This article, a deep-dive Mario Lemina Biography, provides an insightful overview of his early boyhood years, upbringing, family background, wife (Fanny Neguesha), Children (Neals and Isaïah-King), financial status, personal lifestyle, his parents – Mr. and Mrs. Lemina – and introduces his siblings, Halanne, Noha, Kevin, and Robson Lemina, as well as his grandmother, Elizabeth Lemina.
This narrative also explores Mario’s educational journey, family roots, religious beliefs, ethnicity, astrological signs, and nationality. Additionally, we delve into his financial aspects, including his net worth, personality traits, and a detailed breakdown of his earnings in the Premier League.
The story of Mario Lemina is a deeply moving one. It portrays the challenges he faced following the devastating loss of his father, a pivotal moment that occurred just as Mario and his siblings were making significant strides in their respective careers. This tragedy was particularly hard for Mario, who shared a close bond with his father, and the abrupt loss had a profound impact on his life.
Moreover, the biography uncovers a controversial chapter in Lemina’s life – his marriage, which caused a stir in his professional career. The Gabonese footballer’s decision to marry a woman previously linked to another prominent athlete led to widespread criticism. This situation not only questioned his personal life but also cast doubt on his professional capabilities, leaving a lasting impression on many.
Our biography of Mario Lemina begins by shedding light on his early years and the notable moments of his childhood. We then explore the initial successes of his career as a midfielder, leading up to his rise as one of Gabon’s most celebrated football players. Through this engaging biography, SoccerBiography aims to ignite your interest in the life stories of notable individuals, starting with Mario Lemina.
Mario Lemina is recognized as one of the most promising talents in the Italian League. His achievements include winning Serie A in the 2015–2016 and 2016–2017 seasons, as well as the Coppa Italia in those same years. Additionally, he was a part of the squad at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup. In our exploration of biographies of French professional footballers, we found that many fans are still unaware of Mario Lemina’s fascinating story. So, without further ado, let’s delve into his life and uncover the captivating narrative of Mario Lemina.
Mario Lemina’s Early Years:
Mario René Junior Lemina, a well-known defensive midfielder, was born on September 1, 1993, in Gabon. He is the offspring of a French mother and a Gabonese father, growing up in a family of five children. His childhood in Libreville, Gabon, was likely filled with the rich cultural and natural beauty of Central Africa. As one of the middle children, with three brothers, Noha, Kevin, and Robson, and an older sister, Halanne, Mario’s early life was deeply rooted in family and a shared love for sports.
His passion for football probably began in the streets and makeshift fields of his neighbourhood, playing with friends and siblings. Imagining himself as one of the football stars he saw on TV, Mario devoted countless hours to practising, often using improvised footballs. This dedication was supported by his parents, who were instrumental in nurturing their children’s dreams despite financial and resource limitations.
Mario’s journey from a dream-filled childhood in Gabon to the global football stage is a story of determination, skill, and the unwavering support of his family.
Transition to Football:
Football wasn’t a novel concept in the Lemina household. Mario’s father, a basketball enthusiast, passed on his love for sports to his children, notably to his daughter, Hannele. Mario, along with his brothers, particularly Noha, grew fond of football. What started as a casual pastime evolved into a serious aspiration to play professionally. Mario often reminisced about his youth, sharing stories of discussing future football dreams with his cousins and neighbours after playing together.
Regarding the shift from basketball to football within the family, there is no record of Mr. Lemina being disappointed. Instead, it seems he wholeheartedly supported his sons’ football ambitions, helping guide them along their chosen paths.
Mario Lemina’s Family Economic Background:
Despite being born in Gabon, a nation known for its relative prosperity in Sub-Saharan Africa due to oil and mineral wealth, Mario Lemina’s family likely encountered financial hurdles. Living in a region with a fluctuating economy often means facing various socioeconomic challenges.
