“He’s still only 13” – Borussia Dortmund U17 coach Lars Ricken moves to dampen Youssoufa Moukoko expectations
It’s not every day a 13-year-old steps up to star for an age group four years above them. Rarer still is the wondergoal Youssoufa Moukoko scored for Borussia Dortmund’s U17s against Bayer Leverkusen last Wednesday…
Moukoko has been a revelation for the BVB youth academy this season, with 40 goals scored in just 28 games for the U17s. The Cameroon-born youngster, who also plays for Germany’s U16s, scored home and away against Leverkusen over the last week to book BVB’s place in the youth league final against Bayern Munich, and coach Lars Ricken is understandably delighted with his progress.
Watch: Moukoko’s wondergoal against Leverkusen!
“He’s 13 years old and he’s playing a great season,” the former Schwarzgelben midfielder explained to Sport 1. “He’s drawing a lot of media attention so it’s great to see how at ease he is and how happy he is to be out there scoring goals.”
Ricken made his own Dortmund debut at the age of 17 in 1994, earning cult status three years later when he chipped home the final goal in BVB’s 3-1 win over Juventus in the UEFA Champions League final, seconds after coming on for Stephane Chapuisat. But he remains keen to temper expectations that Moukoko will inevitably follow a similar path.
“The boy is actually 13,” Ricken concluded. “And we keep getting asked when he’ll get promoted further. He’s only allowed to play with the pros when he turns 17, so we can stay calm for now and not forget that fact when we judge his performances.”