Fabrice Olinga

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Fabrice Olinga
Malaga trenning (4).jpg
Olinga before a game with Málaga in 2014
Personal information
Full name Fabrice Olinga Essono
Date of birth (1996-05-12) 12 May 1996 (age 22)
Place of birth Douala, Cameroon
Height 1.72 m (5 ft 7 12 in)
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
Number 7
Youth career
2009–2011 Mallorca
2011–2013 Málaga
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2012–2013 Málaga B 21 (1)
2012–2014 Málaga 10 (1)
2014Zulte Waregem (loan) 7 (0)
2014–2015 Apollon Limassol 1 (0)
2015Viitorul Constanța (loan) 0 (0)
2015– Mouscron 72 (1)
National team
2012– Cameroon 17 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20 January 2019
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 20 November 2018

Fabrice Olinga Essono (born 12 May 1996), known as Olinga, is a Cameroonian footballer who plays for Belgian club Royal Excel Mouscron as a forward.

He became the youngest ever player to score in La Liga at the age of 16, at the service of Málaga. Released shortly after, he also competed professionally in Cyprus, Romania and Belgium.

Olinga represented Cameroon at the 2014 World Cup.

Early years[edit]

Born in Douala, Olinga started learning football in the "Samuel Eto'o Foundation" in Cameroon. He arrived in Spain in 2009, joining the youth ranks of RCD Mallorca.[1][2]

Two years later, Olinga was spotted by Málaga CF's academy director, Manuel Casanova, who invited him to join the club.[3] He played a crucial part in the Andalusians' side that reached the final of Copa del Rey Juvenil de Fútbol in 2012; however, he himself missed the decisive game against RCD Espanyol (0–1 loss) due to suspension.[4]

Club career[edit]

At the age of only 16, Olinga was called up by first-team manager Manuel Pellegrini for the 2012–13 opener, away against Celta de Vigo: he came on as a 60th-minute substitute for Sebastián Fernández, and went on to score the game's only goal,[5] becoming La Liga's youngest ever goalscorer at 16 years and 98 days, beating the previous record holder Iker Muniain by 191 days.[6][7]

Olinga started again four days later, appearing in a 2–0 win over Panathinaikos FC for the season's UEFA Champions League and playing 70 minutes.[8] On 20 January 2014, he cut ties with Málaga – after rejecting the offer for a revised and improved contract counseled by his agent Pini Zahavi[9]– and joined Apollon Limassol from the Cypriot First Division,[10] being immediately loaned to S.V. Zulte Waregem for five months with an option to make the move permanently afterwards.[11]

In February 2015, Apollon loaned Olinga to Romania's FC Viitorul Constanța, with the transfer being superseded by U.C. Sampdoria who had too many non-European Union players in its ranks.[12][13][14] On 11 April of the following year, compatriot Eto'o called a press conference in which he announced he was taking the Italian club to court for what he perceived as an unfair treatment of Olinga, going as far as claiming both signings were related.[15]

In the summer of 2015, Sampdoria renounced his rights on Olinga and he signed a two-year deal at Royal Mouscron-Péruwelz.[16][17] He hardly got a game during his stint in the Belgian First Division A,[18] his second goal as a professional only arriving on 30 September 2017 in a 2–2 home draw against KV Mechelen.[19]

International career[edit]

On 2 October 2012, Olinga was called by the Cameroon national team for a 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualification match against Cape Verde, and he scored on his debut on the 14th (2–1 win).[20] He was selected by coach Volker Finke for his 2014 FIFA World Cup squad at the age of 18,[21] being the youngest player in the competition but remaining an unused member as the tournament ended in group stage exit.[22]

International goals[edit]

As of 14 October 2012 (Cameroon score listed first, score column indicates score after each Olinga goal)
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 14 October 2012 Ahmadou Ahidjo, Yaoundé, Cameroon  Cape Verde
2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualification[20]


