Lyon wonderkid Cherki reveals he was discovered in a parking lot

Rayan Cherki Lyon 2020-21
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The 17-year-old said his path to stardom was set in motion after a chance encounter with an OL coach

Lyon starlet Rayan Cherki has revealed that his talents were initially spotted by a coach who saw him playing in a parking lot. 

Cherki has become one of the most coveted talents in Europe after breaking through to Lyon's first team last season as a 16-year-old. 

In June, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas revealed that Manchester United and Real Madrid were both interested in signing Cherki before he committed to a professional contract with Lyon.

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Speaking to Telefoot, Cherki said his path in football began with a chance encounter with a Lyon coach in a parking lot. 

"It was done in a parking lot," Cherki said. "As usual I was with my ball. I started to juggle, and I was lucky to come across an OL coach who suggested that I go do tests."

In August, Cherki made history by becoming the youngest player to ever take part in a Champions League knockout-round match, as the forward came on against Bayern Munich just two days after his 17th birthday.

Lyon fell to Bayern in the semi-final of the Champions League after making a run through to the last four, following upsets of Juventus and Manchester City.

Cherki has been linked with a move away from Lyon but insisted that he is aiming to go even farther with his current side in Europe's top club competition.

"Of course winning the Champions League with OL is still in the back of my head," he said. "Especially since this summer we reached the semi-finals. We lacked one little thing, but over the years we will do it."

Cherki has made six Ligue 1 appearances for Lyon this season thus far, with OL sitting 11th in the league table after a stuttering start.

Though he is yet to get on the scoresheet in 2020-21, Cherki detailed how he has achieved regular playing time with Lyon at such a young age.

"I am a player who likes to go on 1v1, who always likes to go forward," Cherki said. "I use my two feet. Since I was four, I have been training on my weaker foot. And that helps make a player a force."