Ilombe Mboyo

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Ilombe Mboyo
Ilombe Mboyo.jpg
Mboyo with Genk in 2014
Personal information
Date of birth (1987-04-22) 22 April 1987 (age 30)
Place of birth Kinshasa, DR Congo
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Cercle Brugge (on loan from Sion)
Number 7
Youth career
Club Brugge
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2008–2010 Charleroi 41 (3)
2010 Kortrijk (loan) 0 (0)
2010–2011 Kortrijk 23 (6)
2011–2013 Gent 87 (39)
2013–2015 Genk 49 (13)
2015– Sion 0 (0)
2017– Cercle Brugge (loan) 3 (2)
National team
2012– Belgium 2 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20:16, 12 August 2013 (UTC).

Ilombe Mboyo (born 22 April 1987) is a Belgian professional footballer who plays for Cercle Brugge on loan from Sion, as a striker.[1]

Club career[edit]

Born in Kinshasa, DR Congo, Mboyo played youth football for Anderlecht and Club Brugge, before going to prison when he was 17 for his part in a gang rape of a 14-year-old girl in 2004. Mboyo was a member of one of the most notorious street gangs in Belgium.[2][3][4][5] While in prison, Mboyo was scouted under an initiative started by Queen Paola of Belgium [6] and trained with Charleroi, joining the club after his release, signed by John Collins.[5] He joined Kortrijk on loan in May 2010; the deal was made permanent in September 2010[5] He moved to Gent in January 2011.[7]

He quickly became an important player for Gent and received the captain's armband.[5] Two months later, however, in a game against Waasland-Beveren, Mboyo missed a carelessly taken penalty and provoked his own supporters after being booed. The club forced him to apologize for his behaviour and youngster Hannes van der Bruggen became the new captain.[8]

In August 2013, West Ham United pulled out of signing Mboyo after fans protested due to his conviction.[9]

International career[edit]

In October 2012, Mboyo was called up to the senior Belgium national team. Due to his conviction, the selection was controversial. Assistant manager Vital Borkelmans said that he deserved a second chance, while François De Keersmaecker, President of the Royal Belgian Football Association, said that his presence could set a good example.[3] He made his debut on the 16th in a 2–0 win over Scotland in 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification, replacing Christian Benteke for the final four minutes at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels.[10]


  1. ^ "Profile" (in Dutch). Voetbal International. 
  2. ^ Patrick Nathanson (24 September 2013). "Ilombe Mboyo: Prison, stardom and a terrible past". BBC Sport. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Gavin Berry (12 October 2012). "Belgians defiant over rapist inclusion in their squad against Scotland". Daily Record and Sunday Mail. 
  4. ^ Paul Doyle and James Riach (12 October 2012). "World Cup qualifiers: 10 things to look forward to this weekend". Guardian News Group PLC. 
  5. ^ a b c d John Chapman (10 October 2012). "Ilombe Mboyo's long road to an international call-up". When Saturday Comes. 
  6. ^ "Ilombe Mboyo: Charlton Athletic deny move for convicted rapist". BBC Sport. 13 May 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  7. ^ Ilombe Mboyo at Soccerway
  8. ^ "Ilombe Mboyo excuseert zich bij fans AA Gent en levert aanvoerdersband in" [Mboyo apologizes towards fans of AA Gent and dismisses captain's armband] (in Dutch). Sport/Voetbalmagazine. 10 December 2012. 
  9. ^ Lewis, Darren (5 August 2013). "West Ham abandon transfer interest in striker Ilombe Mboyo as rape conviction sparks fan protests". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  10. ^ Moffat, Colin (16 October 2012). "Belgium 2-0 Scotland". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 

External links[edit]