Some youngsters who could have played for countries on the African continent have taken Spanish football by storm
Former Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Teko Modise says La Liga young stars with “strong African roots” must seize every opportunity that comes with both hands.
Currently, Barcelona’s Ansu Fati and Ilaix Moriba are headlining the Wonderkids, who are both 18 years old.
Fati, now the Spanish international striker, was born in Guinea-Bissau, while Moriba was born in Conakry, Guinea and represented the U17 national team in his adopted country.
“It’s exciting to see the new generation of Spanish stars, especially those with strong African roots,” said Modise LaLiga.
“These are superstars who are still young but have the opportunity to play in Spain for big teams like Ansu Fati and Ilaix Moribi.
“As Africans we are everywhere and when opportunities arise, be it in their country of birth or in their adopted homeland, you have to hug them and take them with both hands.
“I think it’s the new era of mixed football cultures that is accepted and will bring results, so it will be very interesting to see how they justify that belief and really make it in football.”
Just like Fati and Moriba, Adama Traore, Wolverhampton Wanderers winger who has Malian roots, joined Barcelona’s La Masia youth team and is a Spanish international but has only played one La Liga game.
Athletic Bilbao striker Inaki Williams, who represented Spain, was born in Bilbao but is of Ghanaian and Liberian ancestry.
“In La Liga, they focus on what football is all about, which is the highly technical and tactical skills of footballers,” added Modise.
“It’s such a special league, with a football brand that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
“The focus is on football culture and the players’ respect for playing football on the ground.
“That is the philosophy that Spanish football believes in and why LaLiga is the league for a footballer that everyone with this technical level wants to play in.”
Players like Real Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane and, more recently, Nabil Fekir, both of whom have Algerian roots, were also successful in La Liga.