2013 Confederations Cup: Please Give Tahiti's Steevy Chong Hue a Pro Contract

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentJune 25, 2013

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 20:  Steevy Chong Hue of Tahiti in action during the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 Group B match between Spain and Tahiti at the Maracana Stadium on June 20, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

You can talk about Tahiti conceding 24 goals in three FIFA Confederations Cup games, but you cannot deny that 23-year-old Tahitian winger Steevy Chong Hue aced his audition for a full-time professional contract.

Two years ago, financially stricken division three Belgian side FC Bleid signed Chong Hue and Alvin Tehau but they arrived at the most inopportune moment. 

It's understandable why they returned to Tahiti, a safe haven for both players, with the politicking and lack of stability at the Belgian club. 

Earlier this year, Manchester City centre-back Vincent Kompany saved the club and renamed it BX Brussels. 

The website URL for the club is westartfromscratch.com and that is what Chong Hue has had to do with his career.

He went into the Confederations Cup with the mindset of proving how talented he is to the world.

Standing in Chong Hue's way was Efe Ambrose, Celtic's imposing 6'3" Nigerian defender, who's notorious for brain fades. 

"Efe's only got to get out of his bed, walk down and get on the bus," said Celtic manager Neil Lennon to Michael Grant at the Herald Scotland. "He's going to be a few quid out of pocket by the end of the week."

You can just picture Ambrose larking about pregame and as a result, everybody watched him get embarrassed by some guy that 99 percent of the footballing public didn't even know existed prior to Tahiti's 6-1 loss to Nigeria. 

BBC Sport's Tom Rostance remarked during the game: "A new name for us all to follow—Tahiti winger Steevy Chong Hue. What a cracking first half for the AS Dragon man. He had Celtic defender Efe Ambrose on toast at times."

Aside from Spain's 10-0 win, which WhoScored's Ben McAleer accurately predicted, Chong Hue was a persistent source of annoyance—he just wouldn't give up. 

What links Javi Martínez, Santi Cazorla and Raúl Albiol to Tahiti's No. 13?

They all fouled Chong Hue, and in the cases of Martínez and Albiol, they pulled him down not once but twice. 

In the 8-0 loss to Uruguay, Chong Hue completed more dribbles than Abel Hernández, Álvaro Pereira and Gastón Ramírez.

Not only does Chong Hue excel in one-on-one situations (he averaged more dribbles per group stage game than Hulk), the Tahitian is a metronomic passer. 

He made 79 of his 86 passes (91.9 percent) while the Nigerians, Spaniards and Uruguayans pressed like a pack of wolves. 

If Steevy Chong Hue's name was Steevy and his nationality was Brazilian, we'd all be praising Luiz Felipe Scolari for unearthing another gem. 

Did Manchester City factor Georgi Kinkladze's Georgian roots as a reason not to sign him? No.

For not being close-minded, City had one of the best dribblers in the world for several years. 

Diego Maradona didn't care that Mágico González, who once endured a 10-1 loss to Hungary at the 1982 FIFA World Cup, was from El Salvador.

The Argentine admired and respected El Mágico's technical prowess.

Jürgen Klinsmann (Germany; 1990), Dunga (Brazil; 1994), Lilian Thuram (France; 1998), Roberto Carlos (Brazil; 2002), Gianluigi Buffon (Italy; 2006) and Xavi (Spain; 2010) have all won a FIFA World Cup, but what is one accolade they don't have?

The FIFA World Player of the Year, an award Liberian George Weah, who never played in a World Cup, received in 1995.

Don't let your prejudice for Tahiti's lack of footballing pedigree affect your judgement of Chong Hue as a quality footballer. 

His fellow Tahitian, Marama Vahirua, a former French youth international and Tahiti's only full-time professional, is a tricky player, but he isn't Steevy Chong Hue-good. 

Whether it be a club from the Chinese Super League, Ligue 2 or the Championship—someone please give Chong Hue a pro contract.


Follow @allanjiangLIVE

Statistics courtesy of WhoScored.comFox Soccer and Squawka.com


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