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.