All talk of late surrounding Italian giants AC Milan have included a list of words that could form the diminutive negative dictionary. Words such as “turmoil,” “crisis,” “disaster,’ “downfall,” “plight,” “despair” and “capitulation” now form part of the daily routine of one of European Football’s most decorated clubs.
These pessimistic associations hail from a traumatic summer that has seen the Rosseneri have to part with a number of their key players, to ease the threat of financial suffocation. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva were just two of the stars that fell in the exodus, and as a result Milan has struggled badly, both on the domestic and European front. Each week see’s a new name appear as the man that might be the savior of this great, historically rich club. The latest name touted is ex Barcelona manager, and Milan icon, Frank Rijkaard.
Yet amidst all this panic they may already have ‘Milan’s great savior’ in their ranks. The only trouble being, that due to his pubescent age, he cannot turn out for the first team. His name is Hachim Mastour, and after signing for Milan at a cost of €500,000, he is the worlds most expensive 14 year old. Mastour was born in Italy, to Moroccan parents, and signed for Reggiana aged 10. It was Milan’s bitter rivals Inter that first seriously lusted over the crazily gifted youngster. He actually wore the famous striped blue and black shirt in junior tournaments, scoring 5 goals in the ‘Memorial Ielasi tournament’ in January this year. But with his impressive showing the vultures began to circle. Amongst them were Juventus, Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester City. Apparently Man City also offered accommodation for Hachim’s family, but they obviously weren’t keen on the idea of living above the ‘Rovers Return.’
It was Milan, however, that managed to steal ahead of the pack, mainly due to the influence of youth Head Mauro Bianchessi and CEO Adriano Galliani. A €500,000 offer was made and the deal became official on July 2nd. He was unveiled to the world via Italian TV, where he performed keep up’s with an orange and a ping pong ball.
Mastour has already been likened to Messi, Riquelme, Kaka, Sneijder and Zidane. So presumably he will be an outrageously talented footballer that is hugely religious, dates a German TV host and head butt’s people for kicks? When the player himself was asked of his main strengths he replied, “Ball control and dribbling. I do things that other boys my age don't do."
Mastour will train with the Primavera side, but will play his football with the Allievi Nazionali, Italian rules don’t allow any player under 15 to compete in the Primavera category. Just under two weeks ago he completed his debut for the Rossoneri’s Under-15s in a 7-0 hammering of Albinoleffe. He scored a brace of incredible quality and performed tricks that make Cristiano Ronaldo look like a paraplegic. You can treat your eyes to these below
My advice to Milan fan’s at present is to ride the storm for now, the future looks enviously tantalising. Besides whatever happens on the pitch against Inter this season they have already beaten their adversaries to a far greater award off it. The world will be watching.
image: © olaszmelo