His photo is displayed everywhere on social networks.

With 137 kg for 1.95 m, Gauthier Mvumbi, pivot of the handball team of the Democratic Republic of Congo, does not go unnoticed.

Since last weekend, the player has become the sensation of the World Cup in the discipline currently being held in Egypt.

📸 The photo of this World Cup debut, it's here 🤩

© ️ IHF pic.twitter.com/V2w5sOxKuB

- Kevin Domas (@KevinDomas) January 17, 2021

The Congolese even caught the attention of NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal, to whom he has been compared physically.

"They say you are the Shaq of hand, how are you?" Asked him on his Instagram account the former Lakers pivot (2.16 m for 147 kg), who is famous for having broken several basketball hoops with its weight and power.

Following this message, this former education assistant in a high school, who plays in Dreux, in Nationale 2, the 4th French division, did not fail to make the buzz.

A highlight that he did not expect.

"I was not ready, really," he told AFP, in the garden of the Cairo hotel where the entire Congolese delegation is housed.

"It was my wife who saw the message and said, 'Shaq sent a message!'"

El Gigante!

🤾🏿‍♂️ 4 goals against Argentina.

🤾🏿‍♂️ 4 goals against Denmark.

🤾🏿‍♂️ 100% shooting for over 90 mins.

🤾🏿‍♂️ Shout-out from @SHAQ.

Gauthier Mvumbi is the @ Egypt2021EN Handball World Champs breakout star!

Read his story here 👉 https://t.co/CkYy3drLhY @ihf_info pic.twitter.com/uWVEDM0rka

- Olympic Channel (@olympicchannel) January 18, 2021

Even if Gauthier Mvumbi stood out for his exceptional physique, he also stood out for his good performances.

In just 11 minutes against Argentina (28-22 loss) and 14 against Denmark (39-19 loss), he scored 8 goals out of 9 attempts.

This did not prevent the Congolese novices from losing in the first two matches of the competition, but his dominance on the 6 m line drew the admiration of Argentinian commentators, who nicknamed him "El Gigante" (" the giant "), then the Danes.

"I have everything to gain"

While he has not played since October due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the end of national meetings, Gauthier Mvumbi is taking advantage of this unexpected notoriety.

He who had not succeeded in convincing Créteil, in 2013, to keep him in his training center, has the opportunity to finally make himself known.

"It did not go very well," recalls the one who then returned to his training club, Vernouillet, where he attended six seasons in the N1.

Before returning to Dreux, his hometown, where he lives with his parents.

The player recognizes that his weight was not necessarily an advantage and could slow down his career.

"I've always had a ... good physique," he said with a smile.

"He's an asset today" because he uses it to win at the edge of the zone, but it may also have cost him a place at Créteil.

"I think that must have been the watchword. I was with Benjamin Pavoni, a coach with a lot of physical focus. Mentally, I might not have been ready either. That's why it was. ended in failure. "

Spearhead of the Leopards team, present for the first time in a World Cup, Gauthier Mvumbi is proud to represent his country of origin.

"I have everything to gain: whether it is positive or negative, people talk about us," he summarizes.

The "Shaquille O'Neal of the hand" relishes this revenge, while keeping a cool head.

"The goal is to advance to the second round," recalled DR Congo assistant coach Gabriel Bourguignon on the eve of the decisive match on Tuesday (January 19) against Bahrain.

"The idea is to tell him: take advantage of what you have, but stick to your goal, which is to perform."

Hearts pounding with love for home!

🤩🇨🇩 # GoDRCongo |

# Egypt2021 pic.twitter.com/jAcJkjKjXV

- Handball Egypt2021 (@ Egypt2021EN) January 15, 2021

With AFP

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