Jul 13, 1947
|Age||75 years old|
Congolese international from 1971 to 1978 an winner of the African Cup of Nations in 1972, François M'Pelé began his playing days in Brazzaville in his native country in 1966. A prolific marksman, he scored over 60 goals in two seasons. He moved to France in 1968, and signed a five-year deal with Ajaccio in Corsica, during which time, he would score over 70 goals. Ajaccio, in the French First Division at the time, were relegated at the end of the 1972/1973 season, in spite of M'Pelé's 17 goals. He left Corsica to sign for Paris Saint Germain. At that time, Paris Saint Germain were a Second Division outfit, but they were boosted by their new clinical striker, and M'Pelé would lead this team to promotion to the top flight.. In his first season at the club in the First Division, the man - who was among the best attackers of his generation - ended second top scorer in the league. After six seasons with Paris, and 90 goals scored in that time, including a Paris record for the number of goals scored in the French Cup, he moved on to Lens in the First Division, where he would spend two relatively successful years, in spite of a drop in the number of goals scored, as he was playing in a slightly more withdrawn role. In 1981, he signed for Stade Rennais, playing in the Second Division, and who had been trying to gain promotion to the top flight for several seasons. Despite his advance age of 34 years, he had a convincing season, finishing the team's top scorer with 16 goals to his name. Alas, it wasn't enough to help Rennes to achieve promotion, and M'Pelé decided to end his successful stint in France to return to Congo. His final stats show over 300 appearances in the First Division, and over 120 goals scored in the top flight.