Shabani Nonda - the top scorer of Congo DR

The country of Congo DR (or Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly known as Zaire) is not a big football nation and have not produced many great football players over the years. However, there is one player who made himself a big name on the European football scene - Shabani Nonda.

Shabani Nonda is the only DR Congolese player who have been the top scorer in a major European league when he in the season of 2002/2003 become the number one scorer in the French Ligue 1.

Made himself a name in Switzerland

Shabani Nonda was first successful in the South African team Vaal Professionals but when he joined the Swiss team FC Zürich in 1996, he was not a famous player. During his two years in the Swiss league he really made himself a name though, especially for being the top scorer in the Swiss league the season 97/98, when he scored 24 goals.

His success in Zürich made the French team Stade Rennais sign him and in France he continued being a successful and respected goal scorer. After a successful session in Stade Rennais Monaco signed him for €20 million in 2000 to replace none the less than David Trezeguet.

The number one top scorer in Ligue 1

Already established in the French league Shabani Nonda had no problem settling in in Monaco’s team. The expectations were high and during his first two seasons in Monaco he continued producing goals, 12 goals in 2000/2001 season and 14 goals in the 2001/2002.

The season he really exploded though was the season 2002/2003. In 35 games he scored an impressive 26 goals, 3 goals more than the Bordeaux Portuguese player Pauleta. Despite his success in AS Monaco this season it did not help them win the title as Lyon won the league one single point before Shabani Nonda's Monaco.

The years after Monaco

After his successful season in 2002/2003 Shabani Nonda suffered from a knee injury and never really become the great top scorer he was again. After two more seasons in Monaco with few played games he signed for the Italian club Roma in 2005. His time in Roma was not a big success (he spent one season in Blackburn on loan) and finally in 2007 he signed for the Turkish club Galatasaray.

His time in Galatasaray was not too bad, scoring 23 goals in 61 matches, but did not make the same impression as his early year in Switzerland and France. Galatasaray became his last club, in 2010 he finally resigned as a professional football player.