Cedrick Makiadi took his time before affirming his allegiance to the Democratic Republic of Congo, but having missed out on the 2006 African Cup of Nations, the midfielder is now making up for lost time for both club and country.

Makiadi was born in Kinshasa, but he moved to Lübeck at the age of eight and soon fell in love with the game of football.

New home, old ties


Learning the game - and the language - Makiadi was thrown in at the deep end in a new culture, something which he admits was not as glamorous as many may have thought. "When you are new, you go to training, get by with your broken German and then you go home, where you are alone again," he told the Badische Zeitung. "But you do manage to settle in the end and I am a good example of that."

Being alone means plenty of time for reflection, and Makiadi needed that when he was asked by DR Congo to represent them at the 2006 African Cup of Nations. Perhaps awaiting a call from Germany coach Joachim Löw having broken into the Wolfsburg team, he politely declined the offer to represent the country of his birth only to change his mind after the tournament had ended and he made his international debut in 2007.

To the fore


A loan spell at MSV Duisburg ended with his first individual honour as his 16 goals saw him finish joint-top of the Bundesliga 2 goalscoring charts in the 2008/09 season. SC Freiburg soon came calling as they believed he was the right man to help keep them in the Bundesliga, though in a different capacity.

A natural leader on the pitch, Freiburg turned Makiadi's attention to his defensive duties as he adapted his game to fit that of a defensive midfielder. A regular in the SC Freiburg side, Makiadi racked up 29 appearances during 2012/13 scoring three goals, despite tearing a ligament in his knee halfway through the season. However, European football wasn't enough to pursuade the midfielder to remain in the Black Forest. SV Werder Bremen stepped in to acquire Makiadi's services, restoring Bremen back to their former glories and securing DR Congo a place in the 2014 World Cup.