Dhe message that Youssoufa Moukoko will be on March 8th 473,000 subscribers on Instagram transmitted, can be seen as a kind of personal mantra of this amazing soccer player. “There is no wonder, only training,” writes the striker from the U 19 of Borussia Dortmund – he had just set a breathtaking record. After two goals against Rot-Weiß Oberhausen, he is the first player to have scored 34 goals in a U-19 Bundesliga season. As a 15-year-old among nothing but boys who are two or three years older. Even then, a term was in circulation that was used abundantly again this week: “child prodigy”. From the “kicker” to the “picture” to many local newspapers, you could read everywhere: The DFL clears the way for the child prodigy.
Beyond the discussions about the consequences of the virus crisis, the representatives of the 36 German first and second division clubs decided on Tuesday at the instigation of Borussia Dortmund to change the rules. From now on, players no longer have to belong to the younger A-Youth group to play in the men’s Bundesliga. As in England or Spain, they will be eligible to play after their 16th birthday. Instead of the 2021/22 season, Moukoko will be able to delight the yellow wall on the side of Erling Haaland and Marco Reus for BVB from 20 November 2020. “We are very happy about this decision,” says BVB youth manager Lars Ricken and speaks of a breakthrough that “can help the clubs, but also the young players, in their development immediately and immediately”.
For the district club, this rule adjustment is an important argument in the effort to keep the Moukoko courted by several giants of world football in Dortmund even longer. However, Lucien Favre, the always cautious coach of the professionals, has so far been rather reserved when asked about Moukoko. “We have a plan with him, but I can’t say exactly when he will be with us,” he said a few weeks ago when asked if the talent could soon take part in professional training. In any case, he did not belong to the group of A youth players who were allowed to travel to the winter training camp. And if you see Moukoko playing at the moment, you don’t have to be an accomplished connoisseur to see that the path to men’s football is still very far.
Recently, in the 2-0 win of the Dortmund U 19 at the league leaders 1. FC Köln, Moukoko scored both goals, but had to be repeatedly asked by his teammates and coach Michael Skibbe to do his job in the game against the ball . From the middle of the second half, he kept asking people on the bench how long to play. He longed for the final whistle as if he was at the end of his strength.
Moukoko is just 15 years old, four years younger in football than, for example, Haaland, who also seems to be almost a child. Years when a lot can go wrong. As is well known, some of Moukoko’s predecessors as “child prodigies” failed with a crash. The old scoring record holders in the U-19 Bundesliga, which Moukoko surpassed in March, have not become world stars: Haluk Türkeri (VfL Bochum, 2004/05) and Johannes Eggestein (Werder Bremen, 2015/16).
Some observers even consider early glory to be particularly dangerous in this case. Moukoko has a multi-million dollar advertising contract with Nike and more Instagram followers than world champion and current international Matthias Ginter. The U-19 national coach Guido Streichsbier, who actually wanted to use Moukoko in the canceled international caps, recently told the “Bild” that one had to “be careful that Youssoufa did not develop as it did at Fiete Arp. At Fiete, the expectations became so high nationwide that a 17-year-old should suddenly wear the HSV alone. That is not possible – and we are all challenged. ”But at least Moukoko seems to know that the key to becoming a professional is to practice and not to believe in any miracles.