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 present holds the document because the Bundesliga’s youngest ever participant. Now enjoying for Turkish membership Antalyaspor, Sahin made his debut aged 16 years, 11 months and someday for Dortmund in opposition to 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 frequently performed a number of years above his age group all through his younger profession and began coaching with Dortmund’s first workforce again in August.
“At my first coaching session I assumed: ‘Wow, the place have I ended up?'” Moukoko informed Borussia Dortmund TV. “However I do not take heed to what different folks say, I observe my very own path. I wish to assist the workforce — that is why I am right here.
“I am not likely desirous about whether or not it [debut] will occur … I do know my debut will come sooner or later. I learn what’s written within the media, however I am not placing any stress on myself.”
Moukoko might additionally develop into the Champions League’s youngest participant on November 24 if he faces Membership Bruges. That document is at present held by Céléstine Babayaro, who was aged 16 years and 87 days when he performed for Anderlecht in a gaggle stage match in the course of the 1994/1995 season.
A part of Moukoko’s step as much as the primary workforce was being given his first squad quantity: 18. Of all of the experiences that include being quick tracked by 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 can not miss this!’
“I messaged him right away saying I used to be coming and I ran downstairs. It was so cool, seeing your title and quantity in your shirt for the fan store is a large factor, an incredible factor, for a younger participant as a result of that does not occur to you every single day.”
Having solely beforehand seen his now teammates on TV — or enjoying 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 will by no means expertise one other day like that,” mentioned Moukoko. “I might say: ‘Now I am with the primary workforce’ and it was a complete new feeling.
“It was wonderful. I went residence and I nonetheless could not get my head round it. I used to be so completely satisfied 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 one in all European soccer’s most prodigious abilities.
Whether or not he makes his debut this weekend or not, Moukoko looks as if to interrupt the Bundesliga document sooner or later this season.
In a latest Kicker interview, Sahin mentioned he was completely satisfied 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 damaging headlines are a part of it.”