Behe: It would be an honour to represent Singapore

The Warriors striker is loving it here in Singapore and he said he would not hesitate if asked to become a naturalised citizen… 

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Marseille has always produced talented footballers. Manchester United’s legend Eric Cantona hailed from that region, as did a certain Zinedine Zidane.

Jonathan Behe too grew up in the city and he followed in the footsteps of his heroes, as he sought to make a name for himself in football.

For a player who once trained with Vincent Kompany and Jerome Boateng at Hamburg, there was no doubt former French Under-17 Jonathan Behe had every chance of earning relative success in Europe.

But Behe’s place of birth, Marseille, has always been volatile and had a high crime rate.

In 2013, things had escalated to the extent that the region was called ‘France’s murder capital’, with a rising number of murders occurring within that area.

While Behe had always accepted the unrest as a normality in his life, he could not accept it being the same for his three children.

“I am from Marseille, the most murderous city in France. I grew up in a ghetto, so to give my children the chance to live is priceless,” he told FourFourTwo.

To escape the chaos, the lanky striker made a decision: to play outside of Europe.

As his former childhood training mates Remy Cabella and Mapou Yanga M-biwa went on to make a name for themselves with top European sides Marseille and Lyon respectively, Behe sought for a way into Asia.

A stint in Thailand with BEC Tero Sasana FC — Thailand star Chanatip Songkrasin was his former teammate there — lasted only a season and Behe had to return to France, as he joined France’s fourth tier club SC Toulon-Le Las.

Behe believes Chanatip can make it in Europe, possibly Spain

However, Warriors coach Jorg Steinebrunner had been following his development and invited the lanky striker to Singapore.

When offered a contract, Behe needed little convincing to join Warriors FC, and it was a decision that he had no regrets making.

“Singapore is the number one country in safety,” Behe told FourFourTwo. “Football-wise, this is a new experience for me but I like the life here and I like the Warriors.

“In France there are a lot of things that are not found or little In Singapore.

“For example, in France there is a lot of racism in the street and you can get carjacked easily unlike in Singapore where you are filled with security. People live in harmony regardless of their color or religion.”

(Continued on P2: How Behe has found the S.League)