Anticipating the summer, Irankunda is currently still 17 years old and – according to the statutes Down Under – will only be able to move to Europe when he is of age (Irankunda will turn 18 in February). According to the FCB press release, Irankunda will sign “a long-term contract” in the Bavarian capital; the German record champions did not provide any information regarding the transfer fee. According to reports, the figure should reach three million euros.
“We have had Nestory on our radar for some time now,” Jochen Sauer, head of FCB’s youth training center, said in the statement: “Nestory is an extremely fast, dribbling, strong winger with a strong finish and a lot of energy towards the goal. goal. We are convinced of his potential and that he will take the next step with us.”
Irankunda, young and unknown leaf of a league that runs under the radar at a local level. Memories inevitably return to a certain Alphonso Davies, who joined Bayern from Major League Soccer’s Vancouver Whitecaps in January 2019.
Davies is also a blank slate
Davies was also 17 at the time of signing in the summer of 2018, and was smiling for the camera with braces at the time. Similar to Irankunda, he was only known to experts with an affinity for young footballers; he was also touted as a “fast and technically proficient offensive player”.
“As a child I always dreamed of a moment like this,” the Canadian said enthusiastically at the time. And he adds: “Now the dream has come true. But now the work continues, now I have to give everything to take advantage of this opportunity.”
And how he took advantage of his opportunity. In a very short time Davies worked his way up from Monaco’s amateurs to the A team and became the undisputed starting player under manager Hansi Flick, who used the youngster as a left-back. A year and a half after he arrived in the Bavarian capital, he lifted the championship trophy, the DFB Cup and the European Cup.
Irankunda’s parents fled to Tanzania
The parallels between Davies and Irankunda are not just about playing qualities. Like Davies, Irankunda was born in an African refugee camp because his parents had to flee a civil war. Irankunda’s parents fled Burundi to Tanzania, Davies’ parents left Liberia for Ghana, where today’s superstar was born.
“I know it was very difficult for my parents,” Irankunda recently told the YouTube channel “KEEPUP.” Shortly after Irankunda was born, the family moved to Adelaide, Australia. In a city of over a million people, Irankunda soon discovered his enthusiasm for the large leather ball; it was immediately clear that the boy had great talent. “I always played an extra year during my youth,” he explained.
His path was still bumpy, so his two brothers hung up their football boots to play for the club. “The club’s fees were just too high and they sacrificed their dream for mine,” said Irankunda, who also owes a big thank you to his parents. “My father probably sacrificed more for me. Before I got my driver’s license, he took me everywhere. Sometimes he couldn’t even go to church to take me to training or games.”
Professional debut at 15 years old
The commitment paid off: at 14 years old Irankunda was discovered by Adelaide United, and at just 15 he made his first team debut. Now he is indispensable. In 39 professional games he contributed nine goals and two assists. Values that Irankunda will expand in the coming months until the move to Monaco. “The experiences of the next few months in the A-League will have a very positive effect on his further development,” predicts the Campus coach Sauer.
Meanwhile, Irankunda knows exactly what he wants: the pot handle. He clarified this in an interview on “KEEPUP”. The young man is already thinking about the distant future: “I want to end my career at Adelaide United.” But first comes the great adventure in Germany.
Retrain to become a defender?
Irankunda will initially be further developed on the campus north of Munich. Like Davies once did. And who knows, maybe the Australian national team player will follow a similar path in terms of positioning, from attacking winger to defensive winger. Irankunda at least has a history as a defender.
“I often watched Barcelona games. I wanted to be a central defender, I played in central defense. I liked Carles Puyol and Gerard Piqué,” he revealed. “At first I was sad when they told me I should play as a striker because my dream was to be a defender.”
And defenders – as is becoming clear these days – can always be used by Bayern. In Munich, however, Irankunda’s services will still have to wait a little longer.