It is rare to come across a footballer who has a claim to a future international career with four different countries but Standard Liege’s in-form striker Mohammed Tchite is one.
The 20-year-old was born and brought up in Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi, but his parents come from neighbouring Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo so he is also entitled to play for them. Then there is also the chance he could appear for Belgium, if and when he qualifies for selection.
Tchite has made an early impact there this season.He has secured a regular first-team place with Standard after scoring three goals in their first seven League games, and he has also been a key driver in the club’s progress to the UEFA Cup group stage.
Tchite made his first-team debut for Burundi side Prince Louis at 16 and won the League title with them. However, next year the League was suspended, Tchite had an abortive trial at Charleroi in Belgium and finally ended up with Rwandans Mukura Victory.
Seven games into his spell there he was spotted by a scout and shipped back to Belgium and Standard. At first Tchite battled with injury but eventually got a chance to impress, playing in the final two matches last season.
Evidence of Standard’s belief in Tchite is that he has taken over the No 25 jersey worn by Belgium striker Emile Mpenza in recent seasons. If he can build a career anything like that of Mpenza, now at Hamburg, he will be doing well.
But it still leaves the international choice in the balance. “Burundi, Rwanda, Congo or Belgium,” he says. “Give me a little more time to make up my mind.”
Club Standard Liege (Blg)
Born January 31, 1984, in Bujumbura, Burundi
Previous clubs Prince Louis (Brd),
Mukura Victory (Rwa)
This profile originally apppeared in the January 2005 issue of World Soccer