Before the World Cup, some of Divock Origi’s teammates on the Belgium national team barely even knew who he was, but after his performances in the tournament he has become a Belgian sensation.
Here’s what you need to know about the him:
1. He is the Youngest Goalscorer in the World Cup
In the 88th minute of a 1–0 win over Russia, Origi became the youngest goalscorer of the the 2014 World Cup, and the first player of Kenyan ethnicity to score at a FIFA World Cup finals game and the youngest goalscorer in Belgian World Cup history at 19 years, 2 months and 4 days old.
Origi was not a starter for the game and came in as a substitute in the 57th minute of the game to get them to the knockout round of the World Cup.
The talented striker made the roster in May as a replacement for Christian Benteke, one of the best strikers on the Belgium national team after he ruptured his achilles. Belgium fans ignored Origi and looked to Belgium’s lead striker Romelu Lukaku carry the team.
I did not know him.”
Manager Marc Wilmots said after his game-winning goal:
Even most of the media didn’t know who he was when I called him up. I love launching young kids. He’s in a good space right now. And everyone knows who he is.”
Even his Wikipedia page only has a pencil drawing of his face and no real photo.
2. Belgium Made a Song For Him
After Origi’s debut in the game against Russia, Belgium was in a frenzy that people are caling “Origi-mania.”
At parties and clubs all over Belgium, specifically Antwerp, it would not be surprising to hear a local DJ Ronny Mosuse’s new jam called “ORIGIGIGI ORIGIGO.” The techno song is a series of repetition of the words ‘ORIGIGIGI ORIGIGO’ and has spread like wildfire through the country this summer.
3. His Father Was a Striker For Kenya
Origi’s father, Mike Origi was also a professional footballer. Mike played in Belgium for the entirety of his professional career, but represented his home country of Kenya internationally. He played for Kenya from 1989-2004, playing in the Africa Cup of Nations in 1990, 1992 and 2004.
4. He’s Been Playing For Lille OSC Since He Was 17
Divock is just 19 years old and went pro in 2012 at the age of 17 when he signed a contract with France’s Lille OSC. He has scored 6 goals in 40 appearances for them.
Since his impressive performances in the World Cup, Arsenal reportedly is offering Lille $15 million for his transfer.
5. He is Fluent in Four Languages
Origi has gained the respect of all his teammates with his intense concentration on the field and in practice, along with his ability to speak French, English, Swahili and Flemish fluently. The Belgians know him to have smarts both on and off the field and trust him to avoid any distractions that may face him now that he has been put in the spotlight.
Wilmots said of him:
He is someone with discipline.”
Belgian Midfielder Marouane Fellaini said:
He has a lot of quality, he can score goals, he’s fast and he has good technique. He is young, [against Russia] he showed everything.”