In such a context, Mario’s father would have had to work exceptionally hard to support a family of five. This could have involved juggling a regular job with additional side ventures to provide for the family and nurture their dreams. Meanwhile, Mario’s mother, of French descent, played a crucial role in maintaining the household.
She might have also contributed financially through her own employment. Observing his parents’ efforts, Mario understood the importance of succeeding in football not only to realize his own ambitions but also to elevate his family’s status.
Mario Lemina’s Family Heritage:
Mario Lemina was born in Libreville, the vibrant capital of Gabon, affirming his Gabonese heritage through his father’s nationality. His mother, a French citizen, adds a European dimension to his background. However, specific details about her birthplace are not provided. Her French citizenship grants Mario the right to French nationality as well. This dual heritage underscores the midfielder’s multicultural identity and broadens his global connections.
Libreville, a city teeming with cultural and historical landmarks such as the L’Eglise St-Michel, Waterfront Boulevard, and the National Museum of Arts and Traditions, is a testament to the diverse background from which Mario hails.
Mario Lemina’s Ethnic Identity:
Mario Lemina’s ethnic identity is a fusion of his parents’ backgrounds. Born in Central Africa and being the son of a Gabonese father, he inherently shares in the Gabonese heritage. His mother’s French roots, on the other hand, add a French dimension to his identity, making him biracial. This blend of African and European lineage contributes to his unique personal and cultural identity.
Mario Lemina’s Educational Journey:
Mario Lemina’s path in football began alongside his education. He attended sports-focused schools in Rueil-Malmaison and Colombes, France. Diverging from the typical educational route in Gabon, at the age of 15, he committed himself to a career in football by joining the youth academy at Lorient.
Mario Lemina’s Early Football Career:
Lemina’s journey in football started at the tender age of five with ES Nanterre in 2000. After developing his skills in Rueil-Malmaison and Colombes, he made a significant step by joining Lorient Youth Academy at 15. His professional debut came on January 18, 2013, with FC Lorient, sharing his start with contemporaries like Ryan Mason and Joel Campbell. He later moved to Marseille for the 2013/14 season, overcoming challenges to rise through the ranks and secure his position.
Mario Lemina’s Path to Prominence:
Lemina’s career saw a significant turn when Marseille signed him for €4 million. He joined alongside notable players like Florian Thauvin and Benjamin Mendy but faced initial struggles. Seeking further growth, he went on loan to Juventus, playing with Alex Sandro and Leonardo Spinazzola and stepping into the shoes of the departing Andrea Pirlo.
His time at Juventus was marked by success, winning Serie A titles in 2015–16 and 2016–17, the Coppa Italia, and reaching the UEFA Champions League finals in 2016–17. After 29 appearances and three goals, Lemina moved to Southampton, coinciding with Virgil van Dijk’s departure to Liverpool. During this time, he also received a call-up to represent France, having already achieved success at the youth level with the FIFA U-20 World Cup win.
Mario Lemina’s Continuing Rise:
In the 2019/20 season, Lemina joined Galatasaray on loan, alongside Steven Nzonzi. However, after a year, he transferred to Fulham, marking his breakthrough in the Premier League alongside Ademola Lookman and Ruben Loftus-Cheek. His first goal for Fulham was a historic moment, leading to a significant victory.
In May 2021, Lemina returned to Southampton, joining players like Kyle Walker-Peters and Theo Walcott. By September, he moved to OGC Nice, contributing to their runner-up finish in the Coupe de France in 2021–22. His career continued with a return to the English Premier League with Wolverhampton in the 2022/23 season, joining new signings like Matheus Nunes and Gonçalo Guedes.
Mario Lemina is now celebrated as the “Black Panther” in Europe. He chose to represent his native Gabon in international competitions, marking a remarkable journey from his humble beginnings to a celebrated football career.
