Zakaria Bakkali – 10 magic days

Zakaria Bakkali – 10 magic days

EINDHOVEN, NETHERLANDS - SEPTEMBER 25:  Zakaria Bakkali of PSV in action during the Dutch Cup match between PSV Eindhoven and SC Stormvogels Telstar at the Philips Stadion on September 25, 2013 in Eindhoven, Netherlands.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
EINDHOVEN, NETHERLANDS – SEPTEMBER 25: Zakaria Bakkali of PSV in action during the Dutch Cup match between PSV Eindhoven and SC Stormvogels Telstar at the Philips Stadion on September 25, 2013 in Eindhoven, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Belgian footballer Zakaria Bakkali is one of the most talented young football players in the world.

Bakkali made his debut for PSV against Zulte Waregem in a UEFA Champions League qualifying match on 30 July 2013. That same week he booked his first game in the Eredivisie against ADO Den Haag, and not long after, the goals arrived.

On 7 August, he scored his first senior goal in the second-leg of the Champions League tie against Zulte Waregem in a 3:0 win. Less than 78 hours later Zakaria Bakkali had encapsulated a marvelous first ten days as a professional football player.

On 10 August, he scored a hat-trick in PSV’s 5:0 defeat of NEC Nijmegen at the Philips Stadion. He scored the first and second goal with his weaker left foot, before hitting another from the edge of the box. Bakkali had become the youngest player to score a hat-trick in Eredivisie history, at 17 years and 196 days old.

Zakaria was born on 26 January 1996 and started his football career at the youth academies of R.F.C. de Liege. Soon he was transferred to Standard, before his move to PSV Eindhoven at the age of 12.

Bakkali started showing excellent ball control and great movement from a young age, with crosses and slaloms between defenders becoming his trademark. He finished his first professional season with three goals in 16 matches and earned a call from Belgium senior coach Marc Wilmots.

Check out this great video from ScoutNation for proof of his skills. 

Wilmots wanted Bakkali to play against France but he was prevented due to a training injury sustained the day before the game. At that time, Zakaria, who has dual nationality, had the choice of playing for the Moroccan national team, but decided to play for Belgium. Wilmots ended all speculations when he decided to put the player on against Wales in the World Cup Qualifying match.

Last year, Bakkali was set for a move to Atletico Madrid for a fee of around 2-3 million Euros, but the move never came. After refusing a new contract from PSV, Bakkali was ousted from the first-team at PSV, a sign for other clubs to start the ’hunt’. Some of the biggest football clubs want to sign the 19-year-old Belgian.

He is currently still a PSV player but we could see him in one of the best teams in the world very soon.

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  1. I never liked soccer until my boy srtated playing it. Now that he is getting pretty good, I like it more.The sport gets a bad rap. Check out the English Premier games sometimes on cable. Even the NCAA tournament games this year were pretty damn entertaining, including the women’s bracket.Played a ton of (street) hockey as a kid, including in a pretty serious league, and always loved the Flyers, especially in the 70’s. Stopped watching the Flyers when Bob Clarke treated an injured Eric Lindros like a stray dog. Never came back; don’t miss the game. I catch a few minutes from time to time and based on those brief glimpses, it’s obvious what is wrong with the game. The ice surface isn’t large enough for today’s bigger and faster players. It’s taken the skill out of the game.Basketball is another sport that has tanked in my opinion. I blame the fall on Sportscenter. Everybody wants to dunk and pose. If you want to watch the game played right (Larry Brown reference), you need to watch a high school game. High school basketball is still awesome.With apologies to the fine folks here, pro football has also taken a major step back for me. The product is fine, but the incessant TV time outs are killing the game. It’s actually become comical.Here’s how I rank the major sports right now in terms of entertainment:1. Baseball2. Football3. Soccer4. Golf5. Boxing 6. Basketball7. Hockey8. Tennis9. NASCAR Anyone else?(I still won’t watch mixed martial arts)Ed Wade

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