Home Sports Youssoufa Moukoko, 16, could become youngest player in Bundesliga history

Youssoufa Moukoko, 16, could become youngest player in Bundesliga history


Moukoko turned 16 on Friday, the day earlier than Dortmund travels to face Hertha Berlin, with a latest rule change now permitting 16-year-olds to play in Germany’s prime division.

Former Dortmund participant Nuri Sahin at the moment holds the document because the Bundesliga’s youngest ever participant. Now taking part in for Turkish membership Antalyaspor, Sahin made his debut aged 16 years, 11 months and sooner or later for Dortmund in opposition to Wolfsburg in August 2006. The Deutsche Fußball Liga’s new guidelines enable gamers to play within the Bundesliga from the day they flip 16.

Moukoko has recurrently performed a number of years above his age group all through his younger profession and began coaching with Dortmund’s first staff again in August.

“At my first training session I thought: ‘Wow, where have I ended up?'” Moukoko instructed Borussia Dortmund TV. “But I don’t listen to what other people say, I follow my own path. I want to help the team — that’s why I’m here.

“I’m not likely fascinated by whether or not it [debut] will occur … I do know my debut will come in some unspecified time in the future. I learn what’s written within the media, however I’m not placing any stress on myself.”

Moukoko could also become the Champions League’s youngest player on November 24 if he faces Club Bruges. That record is currently held by Céléstine Babayaro, who was aged 16 years and 87 days when he played for Anderlecht in a group stage match during the 1994/1995 season.

‘Amazing thing’

Part of Moukoko’s step up to the first team was being given his first squad number: 18. Of all the experiences that come with being fast tracked through the youth ranks and being thrust into the limelight, he says this was among the most surreal.

“I used to be sleeping and Ciro [shirt printer] messaged me, saying: ‘I’m doing the shirts, do you wish to do your first shirt?'” Moukoko recalls with grin. “I used to be like: ‘Ooh, I am unable to miss this!’

“I messaged him straight away saying I was coming and I ran downstairs. It was so cool, seeing your name and number on your shirt for the fan shop is a huge thing, an amazing thing, for a young player because that doesn’t happen to you every day.”

Having solely beforehand seen his now teammates on TV — or taking part in as them on FIFA video video games in Dortmund’s youth amenities — lining up alongside the likes of Marco Reus, Jadon Sancho and Erling Braut Haaland got here as one thing of a shock.

“The first time I arrived I made a video because I’ll never experience another day like that,” mentioned Moukoko. “I could say: ‘Now I’m with the first team’ and it was a whole new feeling.

“It was wonderful. I went residence and I nonetheless could not get my head round it. I used to be so comfortable in coaching, however afterwards I understood that it was what I’d labored for. I’m right here now and I have to do my finest.”

Youssoufa Moukoko has risen through Dortmund's youth ranks.

Moukoko has scored 13 goals in four appearances for the club’s Under-19s this season and 141 goals in 88 games since joining the club’s youth ranks from St. Pauli in 2016.

Born in Cameroon, Moukoko has represented Germany on the international stage with the Under-16s and Under-20s and is already being touted as one of European football’s most prodigious talents.

Whether he makes his debut this weekend or not, Moukoko seems like to break the Bundesliga record at some point this season.

In a recent Kicker interview, Sahin said he was happy the Bundesliga’s youngest player record would continue to be held by a Dortmund player.

“The solar is simply shining with him, he has by no means had wet days,” added Sahin, reflecting on what might lie in store for Moukoko.

“But these wet days will come. Then it is necessary that you’ve got individuals round you who accompany you and make you conscious that damaging headlines are a part of it.”

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