- Moukoko named in Germany’s 26-man squad
- Cameroon had hoped to woo back the attacker
- 17-year-old enjoying a good season at Dortmund
WHAT HAPPENED? Die Mannschaft coach Hansi Flick has announced his final squad for the World Cup and the 17-year-old Cameroon-born Borussia Dortmund forward is among the surprise inclusions.
Born in Yaounde before moving to Germany when he was 10, Moukoko has emerged as one of the world’s top talents and there were hopes that he would represent the Indomitable Lions at the 2022 World Cup.
WHAT DID HE SAY? "To now be involved in a World Cup, an objective that players dream of their whole career, makes me unbelievably proud. All the hard work has paid off and I'm simply incredibly happy and overwhelmed," said Moukoko, as reported by the Dortmund official site.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Moukoko and Mario Goetz were among the surprise inclusions in Flick’s squad, the teenager benefiting from the absence of Dortmund teammate Marco Reus, Timo Werner (RB Leipzig) and Lukas Nmecha (VfL Wolfsburg), who are all injured.
The 17-year-old, who grew up with his grandparents in Yaounde before his German-based father took him to the European country in 2014, has been in scintillating form for the Black and Yellow, scoring six goals while providing four assists in 21 matches this season.
Dubbed the ‘new Eto’o’ when he emerged onto the scene, Moukoko has represented Germany at youth level. He was the subject of interest from Cameroon with Fecafoot boss Samuel Eto’o and Indomitable Lions coach Rigobert Song, both hinting at a desire to woo him back.
While Cameroon still have a chance, it looks more complicated now, as he will either have to miss the World Cup through injury or fail to make more than three appearances for Germany before he is 21 to be eligible for a change of nationality.
WHAT’S NEXT? Moukoko will hope to lead Dortmund to victory against Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga on Friday. He will then turn focus to the national team who begin their World Cup campaign against Japan on November 23, three days after his 18th birthday, with fixtures against Spain and Costa Rica awaiting in Group E.