‘Prank call me again and I’ll call the police’.
That’s how we presume the conversation went between Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and his agent when the former Stoke forward was informed of PSG’s interest.
The 29-year-old has swapped relegated Stoke for Paris, Neymar and Champions League football. If his agent doesn’t win the Nobel Peace Prize this year he/she never will.
As well as Neymar, Choupo-Moting can now count Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani, Gianluigi Buffon and Dani Alves as his team-mates.
Quite a rise for a player who was sharing a pitch with Saido Berahino, Charlie Adam and Peter Crouch last season.
But, looking through his career, Choupo-Moting has had the pleasure of calling some world-class and, err…, memorable players team-mates.
Vincent Kompany (Hamburg)
Choupo-Moting came through the ranks at Hamburg, making his first-team debut on 11 August 2007.
His first season at Hamburg coincided with Kompany’s last. Hamburg finished 4th under Huub Stevens, also claiming the penultimate Intertoto Cup trophy.
At the end of the season Kompany moved to Man City to embark on a ten-year journey full of success. Note even Uri Geller wouldn’t have predicted that at the time.
Jerome Boateng (Hamburg)
Kompany’s replacement arrived in the shape of Jerome Boateng from Hertha BSC.
Choupo-Moting outlasted Boateng when, after three seasons at Hamburg, the German defender decided to follow Kompany to City.
Was Choupo-Moting actually just an undercover agent for City during his time in Hamburg?
Juan Pablo Sorin (Hamburg)
Sorin joined Hamburg off the back of captaining Lionel Messi and co during Argentina’s 2006 World Cup campaign.
He spent two seasons in Germany, the second of which was shared with Choupo-Moting. If we were Eric, which we’re not, we’d have spent the entire campaign asking Sorin what it was like to play with Juan Roman Riquelme.
After that season Sorin retired into the sun, via a solitary appearance in Brazil for Cruzeiro.
Rafael van der Vaart (Hamburg)
Another who left after Choupo-Moting’s first season at Hamburg. Was it something he said?
Van der Vaart scored 21 goals in his final season in Germany, convincing Real Madrid to make him a Dutch Galactico.
Madrid weren’t particularly impressed, not that Spurs were complaining.
Ilkay Gundogan (Nurnberg)
Gundogan played just two league games for Bochum before he was whisked away to Nurnberg, where he linked up with Choupo-Moting.
Choupo-Moting found himself on loan at Nurnberg having fallen out of favour at Hamburg.
We’d love to say it was a match made in heaven, but Gundogan and Choupo-Moting could only help Nurnberg finish 16th, narrowly avoiding the drop through the Bundesliga relegation play-off.
Ruud van Nistelrooy (Hamburg)
Choupo-Moting returned to Hamburg following his loan stint to find his chances of starring up front heavily decreased.
The reason? Rutgerus Johannes Martinus ‘Ruud’ van Nistelrooy. RVN arrived in the winter of 2010 to embark upon doing what he did best, rustling the onion bag.
In his one and only full season in the Bundesliga Ruud scored a fairly tame seven goals in 25 appearances before moving to Malaga for his last campaign as a professional footballer.
Loris Karius (Mainz)
He came, he saw, he dropped Liveprool out of a Champions League final.
Six years ago Karius was just a young goalkeeper trying to make his way at Mainz, whom Choupo-Moting had joined in 2011.
It was the most prolific spell of Choupo-Moting’s career to date, while Karius became the youngest goalkeeper to play in the Bundesliga when he made his debut on 1 December 2012.
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