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Hérita Ilunga
Personal information
Full name Hérita N'Kongolo Ilunga
Date of birth 25 February 1982 (1982-02-25) (age 27)
Place of birth    Kinshasa, Zaire
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Left back
Club information
Current club West Ham United
Number 23
Youth career
1999–2002 Stade Rennais
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Espanyol B
West Ham United (loan)
West Ham United
019 (1)
136 (2)
035 (0)
035 (0)
014 (0)   
National team2
2004– Congo DR 018 (0)

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only and
correct as of 09:05, 27 December 2009 (UTC).
2 National team caps and goals correct
as of 12:00, 13 May 2008 (UTC).
* Appearances (Goals)

Hérita N'Kongolo Ilunga (born 25 February 1982 in Kinshasa) is a Congolese footballer who plays for Premier League team West Ham United as a defender.




Early career

Aged 13, Ilunga started training with Amiens SC, staying with the Somme-based club for four years before moving to Stade Rennais.

Ilunga moved to Spain, aged 20, where he joined Espanyol. In Barcelona, the left-back featured exclusively for Espanyol's B team in the Spanish Third Division, but he still did enough to catch the eye of AS St Etienne coach Frederic Antonetti, who took him back to France, initially on loan, in 2003.

Ilunga spent four seasons at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, making 135 appearances for Les Verts and winning the club's player of the season award. The summer of 2007 saw Ilunga move to Toulouse, who had qualified for the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League. The defender appeared at Anfield as Toulouse lost 5-0 on aggregate to Liverpool at the third qualifying round stage.

Toulouse dropped into the UEFA Cup, with Ilunga making six appearances as Le Tef beat CSKA Sofia on away goals before falling at the group stage. Toulouse also endured a difficult campaign in Ligue 1, only avoiding relegation on the final day of the season by beating Valenciennes 2-1.[1]

West Ham United

Ilunga warming-up for West Ham United

On 2 September 2008, Premier League club West Ham United signed Ilunga on loan for the 2008–09 season.[2]

Ilunga made his Hammers debut away at West Bromwich Albion on 13 September,[3] and has since established himself as the club's first-choice left-back, after the sale of George McCartney to Sunderland. Ilunga scored his first goal for the club in the 3–0 home FA Cup win against Barnsley on 3 January 2009,[4] and scored again in a later round against Middlesbrough.[5]

On 15 April 2009, Ilunga signed a four year contract with West Ham which took take effect when the 2009 summer transfer window opened.[6 ]

International career

Ilunga was part of the Congolese 2004 African Nations Cup team, who finished bottom of their group in the first round of competition, thus failing to secure qualification for the quarter-finals.

Ilunga helped DR Congo reach the quarter-finals of the African Cup of Nations in Egypt in 2006. The Leopards beat Togo and drew with Angola before being eliminated by the host nation in the last-eight.

Ilunga scored his first goal for his country in a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Egypt in Cairo on 1 June 2008, but it was not enough to prevent the DR Congo being eliminated from the competition at the second qualifying round stage.

Appearances in major competitions[7]

Year Competition Category Appearances Goals Team Record
Start Sub
2004/05 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification Senior 5 0 0 Did not Qualify
2008 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification Senior 4 0 0 Did not Qualify


External links


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