Shortly after the U-17 European Championships, Ahmed Kutucu got a call-up to the Turkey team that would play at the World Cup in India. But it wasn’t the first time the teenager had been asked to join a national team. “I had got a call-up from Germany,” says the striker.
“But the Turkey coach (Mehmet Hacioglu) came to watch me play in Germany, and after a match he asked me to play for him. I too wanted to play for them.”
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His debut match for the young Turks in a competitive setting was the opening game at the World Cup itself, and after 12 minutes of play against New Zealand, Kutucu became the tournament’s first goalscorer in a match that ended 1-1.
Born and brought up in the coal-mining town of Gelsenkirchen in north-west Germany, Kutucu trains at Bundesliga club Schalke’s youth academy. In July, he was promoted to the club’s U19 squad. “He’s a recent call-up and a good player,” says Hacioglu. “He’s still growing and hasn’t yet reached the level I expect him to be at.”