Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha has brought his very first football club in the Ivory Coast.
The Eagles’ record Premier League goalscorer and appearance holder, alongside his brother Carin, have purchased Ivorian club Espoir Club D’Abengourou.
Zaha, who was born in the Ivory Coast but moved to England at the age of four, is only 13 strikes away from reaching 100 goals in all competitions for Crystal Palace. He made his debut under Paul Hart in 2010 and has notched up more than 430 appearances during his time with the Eagles.
The 29-year-old forward joins former Arsenal winger Gervinho and former Bournemouth player Max Gradel in owning clubs in the Ivory Coast. Barcelona midfielder Franck Kessie has a training centre in the country.
While the club is currently an amateur outfit, Carin Zaha, now the vice-president of Espoir Club D’Abengourou, told local media: “We have an U19 academy. We will play in the Division d’Honneur [the fourth tier of the Ivory Coast football pyramid] this season.
“The objective is obviously to go up, but first we want our youngsters to be in good shape and gain experience.”
Zaha owns his own academy in South London, which he launched last year in July.
The Palace forward has been called up to the most recent Ivory Coast squad for their friendlies against Togo and Guinea.
Zaha has four goals to his name in Palace’s first five Premier League fixtures but is entering the final year of his contract at Selhurst Park.
The Eagles take on Graham Potter’s Chelsea side when the top-flight resumes at the start of October following the international break.