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Reims is known for its famous Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims, which sits in the heart of the city and was used as the French monarchy’s coronation site.
A young Australian could soon be wearing the crown at Reims, with Mohamed Toure completing a move to Ligue 1.
Toure was born in Guinea to Liberian parents and raised in Adelaide, tthe second eldest of the six children in the Toure family.
His father, Amara, was a talented footballer in his native Guinea, but had a larger thirst for education and knowledge – a teacher by trade.
He taught himself French in only a couple of months and has bachelors and master’s degrees from the University of Adelaide. Education was always first for the Toure children, but the insatiable appetite for football shone through.
The boys’ uncle, Ali, played in the SA NPL and they would follow suit, lining up for the Croydon Kings in their formative years.
Adelaide United would be the next step in the journey, where the brothers’ technical ability saw the likes of Paris St Germain and Bayern Munich wanting regular scouting reports.
Mohamed is capable of playing anywhere across the front three, but favours a wing position. His electrifying speed has tormented defenders since he scored a goal as a 15-year-old two seasons ago.
If a defender gets too close to Mohamed, he has the strength to hold them off and turn them inside out. If the defence gives him room, he will dribble past them or knock the ball behind and sprint around them.
His attacking instincts improve more with training, but he must get develop his endurance and his body.
Mohamed does not have the stamina to last a full professional match, he is used to devastating effect as an impact sub. His lack of endurance drastically needs to improve in France.
With his body growing in height and adding more muscle, injuries are becoming more frequent – missing several weeks last season due to a hamstring tear as well as the last few months of this season due to a shoulder reconstruction.
Mohamed only took part in 18 games for Adelaide United this season where he scored three goals from nine shots for a conversion rate of 33 per cent.
His new club, Reims, finished 12th in Ligue 1 on the back of a strong defence, but a misfiring forward line that looks even weaker for next season, with young top goalscorer Hugo Ekitike in a transfer tug of war with several European heavyweights.
While acclimating to life in France, it looks likely that Toure will spend time with the reserve team in the National 2 – who finished mid-table in group B and have a known pedigree for shaping the future of young players.
Mohamed will not be alone in making the journey to France, with his best friend and Adelaide United teammate Yaya Dukuly also signed.
As for the family dynasty, it looks set to continue. Middle brother Musa debuted for Adelaide United’s NPL side this season, sister Mariam plays in the South Australian women’s league, and the two youngest boys Bilal and Idris are ahead of their elder brother’s development at the same age.
Now the hard work begins for Mohamed. The potential has always been there and he has the attacking flair to suit France – he just needs to get his body right from a physical and endurance point of view to be successful.