Mario Lemina’s Wife, Fanny Neguesha:
Fanny Neguesha, born on June 10, 1990, in Belgium, comes from a diverse background with an Italian father and a mother of Congolese, Rwandan, and Egyptian descent. She is multilingual and fluent in French, Italian, and English. Fanny, who resides in Paris, a city famed for its fashion scene, has established herself as a model, dancer, and actress.
In 2015, Fanny appeared on the Italian reality TV show “L’Isola dei famosi” (The Island of the Famous) in its tenth season. She also worked for the Trace Sport Stars channel and ventured into music in France in 2016. Her debut song, “Evasion,” was created in collaboration with rapper Mac Tyler and was featured in the soundtrack of Franck Gastambide’s film “Pattaya.”
Mario Lemina’s Relationship and Marriage:
Fanny Neguesha was initially known for her relationship with Italian footballer Mario Balotelli, which ended in 2014. The relationship brought her considerable media attention, especially when Balotelli played for OGC Nice. In August 2017, Fanny began a new chapter with Mario Lemina, then with Olympique de Marseille, and later with Southampton FC.
Mario Lemina’s Children:
Lemina is a devoted father to two sons, Neals and Isaïah-King. Despite some public interest in his marriage to Fanny, who was previously linked with Balotelli, Lemina remains focused on his professional and personal life, including supporting his father through health challenges.
Personal Interests and Philanthropy:
Aside from football, Lemina has a keen interest in fashion. Admiring figures like David Beckham and ASAP Rocky for their style and influence. He maintains his fitness rigorously, complementing his athletic lifestyle with a careful diet and regular workouts. For relaxation, he enjoys spending quality time with his family, indulging in activities like park walks and swimming.
Lemina also demonstrates a commitment to social responsibility. He established the Esther Foundation, named after his grandmother, to support underprivileged students. Reflecting his deep concern for both personal achievements and societal welfare.
Lifestyle and Values:
Growing up in modest circumstances, Lemina’s success in football has allowed him to embrace a lifestyle of luxury. This is evident in his car, gadgets, and jewelry showcased on social media. Despite his indulgence in the finer things in life, he maintains a balance by contributing to society. Underscoring his belief in giving back and supporting those in need.
Mario Lemina’s Family Background:
Mario Lemina’s journey to fame in football has been significantly influenced by his family, consisting of his parents and siblings. Each member has played a unique role in shaping his career.
Mario Lemina’s Father:
Mr. Lemina, hailing from Central Africa, was passionate about basketball but never pursued it professionally. Despite economic challenges common in the region, he was steadfast in supporting his family of five children and his wife.
Tragically, recent reports reveal that Mr. Lemina faced serious health issues, leading to his hospitalization. Mario, deeply affected, expressed his longing for his father’s recovery. Sadly, Mr. Lemina passed away in December, leaving a profound impact on the family. Gary O’Neil paid his respects to the footballer during this sad period of his life.
Mario Lemina’s Mother:
A French woman, Mario Lemina’s mother, fell in love and started a family with a Gabonese man. Together, they raised a daughter and four sons. While specific details about her life are scarce, it is known that she devoted herself to her children. Supporting them through their early morning training sessions and tending to their needs, especially related to their football pursuits.
Mario Lemina’s Sister:
Halanne, the only sister in the Lemina family, chose a path different from football, unlike some of her brothers. While there is little public information about her, it’s known that she supports her family. Especially her brothers, Noha and Mario, in their sporting endeavours.
Mario Lemina’s Brothers:
Kevin and Robson Lemina, Mario’s other brothers, remain out of the public eye. And there is limited information regarding their involvement in sports. However, they are known to take pride in their siblings’ success in the sports world.
Another of Mario’s brothers, Noha Lemina, has also carved out a career in football. Born in Libreville, Gabon, he started his football journey with the French club Lorient, making his professional debut in 2012. Noha’s talent caught the attention of scouts, leading to his signing with Olympique de Marseille in 2013. Known for his versatility and technical skills as a midfielder, he has established himself as a dynamic and physically adept player.
