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Jean-Clair Todibo Reveals What Went Wrong for Him at Barcelona


  • Jean-Clair Todibo opened up about the lack of opportunities afforded him whilst at Barcelona..
  • He highlights a lack of communication within the club, as Eric Abidal was the only one who would speak with him.
  • Todibo has gone on to find regular playing time at OGC Nice and his value is higher than ever.

Jean-Clair Todibo’s career thus far has been a turbulent one for a player who is still only 24 years of age. After making his breakthrough at Toulouse FC as an 18-year-old, the central defender was snapped up by five-time Champions League winners Barcelona in the 2019/20 winter transfer window. However, it did not transpire to be the dream move that Todibo would have wished, as he was immediately farmed out to Schalke 04 where he struggled to break into the starting lineup and on his return he was loaned to Benfica where he failed to make an appearance before being recalled.

It was OGC Nice where he finally found some joy, with his loan move to the Ligue 1 side being made permanent the following summer. All in all, between 2018 and 2021 the defender was on the books at five different clubs across four different countries before finding stability at Nice. In a recent interview with Amazon Prime France, he explained what went wrong during his time in Barcelona.

Todibo on what went wrong in Barcelona

“I just wanted to play”

Todibo in action for OGC Nice

Since his move to the South-East of France, Todibo has flourished and shown why he was so sought after as a young player. Now that he has found this stability, he was able to open up on his time at Spanish giants Barcelona and why he felt it did not work out for him in Catalonia. In an interview with the press, via Mundo Deportivo, Todibo put his turbulent time in Spain down to the lack of first-team opportunities granted to him, stating:

“I was not well-prepared and arrived alone. They said I was going to be Pique’s replacement, but I never really got a chance. I played only five games and did well, but no one communicated with me. I just wanted to play. The only person who talked to me at Barcelona was Abidal.”

This lack of opportunity and communication is highlighted when Todibo added that he was supposed to be “Pique’s replacement” but never really got a chance for himself.

Legendary Spanish defender Gerard Pique was a key part of one of the greatest teams to play the game at Barcelona during the early 2010s and he went on to retire from football at the end of 2022. The Catalan club opted to look in other directions than Todibo when deciding who would replace the Spaniard, with fellow Frenchman Jukes Kounde taking his place alongside Uruguayan Ronald Araujo at the heart of the Barcelona back line.

Todibo Statistics vs Barcelona Central Defenders since Season of Piqué’s Retirement (2022/23)



League Appearances

Pass Accuracy %

Tackles made per 90

Interceptions made per 90

Jean-Clair Todibo






Jules Koundé






Ronald Araújo







Fabrizio Romano says Man Utd ‘appreciate’ Yoro, Silva and Todibo this summer

Manchester United could look to reinforce their defence in the summer transfer window, with Antonio Silva, Leny Yoro, and Jean-Clair Todibo linked.

Todibo’s Turnaround

Nice star learned when “playing with great players at Barcelona”

Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo in action

Despite things not working out in Spain, Todibo has kicked on since his move to Nice and has been a consistent performer at the back for the French side over the last three seasons. Whilst there have been several managerial changes at Nice, the centre-back has been a near constant, making 117 appearances for Les Aiglons to date.

He earned his first French national team cap in September 2023 in a Friendly against Germany before going onto make his competitive debut in Euros qualifying against Gibraltar in November of the same year and Todibo has given some credit for his development to Barcelona. The defender believes he “learned a lot training and playing with great players at Barcelona” and he has taken any lessons learned on board as he moves forward and continues his career.

Todibo is likely to be in high demand as we enter the summer transfer window, but having finally settled at a club, with a contract that runs until the summer of 2027 and with his market value at an all-time high, it may take a sizeable fee to pry Todibo away from the Ligue 1 outfit.

Wherever the Frenchman is playing his football next season, he will be hoping to be involved in European competition, with Nice having finished fifth to secure a UEFA Conference League spot for the 2024/25 season. Despite the challenges he has faced he has developed into a very promising defender, and with a lot more senior football under his belt than when he moved to Spain five years ago, the 24-year-old has proven that he deserves opportunities to play at the highest level.

Statistics according to (as of 24/05/2024).

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