Dortmund wonderkid Moukoko set for Bundesliga debut, has a 10-year boot deal with Nike worth £9m, and is a goal-machine

WHERE were you when Youssoufa Moukoko made his debut for Borussia Dortmund?

That could be the question on every football fans' lips, if this outrageously talented striker appears for the Bundesliga giants this weekend at Hertha Berlin.

The German wonderkid is now of age to play first team football, after the Bundesliga changed age eligibility rules.

And there's every chance he will be included in the first team squad, having already been in Dortmund's Champions League squad back in October.

If he does appear, he will be the youngest ever person to play a professional match in Germany.

Then, if he faces Club Brugge three days later, he will become the Champions League's youngest ever player.


Unbelievably, Moukoko is so good the Bundesliga have changed their age eligibility rules in order to let him play.

Previously, players have not been allowed to play in Germany's top-flight until they are 16-and-a-half.

But such have been the waves caused by Moukoko's rapid rise, that this has now been lowered to just 16, which he turns on November 20.

Furthermore, in anticipation of his German debut the live-wire forward has been training with Lucien Favre's first team.

The current Dortmund record was set by Nuri Sahin back in 2005, when he made his debut at 16 years, 11 months and one day – before going on to play for Real Madrid and Liverpool.

The German teen, who signed a boot deal with Nike for 10-years worth a reported £9million in 2019, has left observers flabbergasted by his incredible ability at such a young age.

But his progress is nothing new.


At the age of just 12, pre-teen Moukoko was playing for Dortmund's under-17s and Germany's under-16s.

He scored an astonishing 90 goals in 56 games at under-17 level, before bagging 34 in 20 this season for the under-19s – despite having started the season as a 14-year-old.

And after the Bundesliga's new ruling, dubbed the "Moukoko rule", he could make his first-team bow in the winter – and become Dortmund's youngster-ever player.

Champions League-winning club legend and youth boss Lars Ricken spoke to German newspaper Bild about Moukoko's rapid rise.

"He's scored a lot of goals, is very inquisitive, hungry for success, hardworking and always comes with a smile that distinguishes him," he said.

"That’s what we look at. The tools are there."


But such success has been quickly met with doubts about his age, even from inside his own club.

Dortmund's Under-23s manager Timo Preus said: "With Youssoufa, I can imagine that his age has only been guessed.

"Maybe in reality he is one or two years older. But certainly he is not 17. For him that is very difficult.

"There is nothing to blame him for, the boy is not cheating or anything."

However, Moukoko's dad Joseph has been forced to insist his son is the age he claims he is – even if he refuses to get caught up in the tidal wave of excitement surrounding the lad.

Moukoko Sr said: "His age is right.

"Immediately after he was was born I registered him at the German consulate in Yaounde. We have a German birth certificate.

"For me he is not a wonderkid. I was even better as a kid."


Dortmund have a rich heritage in bleeding first class youngsters from their youth set-up to the first team.

Impressive Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic burst onto the scene as a 17-year-old under Thomas Tuchel in 2016.

And more recently, Erling Haaland, Jadon Sancho and Gio Reyna have made fans sit up and take notice of their ability.

The German giants also spent around £30million on Birmingham City starlet Jude Bellingham, who himself only turned 17 back in June.

Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said of Moukoko last November: "He's an outstanding talent and we want him to learn how to train and play with adults."

And thanks to the "Moukoko rule", this November it appears that Zorc can get his wish.

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