Khalid Mohamed is the youngster to watch
While the likes of Michael Olunga and Victor Wanyama continue to grab headlines around the world , there is a new generation of talent ready to burst onto the scene.
Khalid Mohamed, alias Messi, is the youngster to watch. His dribbling prowess is unmatched and his ball control and stamina in the midfield has many talking.
He dons the number 10 jersey, similar to that of Barcelona icon Lionel Messi, and when he holds the ball on his magic feet, a goal is on the cards.
He has scored more than 100 goals since he began playing football. He is currently the winner of the best player award in Machelle Super Cup, and many other grassroots leagues played in Mombasa.
“They call me Messi because of what I do on the pitch. I always do my best in the team and everyone who supports my club knows.
They always feel good when I play and I always get encouraged,” said Mohamed.
Mohamed, 16, is a Standard Eight pupil at Makupa Primary School in Majengo, Mombasa.
He plays for Mombasa Premier League participants Boca Juniors Football Club where he has helped his side win several accolades.
His passion for football began at his tender age and although he is yet to grasp a position in any of the national Under-17 and Under-23 teams, he believes he has all that it takes to play for the national team.
Just like his nickname suggests, the Kenyan Messi is dreaming big. His desire is to play for Spanish giants, FC Barcelona.
“Lionel Messi is my idol of course. He plays well and I like how he supplies the ball. I wish to meet him or play with him one day, my dreams are valid,” says Mohamed.
Born in a family of 9, the young Mohamed thanks his parents, Hassan Mohamed and Jamila Mohamed for being supportive to his career.
His friends and family, he says, have made him love football, including his two brothers who also play for local league clubs.
“I come from a football family. Three of my brothers play football although they have not made it to the national side,” he adds.
He adds, “I have two coaches -- Dennis Medila and Rajab Babu -- who have contributed a lot to my playing.They are good coaches who can mold a footballer,”.
His Friend, Salim Swaleh, who also plays for Mvita Young Stars Football Club in Majengo, says Mohamed has discipline on and off the pitch.
“We have played together and I know him very well. He is a very skilled midfielder who leaves nothing to chance when he holds the ball.
He has discipline and is always ready to collaborate with his teammates,” said Swaleh.