Dani Olmo scored on his debut for the senior Spain national team aged just 21. - © gettyimages
Dani Olmo scored on his debut for the senior Spain national team aged just 21. - © gettyimages

Dani Olmo: who is RB Leipzig's former Barcelona wonderkid forged at Dinamo Zagreb?

A Barcelona prodigy who felt time on the pitch was more valuable than training at La Masia. RB Leipzig have signed one of European football's most prized young talents from Dinamo Zagreb, Dani Olmo.

bundesliga.com has the lowdown on the Spanish attacking midfielder joining Julian Nagelsmann's title-chasing troops...

Dani Olmo
RB Leipzig
Attacking midfielder
Spain (1 app/1 goal)

Key stats

Born in Terrassa, on the outskirts of Barcelona, Olmo was always destined to spend time at the Spanish club's famed La Masia youth academy. He joined from city rivals Espanyol in 2007, aged seven. Olmo finished top scorer for his age group in four of his six seasons at La Masia, but decided to leave Barcelona to take another journey, joining Croatian club Dinamo Zagreb on a professional contract in the summer of 2014.

Olmo quickly showed the talents that Barcelona had failed to secure. He was fast-tracked into Zagreb's first-team squad and made his debut in February 2015, aged just 16. Last June he was named Croatia's Player of the Year and helped his country win the U21 European Championships, with Olmo scoring three goals in the tournament – including one in the 2-1 win over Germany in the final.

Dani Olmo has no problem taking on more than one opponent at a time with his ability on the ball. - imago

The Spaniard made his debut in the UEFA Champions League group stages this season and made 124 appearances for Zagreb in total, scoring 34 goals while playing in a variety of positions up the pitch. The 21-year-old's preferred position is in the No.10 role behind a striker, which is where he played for the Spain national team when he made his debut from the bench against Malta in November 2019. Olmo came on in the 66th minute and scored three minutes later.

Plays a bit like: Isco

Olmo is seen as one of the most talented players in Spain’s latest generation of midfield maestros. The La Masia-native’s specialities which make him standout are his technical skills with the ball at his feet. His close control is mesmerising to watch, and impossible to fight against as an opposition defender. Olmo couples that ability with his will to drive the ball at goal, be in his own possession or with threaded through-balls. But much like new teammate Marcel Sabitzer, Olmo also has the ability to smash the ball home from range should space open up.

Did you know

Olmo is the youngest foreign player to play for Dinamo Zagreb having made his debut at 16 years and nine months old. His also the fourth-youngest player to play for the famous Croatian club, famed for their youth academy.

What they’re saying

"He was a typical forward, a very good finisher. He scored goals in every age category. He understood space well, so he could find room to score. He's a natural-born goalscorer." – former coach at La Masia, Denis Silva Puig