It feels Tommy N’Kono “a privileged one within the great perica family”, for the affection that all Espanyol fans have shown him for decades. The current technical assistant of the parakeet and legendary goalkeeper first team opened up at ‘Llobregat Blanc i Blau’ (Ràdio Despí), where he explained from its origins, no idols in the goal because football only came to Cameroon on the radio, to faith in the outcome of this season: “We are all confident. The objective is promotion and from there we must not deviate ”.
N'Kono recalls that, after the World Cup in Spain-82, the first offer he received was from Racing de Santander, where he was about to land. “We did not reach an agreement for a clause of international matches that he should play with the national team.” Once back to your country, he received three other proposals: “Espanyol, Fluminense and Flamengo. I told my wife that we would go the first one who came. And, luckily, Espanyol arrived “he exclaims, “thanks to Ramón París and President Baró.”
But N'Kono's career could take an unexpected turn before he could even imagine he would end up being a parakeet myth. “When I was still in Africa, I got an offer from Barça“Admits the Cameroonian, who specifies that it was a place for the military in the subsidiary, and points out:” Nobody remembers that in Spain only two foreigners played and it was very difficult to sacrifice a place for a goalkeeper ”.
In a jump of two decades, recall how discovered Carlos Kameni and took him to do a test with Espanyol, “But since he did not have the community passport he could not play, and a couple of years later, when he obtained it, he already signed.”
His compatriot has, however, been one of the many goalkeepers that N'Kono has had under his discipline at the perico club. “The one who has given me the most work is Cristian Álvarez“, He affirms without hesitation:”Had to start from scratch to be a First Division goalkeeper. Today he continues to play at a very high level. That he had no tactical concepts? Neither tactical nor technical “He assumes, although he clarifies that “he had the greatest predispositions”.
Today, N'Kono is delighted with the competitiveness between Diego López and Oier Olazabal. “Every weekend Vicente (Moreno) has trouble choosing,” he says. And abounds: “The relationship between the two is something that I haven't experienced since I've been at Espanyol. It is respectful and helpful in all aspects”.
And from past and present to future, to close his conversation with his colleagues from “Llobregat Blanc i Blau”. Of the canteranos Joan García and Ángel Fortuño N'Kono expresses: “We have two great goalkeepers for many years if the injuries are respected ”, to which he adds something not insignificant:“ His progression is smooth, because with Pau and Germán we had precipitation, we had to use them because there was no other possibility. We have to try to make the progression natural, the time will come ”, concludes the myth.