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Youssoufa Moukoko: Borussia Dortmund’s star in the making

Deutsche Welle | Still only 14, the Cameroonian wunderkind hit the headlines again this week after scoring six times in a U19 youth match. After starring across several age groups, the only thing holding him back is age restriction.

The most bizarre thing about Youssoufa Moukoko scoring six goals in an under 19s (U19) youth match on Sunday isn’t that the Borussia Dortmund striker is just 14 years old. It’s that nobody is particularly surprised.

Moukoko’s goalscoring feats have become the stuff of legend in Germany’s youth divisions. He first came to prominence after scoring a brace on his U17 debut in 2017. He was 12.

The Cameroon-born star in the making has gone on to break a series of records at youth level. 46 goals in 25 games — the greatest ever return in a single U17 season — would have been remarkable enough were he not 14 years old.

More than just a flat-track bully, the child prodigy’s strikes last season included a brace against Schalke in a 4-4 draw en route to winning the league title, and decisive goals in the semifinal and final of the team’s triumphant cup campaign.

At the beginning of the 2019/20 season, there was little doubt he was ready to make yet another step up in age classification.

“Youssoufa has now reached the age in which he is allowed to play in the U19 team,” youth chief Lars Ricken had told German daily BILD ahead of Moukoko’s promotion. “We see this as the right year for him to play in this age group, which corresponds to his performance. He’s scored a lot of goals, is very inquisitive, hungry for success, hardworking and always comes with a smile that distinguishes him, that’s what we look at. The tools are there.”

The decision has been quickly vindicated, and Sunday’s double hat-trick again SG Unterrath must surely have Borussia Dortmund coaches checking the rulebooks to find out how soon the 14-year old can make his Bundesliga debut. Hint: not until the beginning of the 2021/22 season.

Such goalscoring prowess has naturally brought attention, positive and negative. Moukoko signed a boot deal with Nike worth a reported €10 million ($11.3m) in May of this year, drawing comparisons with Freddy Adu. Aged 14, the American signed his own lucrative boot deal and was tipped to be his nation’s very own Pele. He faded into obscurity instead, becoming a cautionary tale for a too-much-too-young youth football culture.

Others, meanwhile, have questioned his age, including a former coach at Borussia Dortmund. After all, how could a 14 year old possibly be this good? Dortmund youth coordinator, Lars Ricken, jumped to his defense, while Moukoko’s own father Joseph rejected the claims, asking how Youssafa could be older given his mother was still just 28.

The majority of the attention has been overwhelmingly positive, though. Every video of him destroying defenses half his age again drooled over on social media, receiving thousands of shares and comments.

His feats haven’t gone unnoticed in more rarified circles, either. The German FA are thought to be doing everything possible to lure him into a future with his adopted nation. He featured in Germany’s U16 victory over Austria in September 2018 and will recieve further calls-up in the future.

Those are decisions for another day, though. The focus now is to continue his remarkable progress in Germany’s youth divisions before, Borussia fans hope, lining up alongside Marco Reus, Jadon Sancho et al with the Yellow Wall in full support.

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24 comments

  1. Germany are dreaming of their own Killian Mbappe for the 2022 world cup…He would be only 17 then.
    Good luck to them…
    Representing Cameroon would be a dream, but if he had to learn from experiences of others, I won’t blame him for opting to represent Germany.
    Good luck..

    • About a year ago or so, I asked this kid this question on instagram; Cameroon or Germany, who will you play for professionally? His response was; I really don’t know but for now, my heart is with the German team. This response gave me some hope and at the same time took all the hope away.

  2. I do not like questioning one’s age, but he looks a little older than 14. just saying

  3. Mbappe na you born am? ?

  4. Hear them “And the father says how could he be much older when the mother is just 28?”.
    Dex offender who is supposed to be wear a surveillance bracelet. WTF

    • Dem di marry for North witi 13, kikiki….I no support’am tho…

    • he made that comment in 2017…so now she is 30..but still it means she had him at 16…which still qualifies for statutory rape, depending on cultural and legal references

  5. Typo ? Sex not Dex

  6. I personally recommend that little child to leave Germany immediately. The Germans are very, very Racist! They will harm that boy. Germans are not to be trusted.

