Youssoufa Moukoko prepares to live up to hype ahead of Borussia Dortmund debut
As a 15-year-old many of us were preparing for our GCSE’s, going to the park with friends or sitting in our rooms playing PlayStation.
Life is a little different for Borussia Dortmund’s Youssoufa Moukoko.
This teenager, who reaches sweet 16 on Friday, already has a sponsorship deal with Nike worth a reported £9m, and trains with some of the best players on the planet every day.
Quite frankly, it’s no wonder given his record in youth football either.
Moukoko grew up with his grandparents in Cameroon, but moved to Germany when he was 10, and was quickly picked up by Dortmund’s academy.
There he has gone on to score an eye-watering 141 goals in 88 games, and could become the Bundesliga’s youngest ever player this weekend – not that’s playing in his mind at all.
“I’m not really thinking about whether it'll happen on the 20th or the 21st,” he told BVB.TV. “I know my debut will come at some point. I read what's written in the media, but I'm not putting any pressure on myself.”
After recently bagging 13 goals in just four appearances for Dortmund’s U19 side (just another reminder that he’s 15), he has become a permanent fixture among Lucien Favre’s first team alongside the likes of Marco Reus and Erling Haaland.
And not even the coolest of cucumbers can play that off as normal.
“At my first training session I thought, 'wow, where have I ended up?'" Moukoko added.
“But I do'’t listen to what other people say. I follow my own path. I just want to help the team. That's why I'm here.
“The first time I arrived I made a video because I'll never experience another day like that. I could say, 'now I'm with the first team' and it was a whole new feeling. It was amazing – it still hasn't really sunk in.
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"I was so happy in training but afterwards I understood that it was what I'd worked for. I'm here now and I need to do my best."
He might be playing in the big leagues now, but his missions remains exactly the same – "Goals. As a striker, you live for goals."
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