Émile Lokonda Mpenza (born July 4, 1978) is a Belgian footballer of Congolese parentage. He started his career at K.V. Kortrijk, and then moved to R.E. Mouscron where he scored 7 goals in 24 games and was named Belgium's Young Professional Footballer of the Year in 1997. This prompted Standard Liège to sign him and there he got the chance to play alongside his elder brother Mbo Mpenza. After 2,5 seasons with Liegé, Émile moved to Bundesliga side FC Schalke 04 in the year 2000. His best spell for Schalke came during the 2000-01 season when he noted 13 goals in 27 games as the team finished as runners-up to Bayern Munich. Schalke only lost the Championship after a final day havoc display by Bayern Munich away to HSV. Munich needed a draw to secure the title but HSV took the lead late in the game. 4 minutes into extra time when all of Germany believed that Schalke was the champions Bayern Munich managed to snatch the equalizer and the title.
After three successful years with Schalke 04, scoring 28 goals in 79 league matches and winning the German Cup twice, Émile returned to Standard Liège in 2003. The following season he showed impressive form as he scored 21 goals in 28 games for Liegé. This brought the attention of some big clubs in Europe and Émile went back to the Bundesliga, this time to Hamburger SV who paid €2.5m for his services. The comeback in Germany proved to be more difficult, and Émile only managed 4 goals in 26 games in his first season, as the Hamburg club struggled in the middle of the table. HSV won the Intertoto Cup in 2005, and the following season they climbed to 3rd spot in Bundesliga and qualified for Champions League.
Injuries and though competition for the striker position meant that his options with HSV was limited, but few had expected him to sign for Qatari team Al Rayyan in January 2006. The low pace and standard of the Qatari league did not fit Émile very well and his form from seasons back evaporated quickly. As he was one of the highest earners at the club, Al-Rayyan did not want to renew his contract and in January 2007 he became a free agent. Two Spanish teams; Espanyol and Deportivo la Coruna showed their interest, but after playing and scoring in a specially arranged match at Eastlands on 14 February 2007 Mpenza instead signed for Manchester City on a short term contract.
"I am not finished and I will prove it in Manchester," Émile told Belgian Radio Station Bel-RTL. "I make this move as revenge with respect to all those who criticised my decision to play in Qatar." After proving to be the best option up front in a dire season goalwise for the Citizens. 3 goals and 3 assists in 10 games was enough to secure a new contract and with new owner and Sven-Göran Eriksson at the helm, Émile can look forward to better support from a new look midfield in upcoming Premiership seasons.