Fabrice Olinga

The World Cup in Brazil is coming up and it is time to start writing blog posts again. The World Cup is the venue for the big stars from the biggest football countries and clubs. But smaller countries with less known players that might get a breakthrough are also involved. Therefore, I’ve decided to study and write about a few players that I didn’t know much about before the tournament. The first player out is Fabrice Olinga from Cameroon.

Fabrice Olinga – The youngest goal scorer in La Liga

When I saw the name Fabrice Olinga in Cameroon’s squad I instantly knew that I have seen the player before, but I had no idea from where. Olinga plays for S.V. Zulte Waregem in Belgium and it couldn’t been from there I recognised him and his name, could it?

No, after some research I discovered that Fabrice Olinga has played in Spain for Malaga (and in Mallorca’s youth team). He recently turned 18 and is in fact the youngest player in the World Cup. He made his debut for Malaga already under Manuel Pellegrini in the 2012/2013 opening game away to Celta Vigo. He came on as a substitute and scored the only goal in the game. He was 16 years and 98 days at the time and became the youngest ever goalscorer in La Liga!

From Samuel Eto’o Private Foundation

Olinga came to Mallorca from the Samuel Eto’o Private Foundation – a non-profit organisation that encourages education and the protection of children in Africa. It was set up by Olinga’s world famous countryman in 2006.

The organisation scouts young talent from all over the African continent, but predominantly in Western Africa and mostly in Cameroon. A few selected players get sent to Europe for games with two of Samuel Eto’o’s former clubs, Mallorca and Barcelona. It was on such a journey that Mallorca discovered Fabrice Olinga’s talent.

Malaga – Apollon Limassol – Zulte Waregem

fabrice_olingaAfter Olinga’s dream start in Malaga and La Liga he only managed to appear in nine more first team matches and scored no more goals. Malaga have tried to tie the young forward up for a long term deal, but he has refused to sign a new contract and in January 2014 he was sold to Cypriot side Apollon Limassol, but he was instantly loaned out to Zulte Waregem. In seven first team appearances in Belgium he hasn’t managed to score so far.

Fabrice Olinga still has a long way to travel in his planned journey to the stars and is far from the first eleven in Cameroon’s national team. He has appeared on the pitch in seven games and managed one goal (of course in his debut, against Cape Verde in October 2012). Olinga is likely to spend the 2014 World Cup from the sideline, but he will probably learn a lot from the experience. Despite a recent dip in his career he is still a great talent and he might have a bright future ahead of him.

If you understand French and/or Spanish you could always follow Fabrice Olinga on Twitter.