Rhein Fire WR Anthony Mahoungou: “It’s time to reintroduce myself“

Rhein Fire have one of the most promising rosters on paper and now added a former All-Star on top!

February 23, 2023
Tim Hanswillemenke
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Rhein Fire WR Anthony Mahoungou: “It’s time to reintroduce myself“
French wide receiver Anthony Mahoungou playing for the Frankfurt Galaxy back in 2021. © Sarah Philipp

The European League of Football kicked off its first ever season back in June of 2021. A total number of eight teams competed for the very first championship with the Frankfurt Galaxy beating the Hamburg Sea Devils in Düsseldorf in front of more than 20,000 fans. Two years later, a champion and former All-Star re-joins the European League of Football: Anthony Mahoungou.

After Rhein Fire announced the signing of former Frankfurt Galaxy wide receiver Anthony Mahoungou, fans across the league were wondering how the German franchise was able to lock down the standout athlete. In an interview, Mahoungou gave his answer and more.

“I wanted to play in an environment that’s the closest to what I’m used to when I’m in America,“ the 29-year-old wide receiver explained his decision to sign with Rhein Fire. „[Rhein Fire has the] perfect mix of a great fan base, one of the biggest stadiums in the league, and coaches who got to work at the highest level in this discipline. There are also several players that I had known in the past and whom I wanted to play with at some point in my career.“

Rhein Fire – When logic and emotions collide

The former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver will be part of an already incredible offense featuring former Sea Devils quarterback Jadrian Clark, running back Glen Toonga, wide receiver Nathaniel Robitaille, and a stout offensive line.

As Mahoungou explained, Rhein Fire’s head coach reached out to him first. “Coach [Jim] Tomsula contacted me first. Then I talked with Oyeezy [Omari Williams], Jadrian [Clark], Robi [Nathaniel Robitaille] and Sven [Breidenbach], finally with Coach [Andrew] Weidinger. It took a good while before making this decision. It made a lot of sense from a logical standpoint, but it was a heartache from an emotional one because how close I am to Frankfurt, and the arrival of Paris Saints.“

Like the French wide receiver pointed out, it was not an easy decision to sign with Rhein Fire because of his strong ties to the Galaxy and the Paris Saints which join the league from his home country. “Galaxy is the team I respect the most: from players to coaches. And as weird as it sounds, the more I respect a team, the more I want to play against it. It’s going to be exciting to be on the other side when it’s time to play them especially at PSD [Bank Arena] in Frankfurt, in front of the purple hell.”

As for the Saints, Mahoungou expressed his excitement to go against his old teammates and friends in France. “[For] Paris, [it’s the] same thing with all the guys I played with when I was younger at the Flash. We won so many championships together that I always wondered how it would feel to play against my brothers. This year is going to mark 10 years since my last game in France, I want to make it a true celebration.“

Have you seen this yet?

For Rhein Fire, Mahoungou will count as a European import since he is French. However, there are not a lot of European import players who played Division I college football and earned themselves a shot at the NFL.

On top of that, Mahoungou had the opportunity to re-sign with the Red Blacks for the 2023 season, as he announced during the interview. However, he decided to re-join the European League of Football with Rhein Fire.

French wide receiver Anthony Mahoungou playing for the Frankfurt Galaxy back in 2021. © Marc Junge

Mahoungou: “I always avoided Canada”

After his strong season with the Galaxy in 2021, in which he recorded 33 catches for 468 yards and six touchdowns, the Red Blacks contacted Mahoungou and offered him to play in the CFL in 2022. The French wide receiver went on to spend a full season in the CFL despite dressing for only one game against Toronto.  

Mahoungou explained that even before playing for the Galaxy in 2021, he had a chance to play in Canada but refused to do so. “People who have known me for a while know that I always avoided Canada even when it was easier to go there than the U.S. I refused to join a CFL team in 2018 and got cut from one in 2019 before getting drafted in 2021,” the French wideout commented. However, Mahoungou decided to give the CFL a real shot in 2022 when he played for the Red Blacks. “I had a great experience despite not playing as much as I hoped for and have absolutely no regret. The Red Blacks offered me to come back in 2023, however, I see a lot of upsides coming back to Europe.“

Two championships in two seasons?

The former Purdue and Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver could become the only player winning the European League of Football Championship Game with two different teams at the end of this season. With a loaded roster, it seems more than likely that Rhein Fire could end up being first team to play a Championship Game at their home stadium, as this year’s final will take place in Duisburg.

When asked what he thinks about Rhein Fire and the upcoming European League of Football season, Mahoungou had some promising words for the fans: “I see talent everywhere in the league, it’s going to be a fantastic year. […] It’s time to reintroduce myself.“


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