I want you to look at this picture of 13-year-old Ivorian-Scot baby, Karamoko Dembélé, as he sits taking in a Celtic U-20 game:
Look at how small this tyke is. Look at the expression of pure joy on his babyish face as he chats it up with a couple older guys who too are clearly enthralled by the presence of this little dude. They’re probably cackling during the photo after Dembélé had just called them “buttheads” for telling him that his snack was made of boogers.
Believe it or not, that tiny boy was soon to make it out onto the pitch to compete against other guys some seven years his senior, because that tiny boy is an assassin.
Indeed, little Dembélé here took a break from competing against boys closer to his own age yesterday to test his skills at the U20 level with the Celtic reserve team. There don’t appear to be any highlights of his showing last night, but the simple fact that the Celtic academy is so thoroughly impressed with the kid’s talent that they put him up against much bigger and older players is remarkable in its own right. Plus, the pictures are great:
Now, when I said Dembélé took a break from competing against similarly aged boys, I did the kid a bit of a disservice. It’s less a competition when Dembélé goes up against fellow children, and more a massacre:
Look at that kid go.
Of course, soccer is rife with precocious youngsters who looked like the second coming of Lionel Messi as teens and eventually wound up becoming the newest Freddy Adu, so none of this is any guarantee that Dembélé will continue along this stratospheric growth curve. Still, it’s worth stopping to take note when a literal baby crushes his fellow infants so completely that his coaches decide to put him up against adults. What a time it must be to be Karamoko Dembélé.