Canadian youth international Ballou Tabla is leaving the Montreal Impact for Barcelona, where he’ll have a $31 million release clause which could grow to $93 million.
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Tabla, who turns 19 in March, sealed his desired European transfer, and clubs hardly get bigger than his destination (though he’s joining up with Barcelona B).
Ivorian-born, Tabla played at both left and right wing and midfield last season, scoring two goals with two assists for the Impact and five goals with three assists for Montreal’s USL side.
Montreal may be losing a talent, but what a feather in its cap:
“This first transfer is an important moment in the history and evolution of our club,” Montreal Impact president and owner Joey Saputo said in a statement. “We take a lot of pride in seeing a young player, developed in our academy, climb the ladder all the way to the first team and realize his dream to play in Europe with a big club like Barcelona.”
Sebastian Giovinco scored twice including in stoppage time as Toronto FC overcame Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla’s fantastic strike to win 2-1 in the second leg of the Canadian Championship at BMO Field on Tuesday.
TFC held the advantage after a 1-1 first leg in Montreal. The Reds advance to the CONCACAF Champions League.
Tabla, who just turned 18 in March, is an Ivorian-born Canadian youth international who now has four senior goals for the Impact.
Montreal veteran Patrice Bernier saw red in the 89th minute, putting the Impact’s chances behind the 8-ball.
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Toronto FC entered the match with a road goal advantage, which was undone in the quick flash of a left-foot, as Tabla dug a ball from underneath him and past a flying Clint Irwin to make it 2-1 on aggregate.
The goal was a double whammy for Toronto, which went to the break knowing it would need to score twice (or win in penalty kicks) to advance to the CONCACAF Champions League.
Yet TFC came back after a horrendous pass from Montreal, as Michael Bradley pinged a gorgeous diagonal ball to Sebastian Giovinco. The Atomic Ant recovered from a tough opening touch to bury his chance. 1-1.
And, oh yeah, watch this man work for his second…