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In the past two weeks a young Eritrean-Swede Alexander Isak and a protege of the legendary young star Henok Goitom another Eritrean-Swede who plays for the ERITREAN national team has seen his name make headlines everywhere. Alexander has already made history in Sweden becoming the youngest professional soccer player of all time to score a goal in a competitive match for AIK. His age was recorded at 16 years, 5 months and 7 days (6004 days) when he scored his first goal for AIK. The previous record was recorded by Alexander Ostlund who was 16 years, 11 months and 26 days (6204 days) in October 1995.
It was reported by Eri-International sports that Alexander may be headed to the English Premier League as two team current champions Leicester City and Southampton were looking to grab him indicating that this young man has a bright future in professional soccer. Meanwhile another report which did not circulate is that Anderlecht of Belgium was also heavily interested in acquiring Alexander and were in the running until today.
AIK puts a stamp on Alexander.
According to the AIK website and people close to Alexander the thought of him going to England or Belgium have been put to rest as he will continue the legacy of Henok Goitom at AIK. Alexander Isak began playing for AIK as a 5 year old and has gone all the way from the youth program through the youth team to the first team. He was raised in AIK’s Youth Academy where an Eritrean coach Nahom Ghidey who is doing wonders for AIK also happens to be a part of this growing process for the Swedish team based in Solna, just outside of Stockholm.
When asked Who his role models were, Alex said, “I look up to Ibrahimovic, and Henok Goitom, of course.” The Eritrean connection is deep as their fathers also know each other well. Henok has repeatedly praised the 16-year-old on social media, and has even shared advice on the training pitch. They are similar in their style of play. Alexander added, “Many people compare us. I have a hard job ahead of me, before I become really good, and to already get praise from Henok is a big deal. I learned a lot from him. We are compatriots and support each other.”
Thanks to the contribution Alexander has also decided to give back to the club that raised him as he remains loyal to AIK. Here is what the website for AIK has confirmed,
“AIK soccer agree with striker Alexander Isak on a contract that extends over 2018. Isak officially moved up to the first-team squad and will continue to play in the number 36 jersey.”
Most of you have seen the video of Alexander before a game bonding with his fans at AIK and it is clear that the young man has a love affair with his home town team. Like Henok Goitom did before him and like the many thousands of Eritrean-Swedes who have been great citizens of their adopted country. Sweden benefits from Eritreans and it must be recalled that despite all the obstacles that Eritreans and other immigrants face, Sweden should embrace the ERITREAN community like AIK has embraced Alexander Isak and Henok Goitom.
Eri-International sports will continue to dig some important information on the role of Eritreans in the diaspora especially Sweden in the very near future. Meanwhile Congratulations to Alexander Isak for being one of the youngest soccer players to sign a professional contract at the age of 16.
Source: Eri-International sports