One day after his 16th birthday Moukoko entered the pitch as a substitute for Borussia Dortmund in Saturday tie versus Hertha Berlin to become the youngest player to seal a professional win in Germany. The Cameroon-born German subbed Erling Haaland, 20 with just over 5min remaining in contest to complete a 5-2 victory.
The prodigy broke former Dortmund player Nuri Sahin’s previously-held of debuting aged 16 years, 11 months and 1 day for BvB opposite Wolfsburg in Aug 2006. New rules in German League allow players to play from the day they turn 16.
The Cameroonian-German who has regularly appeared in action among older age groups has attracted the attention of his teammates since breaking into the first team training camp alongside Haaland. The latter scored four goals against Hertha Berlin. Dubbed as “the biggest talent in the world”, Moukoko has tried to justify the compliment after Sunday’s game as he battled to make history while most of his age-fellows have not passed their school yet.
“I would love to play alongside him,” said Haaland — who recently clinched thee 2020 Golden Boy award for the best U-21 player in a European top division.
“I think he’s the biggest talent in the world right now. He’s 16 years and one day old, that’s amazing. He has a big career ahead of him. We’re lucky to have him.”
The teenage sensation could become the Champions League’s youngest player on Nov 24, 2020 if he is selected against Club Bruges. The record is currently held by Céléstine Babayaro who made it aged 16 years and 87 days while representing Anderlecht in a group stage tie during 1994/1995 season. Having a prolific record with the youth setups at Borussia, he scored 141 goals in 88 games including 13 in mere 4 games for the club’s U-19 side.
After only previously seeing his now teammates on TV – or playing them on E-games in Dortmund’s youth facilities – sharing the field with the likes of Jadon Sancho, Erling Braut Haaland and Marco Reus was not easy to absorb for forward.
“The first time I arrived I made a video because I’ll never experience another day like that,” Moukoko told Borussia Dortmund TV. “I could say: ‘Now I’m with the first team’ and it was a whole new feeling.
“It was amazing. I went home and I still couldn’t get my head around it. I was so happy in training, but afterwards I understood that it was what I’d worked for. I’m here now and I need to do my best.”
Die Borussen boss Lucien Favre lauded his #18 for successfully cracking first team code in such a short period of time.
“He’s trained with us now for 14 days. Seven or eight players were away on international duty. It was 5-2 and it was good for him to play his first Bundesliga game but of course he has to keep working,” Favre told ESPN after the game.
“He’s very, very young. We have a lot of attacking players, a lot who haven’t played today.”