Laurent Ciman is coming towards the end of what has undoubtedly been a very interesting career.
Named on the reserve list for Belgium’s World Cup squad in the summer, the 33 year old probably won’t have been too shocked not to be in the full squad.
Having spent the previous six months with Los Angeles FC in MLS, that Roberto Martinez kept him in mind shows the respect Ciman has built up around Belgian football.
Playing for Charleroi, Club Brugge and Standard Liege, when it came time for the defender to leave his country in 2015, it wasn’t for the usual reasons.
The footballer’s daughter is autistic, and having struggled to find the care they wanted in Belgium, Canada became an option. And so, for the best of his family, Ciman moved to Montreal Impact.
Speaking to French newspaper L’Equipe, he’s been asked whether his daughter’s situation prevented him signing for other clubs, and that’s when QPR came up: “Oh yes, sure. I refused French, Italian or English clubs like Queens Park Rangers. Each time, I said no because I had no certainty on the spot about the well-being of my daughter.”
The care and schooling found in Montreal was as good as had been expected, but with little concern for the family’s situation, despite knowing the full story, Impact swapped him for two Los Angeles players, and informed him by telephone the deal had been done.
That left the footballer in tears and he’s since signed for Dijon, where he’s been assured the right support is available.
If there’s ever been a good reason to turn down a club, then QPR fans will probably accept this is one.