Mario Lemina’s Biography – Lesser-Known Facts:
In this final section of Mario Lemina’s biography, we delve into some of the lesser-known aspects of his life and career.
Mario Lemina’s Earnings:
Reports from Capology in 2023 indicate that Lemina’s contract with Wolverhampton Wanderers brings him a substantial annual income. Consider this to provide a clearer picture of his financial status. In Gabon and France, where his family originates, the average monthly income is approximately XOF 150,000 or €1,940. In stark contrast, Lemina’s monthly salary is around €40,000. Meaning it would take an average citizen over two decades to earn what he makes in a month.
Mario Lemina’s Playing Style:
As a player, Mario Lemina has shown qualities akin to those of Manuel Ugarte (when he goes more defensive) and Bruno Guimaraes (when he attacks as a midfielder). His agility, dribbling, and ball control are particularly notable. However, there’s room for improvement in areas like interceptions, aggression, and physical strength. Enhancing these skills could elevate his game significantly, making him a more balanced and formidable player on the field.
Mario Lemina’s Tattoos:
Lemina, a former Juventus player, sports tattoos on several parts of his body, including both hands. While he hasn’t publicly discussed their meanings, it’s common for such tattoos to hold significant personal value. Reflecting important life events or beliefs is a trend often seen among athletes.
Mario Lemina’s Religious Beliefs:
Lemina has not publicly spoken about his religious affiliations. Based on statistical data and the dominant religion in Gabon, it is speculated that he might lean towards Christianity. However, it’s important to note that personal faith is a deeply individual matter.
Home Invasion Incident Involving Lemina’s Family:
On October 10, 2021, a distressing home invasion took place at Lemina’s residence in Alpes-Maritimes. While he was away with the Gabon national team. Three hooded and armed intruders entered his home around 9:30 p.m., confronting his wife and children. They were reportedly restrained and faced aggressive actions.
This incident is part of a worrying trend of burglaries targeting footballers’ homes. Similar to those experienced by PSG players Angel Di Maria and Marquinhos’ father in March of the same year. And the traumatic 2001 home invasion of Lucho Gonzalez of Marseille.
End Note on Mario Lemina’s Journey:
Mario René Junior Lemina is a talented defensive midfielder born on September 1, 1993, (shares the birthdate with Niclas Füllkrug), in Gabon. As the eldest of three siblings, with a French mother and a Gabonese father, Mario’s upbringing in the culturally rich environment of Libreville, Gabon. His passion for football was evident from an early age. As he spent countless hours playing and honing his skills in his neighbourhood, reflecting his commitment and natural talent.
Football wasn’t just a personal passion for Mario; it was a family affair. Although initially a basketball enthusiast, his father wholeheartedly supported Mario and his brother Noah in their pursuit of football. This support was pivotal in steering them toward envisioning and striving for international football careers.
Growing up in a family that faced the typical economic challenges of fluctuating economies. Mario witnessed his father working tirelessly to provide for the family. His mother, too, played a significant role in maintaining the household and supporting the family. This background instilled in Mario a strong determination to succeed in football. Not just to fulfil his dreams but also to uplift his family.
Mario holds dual nationality, being Gabonese through his father and French through his mother. His upbringing was in Libreville, a city steeped in culture and history. It provided a vibrant and enriching backdrop to his early years, contributing to his multifaceted cultural identity.
His journey in football began with a focused sports education in Rueil-Malmaison and Colombes. Culminating in his commitment to the Lorient Youth Academy at the age of 15. His transition from local clubs to professional teams marked his ascent in the sport, showcasing his skill and ambition.
In his personal life, Mario’s relationship with Fanny Neguesha, a model, dancer, and musician, has been a significant aspect. The couple, blessed with two children, Neals and Isaïah-King, navigate their life amidst public attention. Despite any potential controversy, Mario’s focus remains steadfast on his family and football career.
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