Born in 2000 in Bangkok, in Thailand, Thanawat Suengchitthawon always dreamed about a football career. He moved to France at the age of 6 and was immediately enrolled in a football club: “my mother and my stepfather, whom I consider as my father, signed me up at the AS Neunkirch club in Sarreguemines (France)”. Thanawat played until he was 13 in this club before he joined the “Pôle Espoirs Grand-Est”, which gathers the 16/17 best players of the department. “Pôle Espoirs” refers to training facilities for young French players under the aegis of the French Football Federation. Apart from that, he signed a contract and played for the AS Nancy club. If you need to know only one thing about him, it would be that he plays every football game as if it were the last of his life!
A brief overview of his football career
“I was spotted at the age of 10 by a lot of professional clubs from my region, but it's in Nancy that I signed first, after having done trials and playing games with the club”
Thanks to the 2 years at the Pôle Espoirs, he gained experience and met a lot of people. After he was selected for the French U16 team, he played 5 games with the French U17 team as well. In his continuity, the Franco-Thailander football player signed a 3-year trainee contract with AS Nancy Lorraine in France, at the tender age of 17. “I was the team captain of my generation in all categories during my whole time there”.
It is in 2020, when Thanawat’s contract with Nancy ended, that his football career flourished. Indeed, he became international and moved to the UK!
“I gave up the amateur contract that Nancy offered me to sign my first professional contract with Leicester City F.C. I signed there for 3 years”.
Since the beginning of his contract with Leicester City, all his teammates and staff members have warmly welcomed him.
“It's different from France, people are a bit more open to you here. They try to make you feel comfortable from the start, despite the language barrier”.
In fact, the football player didn’t speak a word of English when he arrived. However, so far, Thanawat’s greatest memory was when he played his first match with the Thai national team. It was a World Cup qualifying match.
“If you don't believe in yourself, who will?”
Since he was a child, when people asked Thanawat what he wanted to do in his life, he always said football player. Even now, if someone asks him what he had liked to do apart from playing this sport, he couldn't answer.
“Because in my head there was and there is still only football”.
Obviously, he had to get at least the bachelor’s degree, which he obtained in order to devote himself and his whole time to what always seemed to be his voice.
I asked Thanawat if he ever doubted himself and he truly and naturally answered:
“I always believed in myself, because if I don't, who will?”.
If Thanawat had to describe himself, it would be as a generous person, such as his parents. As a matter of fact, what motivates the box to box midfielder is to make his parents proud.
“They follow me everywhere and are present at most of my football games, even if they have to travel hundreds of kilometres. I really can’t let them down, they gave me everything!”.
Thanawat left his family when he was quite young, but he doesn't feel he had to make many sacrifices:
“The one who sacrificed a lot is my father, who gets up every day for the family's needs”.
Don McCullins: Reporter of human suffering
Nov 15, 2021
Lacey Lou, the mystical drag queen from Birmingham
Nov 15, 2021
Lauren Bruls, when passion turns into vocation
Nov 07, 2021