Moukoko turned 16 on Friday, the day earlier than Dortmund travels to face Hertha Berlin, with a latest rule change now permitting 16-year-olds to play in Germany’s prime division.
Former Dortmund participant Nuri Sahin at the moment holds the document because the Bundesliga’s youngest ever participant. Now taking part in for Turkish membership Antalyaspor, Sahin made his debut aged 16 years, 11 months and someday for Dortmund towards Wolfsburg in August 2006. The Deutsche Fußball Liga’s new guidelines enable gamers to play within the Bundesliga from the day they flip 16.
Moukoko has usually performed a number of years above his age group all through his younger profession and began coaching with Dortmund’s first staff again in August.
“At my first coaching session I believed: ‘Wow, the place have I ended up?'” Moukoko advised Borussia Dortmund TV. “However I do not hearken to what different folks say, I comply with my very own path. I wish to assist the staff — that is why I am right here.
Moukoko might additionally change into the Champions League’s youngest participant on November 24 if he faces Membership Bruges. That document is at the moment held by Céléstine Babayaro, who was aged 16 years and 87 days when he performed for Anderlecht in a bunch stage match through the 1994/1995 season.
A part of Moukoko’s step as much as the primary staff was being given his first squad quantity: 18. Of all of the experiences that include being quick tracked by means of the youth ranks and being thrust into the limelight, he says this was among the many most surreal.
“I used to be sleeping and Ciro [shirt printer] messaged me, saying: ‘I am doing the shirts, do you wish to do your first shirt?'” Moukoko recollects with grin. “I used to be like: ‘Ooh, I am unable to miss this!’
“I messaged him immediately saying I used to be coming and I ran downstairs. It was so cool, seeing your identify and quantity in your shirt for the fan store is a large factor, a tremendous factor, for a younger participant as a result of that does not occur to you day by day.”
Having solely beforehand seen his now teammates on TV — or taking part in as them on FIFA video video games in Dortmund’s youth services — lining up alongside the likes of Marco Reus, Jadon Sancho and Erling Braut Haaland got here as one thing of a shock.
“The primary time I arrived I made a video as a result of I am going to by no means expertise one other day like that,” stated Moukoko. “I might say: ‘Now I am with the primary staff’ and it was an entire new feeling.
“It was wonderful. I went house and I nonetheless could not get my head round it. I used to be so glad in coaching, however afterwards I understood that it was what I would labored for. I am right here now and I have to do my greatest.”
Moukoko has scored 13 targets in 4 appearances for the membership’s Beneath-19s this season and 141 targets in 88 video games since becoming a member of the membership’s youth ranks from St. Pauli in 2016.
Born in Cameroon, Moukoko has represented Germany on the worldwide stage with the Beneath-16s and Beneath-20s and is already being touted as certainly one of European soccer’s most prodigious skills.
Whether or not he makes his debut this weekend or not, Moukoko looks like to interrupt the Bundesliga document in some unspecified time in the future this season.
In a latest Kicker interview, Sahin stated he was glad the Bundesliga’s youngest participant document would proceed to be held by a Dortmund participant.
“The solar is simply shining with him, he has by no means had wet days,” added Sahin, reflecting on what would possibly lie in retailer for Moukoko.
“However these wet days will come. Then it is necessary that you’ve folks round you who accompany you and make you conscious that destructive headlines are a part of it.”