    • young man:- this guy is a German from cameroon origin..
      when you say he should leave Germany , where should he go?
      To cameroon?..from frying pan to Fire..?
      Dont you know that an Anglophone cameroonian will have a better life in Germany than Cameroon?..Do you forget that the war going on is because of marginalization, descrimination, seggregation and the fact that southern cameroonians are considered 3rd class people?..
      In Germany Sane plays for the national team:..(GERMAN; SENEGAL), Boateng (German Ghanian), Khedira..(german -Tunesian)..Gnabry (german Ivorian) and many otherrs in the U21, u19 and u17…
      Its 100% better for this young man to play for Germany than go and join that chaos and anarchy in our shit hold country..We should be honest..

  7. If the mother is just 28 and this kid is 28, does that mean the mother gave birth at the age of 14? Possibly but how many of such happen in Cameroon? Two things are for sure, either he’s not 14 years which will mean the age cutting runs in the family or He was born by a very young girl and he has grown too fast. Either way, let him just continue enjoying soccer but the reality is that if you cut your age so much, it tends to backfire because the age you could sign a contract and play in senior team, you can’t but will just be there watering goals while playing with your kid brothers

    • Country, his father made that comment about the mothers age some years ago. I think 2017 or earlier around the time this kid moved to Dortmund from St Pauli. Then, he was around 11 or 12 yrs old. This article failed to mentioned when his father made those comments which can be confusing for anyone reading it for the first time. He will turn 15 this year. I agree, he looks physically more matured for his age, but so did Rooney.

  8. Where is Joseph Minala ????

  9. Africans have been raised to hate Africans..
    Africans have been thought to kill , jealous their brothers..
    A small african wonder is coming up but is being priased by Europeans and ofcourse retarded and self hate africans are already quick to jump and doubt his age…
    If Mbappe was born in Cameroon, nobody will accept that age..
    Cameroon is at war for 3 years now..Killing each other, hating each other and not willing to talk to each other and build a long lasting peace..
    We are here very happy to quote France, UK, America and switzerland as the people who can bring peace to cameroon..And you complain when some whites say we should be recolonize?
    A mad man on diapers is there ruining the country since 35 years , feels like a semi God and we are ok with that?.Shame to cameroon..

  10. In the meantime, what is Cameroon football federation doing to lure the boy to wear the Green Red Yellow? It looks like as fo now nothing has been done.

  11. BIKO- Doubting someone’s age is not hate.

    We wish him well. If you compares’s mbappe ‘s face with this you man- Their faces are kind of the same right?

    One face says 14 yrs old and the other face says 20 yrs old.

    Wish him all the best in this world.

  12. @MAYOR:- I have read a lot about this young Boy..
    There was a discussion about his age on German TV, mainly because he was born in Cameroon ..
    The embassy was involved and at the end there have been no prove that he is older…
    If his birth certificate proves this age, the rest is speculation..
    Check another Cameroonian whose dad is BETI-BULU and mother a German, but born in Germany..
    His name is MBOM Manuel…
    Check that face and tell me if this is the face of a 19 year old..But its his age..
    So lets just stop making these complains…
    I have seen many mixed Kids here in Germany , huge, big and tall who are just 16, 17 and 18…

    Lets say a star in born and just wish the young man the best….

    • It is a shame more attention is given to kids age than is needed. If this kid played basketball in the US he would be the shortest, lightest on the court. Shaq, Lebron at this age looked much bigger, much taller, much more developed too.
      But his roots permit the doubt because age reduction still happens.

  13. I think this article needs REVIEW. The father Joseph said the wife was 28 in August 2017! And this child was registered by his father with the german Consulate in Yaounde, soon after his birth.
    I have gathered all this information from an old article under the following link:
    https://africa.espn.com/football/borussia-dortmund/story/3179595/youssoufa-moukoko-12-nets-brace-for-borussia-dortmund-under-17s?src=com

    I also believe the German Consul in Yaounde took a look at the child before issuing a birth certifate or any registration for that matter.

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