  1. ^ "El RCD Mallorca ficha a dos cameruneses de la Fundación Samuel Eto'o" [RCD Mallorca sign two Cameroonians from Samuel Eto'o Foundation] (in Spanish). Join Futbol. 19 January 2009. Archived from the original on 2 June 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  2. ^ "Apontado por Eto'o como sucessor, Olinga sonha em jogar contra o Brasil" [Poised his successor by Eto'o, Olinga dreams of playing against Brazil] (in Portuguese). SporTV. 21 June 2014. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  3. ^ "Manel Casanova cumple media década forjando el futuro del Málaga" [Manel Casanova celebrates half a decade forging Málaga's future] (in Spanish). El Desmarque. 28 March 2016. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  4. ^ "Fabrice Olinga, delantero del Málaga de 16 años es el nuevo niño de la Liga" [Fabrice Olinga, 16-year-old Málaga forward is the League's new boy]. La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 19 August 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  5. ^ "Teenager Olinga wins it for Malaga". ESPN Soccernet. 18 August 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  6. ^ Elkington, Mark (18 August 2012). "Olinga becomes La Liga's youngest scorer at 16". Reuters. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Fabrice Olinga plus jeune buteur de l'histoire de la Liga" [Fabrice Olinga youngest scorer in La Liga history] (in French). Espoirs du Football. 18 August 2012. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  8. ^ "Málaga prove too strong for Panathinaikos". UEFA. 22 August 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  9. ^ ""Quiero a Olinga fuera del Málaga"" ["I want Olinga out of Málaga"]. El Mundo (in Spanish). 16 December 2016. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  10. ^ "Málaga Club de Fútbol and Apollon Limassol reach an agreement for the transfer of Fabrice". Málaga CF. 20 January 2014. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  11. ^ "Komst van Fabrice Olinga en Roberto Chen afgerond" [Fabrice Olinga and Roberto Chen arrivals completed] (in Dutch). Zulte Waregem. 20 January 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  12. ^ "Samp, Fabrice Olinga va in prestito al Viitorul Costanza" [Samp, Fabrice Olinga goes to Viitorul Constanta on loan] (in Italian). Gianluca di Marzio. 8 February 2015. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  13. ^ "Calciomercato Sampdoria, Olinga in prestito: C'è la firma con il Viitorul Costanza" [Transfer market Sampdoria, Olinga on loan: Signature with Viitorul Constanta] (in Italian). Goal. 19 February 2015. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  14. ^ "U.C. Sampdoria: Comunicato stampa dell'11 Aprile 2016" [U.C. Sampdoria: Press release of 11 April 2016] (in Italian). U.C. Sampdoria. 11 April 2016. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  15. ^ "Eto'o fa causa alla Sampdoria per Olinga" [Eto'o prosecutes Sampdoria for Olinga] (in Italian). Calcio Mercato. 11 April 2016. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  16. ^ "Sept nouveaux joueurs: Oussalah de retour" [Seven new players: Oussalah returns] (in French). Royal Mouscron-Péruwelz. 31 August 2015. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  17. ^ "UFFICIALE – L'ex Olinga sbarca al Mouscron" [OFFICIAL – Former player Olinga arrives at Mouscron] (in Italian). Samp News 24. 1 September 2015. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  18. ^ "Olinga, la promesa camerunesa víctima de los abusos de su agente" [Olinga, the Cameroonian prospect victim of his agent's abuse]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 16 December 2016. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  19. ^ "Mouscron contraint au partage face à Malines (2–2)" [Mouscron forced to share against Mechelen (2–2)]. La Province (in French). 30 September 2017. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  20. ^ a b "Fabrice debuta con gol en Camerún y renuncia a un futuro con España" [Fabrice has scoring debut in Cameroon and renounces future with Spain]. Diario Sur (in Spanish). 15 October 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  21. ^ "Cameroon World Cup 2014 squad". The Daily Telegraph. 3 June 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  22. ^ "Older not always better at FIFA World Cup". U.S. News & World Report. 18 June 2014. Retrieved 17 November 2017.

External links[edit]