Qatar 2022 – Burkina Faso

Lassina Traore of Ajax Amsterdam celebrates his goal vs Atalanta BC
© Getty Images

  • Lassina Traoré, new nugget of Ajax and Burkina Faso
  • A first since Marco Van Basten
  • “We have everything we need to do great things”

On October 24, Ajax Amsterdam pulverized VVV-Venlo on the historic score of 13-0 thanks in particular to the dazzling performance of Lassina Traoré, author of a quintuplet and three assists. The Burkinabe striker thus became the first Ajax player to score at least five goals in a league match since a certain Marco van Basten and his six goals against Sparta Rotterdam in 1985.

A feat that is not trivial for a player who is not yet 20 years old and who is just starting this season to win in the first team, but which is less surprising when we look at his performance with the team has been reserving since arriving in Europe two years ago. Powerful, precise, both insatiable and altruistic, Traoré today rewards the flair with which the recruiters of Lancers demonstrated by unearthing him at Ajax Cape Town.

However, his first contacts with the Dutch team’s pro group did not reveal the obvious. “It was complicated, the step was very high. I understood how hard I was going to have to work. I remember training in the United States where I had Matthijs de Ligt on my back. was the marking on the panties. He was strong like me and very fast. It was the first time for me and he took all the balls from me! Today, it would not be the same “, laughs he at the microphone of

Curious and hardworking, Lassina held on to adapt to her new life on and off the pitch. He was fortunate that the year of his arrival at the club coincided with Ajax’s wonderful journey to the semi-final of the UEFA Champions League in the 2018/19 season. “It was incredible. I had a great sense of pride. Even though my first year was difficult, I really enjoyed being part of this adventure”, smiles the one who made his first appearance on the bench on the occasion of the fatal defeat against Tottenham in the last four.

Lassina Traore of Ajax and Frenkie de Jong of Ajax celebrate
© Getty Images

A well-born star

His rise was also built on a solid foundation, that of a family that has football in its blood. Starting with his mother who spontaneously developed a passion for football when she was young. “Her parents did not want her to play football and she had to hide to train and play matches,” said the son. “The day it started making money, they figured it was serious and they let her play.”

Lassina’s grandparents were well inspired as their daughter became captain and master at playing the women’s national team. “When I was little, I followed her everywhere. I was with her when she was training and I saw her play. That’s where I had the passion,” he recalls. “Today, she advises me on the professional side, but in the field, she knows that I know what to do. She taught me to rest well, to have a healthy lifestyle and to concentrate well the day before. matches. “

His father also played football but never broke through at the highest level, unlike his uncle Rahim Ouedraogo, a former Burkinabé international, who founded in 2012 Rahimo FC, a club based in Bobo-Dioulasso which won. since as one of the best in the country. Lassina joined her training center at the age of 11. “This is where I learned everything”, slips the one who fueled his dreams of glory by devouring the matches of the national team with his eyes, while observing attentively the exploits of his idols, Didier Drogba and Emmanuel Adebayor.

My cousin manages well

Lassina is also the cousin of Bertrand Traoré, also passed by Ajax and today striker of Aston Villa, whom he considers as a big brother and who guided him in his European adaptation. The two had the joy of being in the national team in 2017, when Lassina graced his first cap at just 16, which did not prevent him from scoring three goals for his first two rides with the Stallions.

Today, the nugget of Ajax is part of this new generation nourished by the exploits of the past decade and which will tackle the next continental meetings without complex, starting with the last two qualifying matches for CAN 2021 in March next, followed in the spring by the kick-off of the qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar, an event that Stallions dream of finally discovering.

“The Burkinabés are starting to believe it. They know that our team is capable of doing great things, especially with this young generation who is arriving and who is complementing well with the executives who were finalists of the CAN in 2013 and third in 2017. If we keep working, I think it will pay off. We have everything we need to do great things, “he concludes.

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