The nationality of the parents of Folarin Balogun proved to be a challenge for the player in terms of committing to a national soccer team.
He has been moving around with his parents, but this only played to his advantage in the long run.
Folarin Jerry Balogun was born on July 3, 2001. He is an American professional soccer player currently playing the role of a striker for Ligue 1 Club Monaco.
Balogun started his soccer career at a very young age. After noticing him while playing for Aldersbrook in the Sunday League, Arsenal recruited him at the age of eight.
The player had previously trialed with Arsenal’s North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and was on the verge of signing with them.
He signed a professional contract with Arsenal in February 2019. However, they failed to agree on a new deal with Arsenal in July 2020.
On October 29, 2020, he made his senior debut in the Europa League, playing for Middlesbrough and coming on as a substitute against Dundalk.
On August 30, 2023, Ligue 1 side Monaco announced the signing of Balogun on a five-year contract.
Folarin Balogun Parents, Florence Balogun And Father
There is not a lot of information regarding the parents of Folarin Balogun other than the fact that they are originally from Nigeria.
Due to the miserable living standards in Nigeria, the pair decided to move to the United States.
Then, they later once again moved to England in search of better opportunities and better opportunities they did get.
If it hadn’t been for this move, Balogun would never have reached the heights of soccer he has reached today.
Only four years after his parents moved to England, Balogun was able to strike a deal with Arsenal’s youth academy.
Furthermore, Balogun remained very dubious about his selection for a national soccer team due to his parent’s nationality.
Since his Nigerian parents moved around a lot, Balogun was eligible to play for three countries.
So naturally, he was approached by the US, England, and Nigerian national football team officials.
Ultimately, Balogun settled for the US, where he was born, as his mother insisted. He did express his desire to play for the Nigerian soccer team, of which his parents are nationals.
Furthermore, he also wanted to play for the English team, whose play is similar to Arsenal’s as described by Balogun.
Balogun’s Unique Style Of Play
When talking about his playing style, Balogun is well known for his speed, skill, and ability to play with both of his feet.
He has a well-established reputation for being recognized as a classic “number nine” or central forward.
During his youth soccer days, Balogun also operated as a “trequartista.” In soccer, a trequartista is someone who is able to operate around three-quarters of the way up the pitch.
This typically involves the positions between the central midfielders and strikers. His style of playing also composes playmaking ability.
Because of this, Middlesbrough positioned him as a second striker. In his initial interview with Middlesbrough, Balogun admired players like Edinson Cavani and Robert Lewandowski.
Balogun’s unique understanding of the game lets him fend off an incoming attack and immediately lead the counter-attack.
Many football legends, such as Ian Wright, have often praised Balogun for having a swift pace and strategic awareness.