Former Monaco starlet, Terence Makengo: “I play for God’s glory”

Cross The Line spoke with former Monaco starlet, Terence Makengo about passion for football and Jesus Christ.

So Terence your father was a professional footballer before you, was he your inspiration growing up?

Yes he was definitely an inspiration for me. I don’t remember all of the games that he played because I was very young at the time but I always wanted to be like my dad. He is my example on this earth not only about things on the pitch but also off the pitch. In terms of other players, Thierry Henry also is such a great example how to play the game in the right way.

Tell us how you came to know God for yourself?

I grew up in a Christian family so I always had the values of Christianity in my life. I was reading the Bible sometimes but I never really had a real relationship with God. I had an injury on my knee in March 2013, during those 3 months during that period I was wondering about a lot of things and I started to ask questions about, Jesus and the Bible to my father and our pastor. Then I started to develop my relationship with God, I was speaking to him, watching preaches and you know what, God answered me! I decided in July 2013 to give my life to Jesus and get baptised and it has been the best decision ever.

There have been reports that clubs such as Chelsea and Inter Milan have been tracking your progress, is it hard to stay focused on your football?

Yes lot of clubs wanted me, it was kind of difficult to stay focused because even if we’re acting like we are grown men, we are young at 16 or 17-years-old and we can get ahead of ourselves.

However, my family have always been there to keep me focused on what I had to do and to think clearly. I am very grateful to have such a family like that.

Do you see football as a form of worship to God?

Yes, God gifted me so I have to put this gift into action for him. All I do is for him and with him, I play for God’s glory.

What was your personal highlight at AS Monaco?

I think signing my contract at just 16-years-old was amazing. Then playing my first professional game and our victory with the academy in Gambardella cup. It’s similar to the cup that the senior side play in, but just for the Youth U19 side.

Does the hectic schedule make it difficult to get to church regularly?

Sometimes it’s difficult yes, but with all the internet and stuff like that hopefully we can watch services from home on the laptop. With that said, there is nothing better than to be at the church with people around, the atmosphere is better than being alone at home.

Who is the best player that you have played against?

I think I would have to say, Loic Remy or Lucho Gonzalez.

You have played in French national youth teams, what’s it like to score for your country?

It’s a very special feeling scoring a goal but it’s even more special when it’s for the national team. Even during the national anthem it’s a brilliant feeling.

What have you learnt the most through your recent spells at Auxerre and Chateaureux?

I had some hard times at both clubs but I developed my relationship with God and I really learnt what it meant to forgive and to love.

How does God feature in your match day routine?

I don’t have special routine before games but I usually pray before the game at hotel. I will read my Bible and then I’ll pray again just before the game.

Sometimes, during the game I speak to myself and pray to God and then after I will always give thanks to Jesus, even if I win or lose.

Do you have any fellow Christian players around the league that you connect with?

Yes I have. Every Wednesday we have Bible talk with a chaplain for athletes named, Joel Thibault and with the other players. It’s very good to talk about Jesus, learn more about the word of God and be encouraged and be strengthened by Christ.

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