Zimbabwean wonder-kid Mparaganda signs first professional contract at Feyenoord

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Matthew Mparaganda

Netherlands-born Zimbabwean rising star Matthew Mparaganda has made a big leap in his fledgling football career after signing his first professional contract with Dutch Eredivisie side Feyenoord at the tender age of 15 on Tuesday.

Mparanganda, who can play as a left-sided full-back or as a winger, signed a three-year contract which will see him continue his development with Feyenoord until mid-2026.

Rini Coolen, Head of Academy, had nice words for Mparaganda during the signing ceremony.

“Matthew is an excellent example of a player who, because of his good mentality, does everything every day to become a better footballer,” he said in a statement which was published by the club’s official website.

“As a modern left wing defender, Matthew puts a lot of energy into training and matches and also has the necessary physical conditions. He can also easily handle different game systems. Signing his first contract is a wonderful reward for him.”

An elated Mparanganda said he is very proud to have signed his first professional contract at such a young age and is targeting to eventually represent Feyenoord at senior level.

“It’s a special day for me,” said Mparaganda.

“Not many footballers can say that they signed a contract at the age of 15. The fact that I was able to do this in front of my parents and family at Feyenoord makes me very proud. My goal is to eventually reach Feyenoord 1. But until then I have to develop myself as well as possible within Feyenoord Academy.”

Mparaganda, who was born in the Netherlands to Zimbabwean parents, started his football career at amateur club VVIJ from IJsselstein.

He was then recruited by the youth academy of FC Utrecht, before the Feyenoord Academy secured his services in the summer of 2018.

This season Mparanganda has featured for the Feyenoord Under 16, where he has had the privilege of being mentored by the former Arsenal and Manchester United striker Robin van Persie.

The young defender also made his debut for the Netherlands Under-15 national team last month during a friendly match against Belgium, helping his side to a 3-0 win.

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