The youngest professional player in the world

The youngest professional player in the world

Por: Nicolás SasuDomingo 29 May 2022

 In the history of football, there have been many players who made their professional debut at a very young age. There are many examples, Radamel Falcao García (13 years and 112 days), Sergio Agüero (15 years and 35 days), or the boy in Liberia Eric Marshall, who made his debut at the age of 10. However, there is a case in the Netherlands that will shock you even more.

In 2009 Baerke van der Meij was born, the son of a family with a footballing past. At just 1-year-old, the boy was given his first soccer ball and he began taking his first shots at goal. Despite his age, the baby began to show great talent. That is how the following year, his family made a video for YouTube entitled "Baerke Van Der Meij, 1-year-old, Football skills", which has more than 1 million views.

This video was seen by the directors of Venlose Voetbal Vereniging Venlo, a club that currently plays in the Eerste Divisie (Dutch second division) after being relegated in the 2020/21 season. Because the grandfather was a club player in the 1960s, the baby's family was contacted by the club. Weeks later, the baby went to the club's stadium and carried out some tests with the ball, leaving the coaches completely amazed. And so it was that at the age of 18 months, Baerke van der Meij managed to sign his contract for 10 years, with the help of his father. This event was celebrated with a glass of orange juice!

Baerke van der Meij signing his contract

But this contract, unlike the rest, was not official and there was no money involved. Ellen Berden, from the press department of VVV-Venlo, explained that the signing had, above all, had a publicity objective. "It's a way to get some publicity. It's not a real contract. There are no restrictions, no money involved. We only hope that when he is old enough to start training, he will do it with us like his grandfather in the past. However, we can talk about a right-handed player, with a good kick of the ball, perseverance, and, very importantly, good footballing genes, inherited from his grandfather".

Current VVV-Venlo squad

Although the contract has ended, Baerke van der Meij is still playing for the club, eager to be the player his grandfather once was.

Continue Reading: The story of the most loyal footballer in the world

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