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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 April, 2004, 03:50 GMT 04:50 UK
Prodigy makes pro debut
Ghanaian-born Freddy Adu
Ghanaian-born Freddy Adu is attracting interest from Europe
The youngest football player in the modern era has made his professional debut.

He is strong, fast, inventive, with a keen eye for goal. Manchester United, Chelsea and Inter Milan wanted him.

He is also the highest paid football player in the US - as well as having a million-dollar sponsorship deal - and he is only 14.

Freddy Adu made his professional debut on Saturday, playing for DC United as the US soccer season kicked off.

During his team's 2-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes at the RFK stadium, he only touched the ball on about 10 occasions - but each time was cheered by the crowd.

I don't care how much bigger someone is than I am
Freddy Adu
Before the game, Freddy himself said he was unfazed by the prospect.

"I feel like if you're good enough, you're old enough. I don't care how much older someone is than I am.

"I don't care how much bigger someone is than I am. I go out there to play the game and have fun."


Our correspondent says Adu is in many ways the epitome of the modern American dream.

He was born in Ghana but moved to the US when his mother won an immigration lottery.

She took two jobs to make ends meet, all the while supporting her son's blossoming football career.

He was approached by the world's major clubs, but eventually decided to sign for DC United so he could stay at home.

He has already represented the US at under-17 and under-20 levels, and the American football authorities are hoping that Freddy can improve the sport's standing in a country more interested in baseball, basketball and American football.

No shortage of advice for Adu
30 Mar 04  |  African
US call up Weah Jnr
01 Mar 04  |  African
Adu signs for DC United
19 Nov 03  |  African
US starlet drops Man Utd hint
03 Nov 03  |  World Football
Chelsea linked with 3m starlet
14 Sep 03  |  Chelsea

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