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Young Boys welcome Bienvenu's ascent

Published: Saturday 20 November 2010, 16.14CET
Signed to replace fan favourite Seydou Doumbia, striker Henri Bienvenu is carving out his own niche with BSC Young Boys and fulfilling his dream of developing "as a footballer and as a man".
by Michael Schifferle
from Basel

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Published: Saturday 20 November 2010, 16.14CET

Young Boys welcome Bienvenu's ascent

Signed to replace fan favourite Seydou Doumbia, striker Henri Bienvenu is carving out his own niche with BSC Young Boys and fulfilling his dream of developing "as a footballer and as a man".

Name: Henri Bienvenu
Club: BSC Young Boys
Debut: 07/02/10 v FC Basel 1893 (Swiss Super League)
Position: Striker
Nationality: Cameroon
Date of Birth: 05/07/88

An unknown when signed from Espérance Sportive de Tunis last winter to replace PFC CSKA Moskva-bound Seydou Doumbia, Henri Bienvenu shadowed Young Boys' star striker as a substitute in the spring. While many remarked upon the similarity in their styles, the quick and skilful forward soon made an impact of his own – scoring five goals and setting up ten more before June.

With Doumbia then transferred to Moscow, Bienvenu had to grab the spotlight for himself. He has netted seven times and laid on another six goals in 23 competitive outings this season, though – like Berne-based Young Boys who lie fifth in the Swiss Super League – he has not been quite as impressive as last term when he was readily snapping up half-chances.

However, fans in the the Swiss federal capital remain confident that Bienvenu can fill the boots of Ivory Coast front man Doumbia, who scored 50 goals in 64 league games for Young Boys. His winner against Fenerbahçe SK in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round and subsequent strike against Tottenham Hotspur FC in the play-offs showed that the newly capped Cameroon international has a dangerous edge.

Breakthrough game
BSC Young Boys 2-1 FC St Gallen
05/05/10, Super League
Bienvenu's 93rd-minute clincher in this crucial encounter endeared him to the YB supporters. Needing a victory to maintain their three-point lead over eventual champions Basel, the Bernese seemed to have come up short. The referee had his whistle in his mouth when Bienvenu got the ball on the edge of the box, turned his marker and lined up a powerful shot. It did not exactly go to plan: he slipped on the artificial pitch yet his awkward connection still sent the ball trickling over the line. A scuff perhaps, but a star was born.

He says:
"With this move from Tunisia to Berne, a dream has come true for me. Here I have the chance to win trophies and develop as a footballer and as a man."

"My strengths are my way of going into challenges, and also my mentality and belief that I can snatch a victory from a possible defeat. But I am a relaxed person who hardly gets worked up about anything."

"My idols are Cristiano Ronaldo and Samuel Eto'o."

They say:
"Bienvenu is very skilful, very quick and a cool customer. He is the ideal man to replace Seydou Doumbia."
Alain Baumann, Young Boys sporting director

"Bienvenu has the talent to stop people talking about Doumbia. He has not quite done that yet, but he is on his way. He is very much a team player with quality in front of goal. He has a very good mentality and is a serious worker. I am very pleased with him, but he can still improve."
Vladimir Petković, Young Boys coach

"He has shown great technical ability, he's powerful and he's also proved he can score in Europe. I think he will go a long way. He's only 22. I reckon he will play one or two seasons here and then, unfortunately, I think he will leave us."
Stéphane Chapuisat, former Switzerland striker turned Young Boys scout and coach

"Henri has shown what he is made of. His performances in Europe have been especially impressive. Even early on I noticed the quality of his passing – he has good vision and is not at all selfish. He is hugely important to us and I hope he stays a long time."
Marco Wölfli, Young Boys goalkeeper

Last updated: 04/01/11 1.55CET

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