17-year-old hat trick hero becomes the latest Belgian shooting star

August 11th, 2013

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Add Zakaria Bakkali to Belgium’s “golden generation.”

The 17-year-old winger was added to Belgium’s national team squad for their upcoming friendly against France on Thursday, just a day after scoring his first goal for PSV in a Champions League qualifier. Bakkali followed that up with this impressive hat trick for against NEC over the weekend, announcing himself to the world:

There’s got to be something in the Belgian water, right?

After producing the likes of Eden Hazard, Christian Benteke, Axel Witsel, Marouane Fellaini, Simon Mignolet, Kevin de Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku— all of whom are 25 or younger — the Belgians’ seemingly endless talent pool has gotten even richer with the arrival of Bakkali. Are the Rode Duivels suddenly on the verge of becoming one of the world’s best teams?

Maybe so, at least on paper. One thing is for certain: expect Bakkali to play in the Premier League very soon. A Premier League team without a Belgian these days is like a ship without a sail.

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