Meet Joshua Zirkzee – The Dutch talent who is open to representing Nigeria

Meet Joshua Zirkzee – The Dutch talent who is open to representing Nigeria
Photo by Icon Sport

Joshua Zirkzee, born on May 22, 2001, in Schiedam, is a talented Dutch-Nigerian professional footballer who has carved his path in the competitive world of football, captivating fans with his skills and determination.

Known for his prowess as a forward, Zirkzee currently graces the pitch for Serie A club Bologna, leaving an indelible mark with his remarkable performances.

Early beginnings and youth career

Joshua Zirkzee ‘s journey in football commenced at a tender age of five when he joined VV Hekelingen, showcasing his innate talent from the outset.

His family's relocation to Spijkenisse saw him continue his footballing pursuits at Spartaan '20's youth department in 2010, where he shared the pitch with his cousin, Nelson Amadin.

A move to ADO Den Haag followed in 2013 before ultimately finding his way to the esteemed Feyenoord youth academy in 2016.

Bayern Munich: A dream unfolds

Serge Gnabry (l) cheers with Alphonso Davies (M) and Joshua Zirkzee
Photo by Icon Sport

In a pivotal turn of events, Zirkzee ventured beyond his homeland, joining the renowned Bayern Munich youth setup in 2017.

His debut for Bayern Munich II on March 1, 2019, marked the inception of a remarkable journey.

Displaying his exceptional talent, he clinched a hat-trick in his inaugural appearance, setting the stage for a promising career ahead.

Zirkzee swiftly transitioned to the senior team, making notable contributions with crucial goals in both domestic and European competitions.

Loan spells and development

Embracing opportunities for growth, Joshua Zirkzee embarked on loan spells to further hone his skills.

His stint with Italian side Parma in 2021, though marred by an unfortunate injury, provided invaluable experience.

Subsequently, a season-long loan to Anderlecht in 2021-2022 showcased his prowess, culminating in a prolific season as the club's top scorer.

Bologna: A new chapter

Joshua celebrting
Photo by Icon Sport

In August 2022, Zirkzee embarked on a new chapter in his career, securing a permanent transfer to Serie A club Bologna.

His impactful debut season saw him swiftly endearing himself to fans, culminating in notable performances and crucial goals.

Zirkzee's impressive form continued into the following season, drawing attention from top European clubs and solidifying his status as one of football's most promising talents.

International career: Joshua Zirkzee open to representing Nigeria

While Zirkzee was born and raised in the Netherlands, his heritage reflects his Nigerian roots through his mother.

Despite representing the Netherlands at the youth level, his multicultural background adds a unique dimension to his identity, sparking discussions about his potential eligibility for international duty with Nigeria's Super Eagles.

Zirkzee disclosed his willingness to represent Nigeria if he fails to secure a call-up from the Netherlands senior team.

“But Nigeria is not a country that you just choose because you cannot play for your homeland. The competition there for attackers is perhaps just as great as in the Dutch team.

“Nigeria has Boniface from Leverkusen and Osimhen from Napoli. And they have many more attackers.

“It's not like I can think for a moment: The Netherlands isn't calling, then I'll choose Nigeria. Are they even pulling on me? Maybe.

“But my dream has always been the Dutch national team. And the European Championships are not necessarily a crossroads. Like, if that doesn't happen then, I'll look further.

“I'd be grateful if it did happen. If not, I have to make sure they call me. You hope to be there one day.”

Joshua Zirkzee origins

Joshua Zirkzee (Bologna FC) celebrates for the victory
Photo by Icon sport

Joshua Zirkzee, the skilled footballer, embodies a dual identity, hailing from both Dutch and Nigerian heritage.

As a Dutch citizen, his paternal roots lie in Schiedam, a historic municipality in South Holland, shaping his upbringing and early years.

However, his maternal lineage traces back to Isoko, a region nestled within Delta State, Nigeria, suggesting a strong affiliation with the vibrant culture and traditions of his Nigerian roots.

Facts about Joshua Zirkzee

In 2016, Feyenoord's scouts displayed keen insight by securing the signing of the promising young talent, Joshua Zirkzee, to their esteemed club.

However, Zirkzee's trajectory took an exhilarating turn the following year when he made the leap to Bayern Munich, setting off a surge of excitement with his Bundesliga debut.

Despite the daunting prospect of competing for playing time behind established stars like Robert Lewandowski and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Zirkzee consistently demonstrated his prowess whenever called upon to don the Bavarian jersey.

His impact was immediate, as evidenced by a sensational hat-trick in his debut for the reserve team, a performance that earned praise from football luminaries like Jerome Boateng.

Amidst growing acclaim, Nigeria sought to lure the burgeoning talent to their national squad, recognizing his potential to bolster their ranks.

However, Zirkzee remained steadfast in his allegiance to his homeland, declining all advances from the Nigerian camp.

His tenure with Bayern Munich was marked by a string of triumphs, as the club hoisted numerous trophies, with Zirkzee etching his name in Bundesliga history as the youngest-ever Dutch goalscorer.

Honours

Alphonso Davies (l) and Joshua Zirkzee pose with the cup.
Photo by Icon Sport

Bayern Munich II

  • Regionalliga Bayern: 2018–19
  • Premier League International Cup: 2018–19

Bayern Munich

  • Bundesliga: 2019–20
  • DFB-Pokal: 2019–20
  • DFL-Supercup: 2020, 2022
  • UEFA Champions League: 2019–2020
  • UEFA Super Cup: 2020

Joshua Zirkzee salary

Zirkzee, currently plying his trade as a striker for Bologna, commands an impressive weekly salary of £19,000, translating to an annual income of £988,000.

Joshua Zirkzee net worth

With such earnings, coupled with endorsements and investments, Zirkzee has accumulated a substantial net worth estimated at £5,206,240.

His financial stability is further solidified by his existing contract with Bologna, which is set to run until June 30, 2026, ensuring both stability and potential for further growth in his career.

Zirkzee latest news

Joshua Zirkzee finds himself at the center of attention as several top clubs, including Manchester United, Arsenal, and Chelsea, engage in a heated competition to secure the talented forward.

Milan, in particular, has been closely monitoring Zirkzee for some time, considering him a prime candidate to bolster their attacking lineup with a new number nine.

The Italian giants have persistently ranked Zirkzee among their top priorities, signaling their intent to pursue the coveted striker amidst fierce competition from other European heavyweights.

This article was most recently revised and updated 1 month ago

Rababe Koussaimi, a 22-year-old football journalist, is deeply passionate about the world of sports. The Moroccan journalist channels her enthusiasm into writing and conducting extensive research, creating insightful and engaging content for GoalBallLive readers.