Goal machine Youssoufa Moukoko is only just getting started, but one day could well be a fan favourite at Borussia Dortmund. - © Getty Mika Volkmann / Freier Fotograf
Goal machine Youssoufa Moukoko is only just getting started, but one day could well be a fan favourite at Borussia Dortmund. - © Getty Mika Volkmann / Freier Fotograf
bundesliga

Youssoufa Moukoko: 5 things on Borussia Dortmund's 15-year-old prodigy

He may be too young to drive a car but Borussia Dortmund's free-scoring teenager Youssoufa Moukoko looks set to take the football world by storm in the coming years.

To celebrate his 15th birthday, bundesliga.com turns the spotlight on the latest whizzkid to emerge from the celebrated BVB academy…

1) He can't stop scoring

Moukoko began making headlines in 2017, when he scored a brace on his debut for the Dortmund U17s at the tender age of 12. That set the tone for what was to follow: 37 goals in 2017/18, and then a new U17 Bundesliga record of 46 goals in 25 outings in 2018/19. Last term, BVB's lean teen goal machine only failed to find the back of the net five times, notching three quadruples, six hat-tricks and five braces! He was promoted to the U19s this season and repaid the club's faith by hitting six – SIX – goals against Wuppertal on the opening day. He has since taken his eye-watering tally to over 100 goals in all competitions.

"He's so young and already so good," enthused Dortmund's U19 coach Michael Skibbe. "The boy will become a professional one day, that's as sure as a prayer in the church. Only injuries can stop him. He's got very good technique, speed, and brilliant finishing."

Watch: Youssoufa Moukoko's wondergoal for the Dortmund U17s against Leverkusen's U17s!

2) He's ambitious

When most of us are 15, our ambitions stretch to getting our hands on the latest smartphone, finding a date for the school dance or perhaps being allowed to stay out late on weekends. Moukoko has slightly loftier aims.

"I want to become a professional with Dortmund, win the UEFA Champions League with the club, and win the Ballon d'Or," the teen sensation told Sport Bild, hinting at a voracious appetite for success. Having only just turned 15, he is still too young to turn out for the BVB seniors. He'll be allowed to play, and potentially make his Bundesliga debut, at the age of 16 – although he'll require special dispensation and won't be allowed to play in matches that run later than 10pm!

3) He could be set for an international tug-of-war

Even if he grew up in Hamburg and has already turned out for the Germany U16s – scoring three goals in four appearances – Moukoko is also eligible for Cameroon. He was born to Cameroonian parents in the capital Yaoundé in 2004, and could therefore choose to represent the Indomitable Lions instead of Die Mannschaft.

Even Germany coach Joachim Löw has weighed in on Moukoko's potential, admitting that he has already spoken with Skibbe about the youngster. The 2014 FIFA World Cup-winning boss has prescribed a patient approach, believing good things come to those who wait: "Everyone involved is well advised to wait and let him develop in peace."

Moukoko made his debut for the Germany U16s against Austria in September 2017, and quickly notched three goals in four outings. - Jan Hetfleisch/Bongarts/Getty Images

4) He has some illustrious admirers

Moukoko received a very special gift for his 15th birthday on 20 November – a signed photo from none other than Lionel Messi. The Dortmund starlet took to Instagram to thank the Barcelona star, who he described as "his idol".

Having amassed almost 700 goals throughout his glittering career, Messi clearly knows a killer instinct in front of goal when he sees one, and the five-time Ballon d'Or winner is perhaps encouraging Moukoko to follow in his footsteps. The two men share another important trait – like his hero, the Dortmund teenager is also left-footed.

Messi isn't Moukoko's only high-profile admirer. The youngster has also received invaluable advice from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, describing the former BVB striker as his "big brother".

5) He still has a long way to go

While he will have to wait at least another year to get his first taste of first-team football, Moukoko is certainly keeping busy with the Dortmund U19s. He recently became the youngest-ever player to net in the UEFA Youth League, opening the scoring for BVB against Inter Milan at the age of 14 years, 10 months and 29 days. Surely just one of many records to come – although the club's youth chief Lars Ricken has urged caution about the prodigy's future.

"He's scored a lot of goals, he's very inquisitive, hungry for success, hardworking and always comes with a smile that distinguishes him," Ricken told Bild this summer. "The tools are there. But we're staying calm for now, and don't forget that when we judge his performances. Just because he's scored a lot of goals at youth level doesn't guarantee he'll become a pro."