other Monegasque nuggets, Aurélien Tchouaméni, for the premiere of Clément in his new costume as ASM conductor. Eliot Matazo was born the day after Valentine’s Day 2002 in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert. Both of her parents are Congolese. Football quickly runs through his veins since the toddler joined Anderlecht, yet located at the other end of the capital, when he was only six years old. In Neerpede, he played in all age categories and was the captain almost every time. The 2002 generation is famous in Anderlecht since there is also a certain Killian Sardella and especially Jérémy Doku. “A good friend of Eliot”, confided to RMC Sport Mohamed Ouahbi, one of the coaches of the young prodigy with the Mauve et Blanc. He sums it up with these few words: “Good technically and in impact, high volume of play, able to repeat efforts, comfortable with the ball… He was above.” midfielder will not, however, make his hole in the first team like Doku, now also in Ligue 1 in Rennes after taking his first professional steps in Anderlecht. To be seized, Eliot Matazo refuses to initial a new commitment with the most successful club in Belgium and decides to opt for a bigger name in European football. Despite the interest of Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City and Juventus, the choice of the native of Woluwe-Saint-Lambert falls on the less prestigious Monaco. “Anderlecht wanted to keep me, but the Monaco project convinced me,” the young man told Monaco Tribune. “It’s a historic club which has launched many young people and it’s also a great showcase which is scrutinized by the strongest European clubs. It was never a question of money as we could say in the Belgian press. The project just convinced me and like in Manchester or Bayern, I had less certainty about the playing time, my choice was quick. “His adventure on the edge of the Rock started very badly, however. A hip injury sidelined her for eight months. But the great promise of Belgian football fought to return to its best level (her motto is also not for nothing “No pain, no gain”) and two years later, she could fly away in training preparation with the first team. The new coach Niko Kovac was seduced by the qualities of the young Belgian and therefore made him a place among the greats. That season, he was able to take part in 14 matches, mainly Coupe de France matches against teams of lesser caliber. Matazo has yet to wait before becoming a regular member of the starting XI. The competition is there and with players of the caliber of Tchouaméni and Cesc Fabrègas. We must therefore wait and seize the rare opportunities that we receive and the old product of Neerpede has finally come to its end. “He’s a bit introverted, well brought up and has a lot of respect for the older players and the hierarchy within the team. He likes to learn, works a lot and always wants to improve. In training, he is often among the first to arrive.”, named David Bechkoura, his youth coach in Monaco. Another defining characteristic of Matazo is his mentality. He also thinks about his job as a footballer off the pitch. “There are people who take vacations during the winter break, but Eliot is not like that,” his personal trainer Ronald Kabeya told RMC Sport. “He receives a program from the club and then we see together what more he can do. Eliot invests in his body. For example, I once showed him a device for better recovery and the next day he had it already bought.”In Monaco, Eliot Matazo is compared to two former French internationals. One of them is Claude Makélélé, due to their low centers of gravity and their Congolese roots. But the player he is most often compared to is Rio Mavuba, a former Lille player and above all a very good friend of Eden Hazard, of whom he was a bit of a big brother. Rio has also become Matazo’s new nickname for his teammates. “Some say that our styles are a little similar. The French see something of him in me”, declared the young Belgian in the columns of La DH. Mo Ouahbi lists the strong points of his former protege: “Recovering the ball, throwing yourself forward and giving the last pass, that’s Eliot. A midfielder who makes life difficult for his opponents and then prepares the offensives. He can therefore also be compared to Youri Tielemans, another young product of the Mauve team. “I really like this comparison,” Matazo also told La DH. “I have often seen him play in Monaco. Now, I always follow his career. He is one of my examples.” did not leave an unforgettable memory despite a transfer that cost 25 million euros. Matazo’s patience has in any case paid off. Last summer, he became a more regular starter at Monaco. He has appeared in 11 Ligue 1 games this season out of a possible 18, which is already better than the previous season. However, he hasn’t yet managed to score or provide any assists. Thanks to his good performances, he also caught the eye of Jacky Matthijssen, the U21 coach. “It’s rare that I’m so blown away by a player I’m seeing for the first time. He immediately impressed me with his technique, his commitment, his vista,…” Matthijssen said after the youngster’s debut from Monaco. in his team in September of last year. Eliot Matazo was then started in the next two games. So we can already wonder if a call-up for the Red Devils will be the next step in his career? “It makes sense that people are talking about me now that I play a lot of matches,” admits the Brussels resident to Eleven Sports. “The national team is a dream, but it’s becoming more and more of a goal, although I don’t really work for it every day. So it will come if I continue to perform well with Monaco. I don’t feel any pressure on my shoulders, but I’m naturally happy to be in the limelight. It’s always nice.” So Matazo knows what he has to do with now a compatriot to guide him. But above all a coach who has already read some other great promises at the Red Devils. Will Eliot Matazo follow in the footsteps of Charles De Ketelaere and others? The future will tell.