Full Name: Richairo Juliano Živković
DOB: 05/09/1996 (17)
Place of Birth: Assen, Netherlands
Height: 6ft, 1 inch
Current club: FC Groningen
Squad number: 30
Preferred foot: Right
With a surname like Živković, one would expect FC Groningen's youngest ever debutant to have a bit of zip about him.
The 17 year-old striker, who drools for a dribble and salivates for a sprint, began playing his football at FVV Foxhol where he established himself as a genuine Dutch prodigy. At the age of just 11, the nippy forward made the short move from the village of Foxhol to Groningen where he signed a three year deal with the Eredivisie club.
On December 2nd 2012, Živković made his debut for the green and whites against Heracles Almelo. All eyes may have been fixated on the clubs youngest ever player, but his expeditious movement and mesmerising mobility made the Groningen faithful's task a tricky one. The striker's first Eredivise goal came on the opening day of the 2013/2014 season when his 89th minute header sealed a 4-1 win for Groningen over NEC Nijmegen. Securing his title as the club's youngest ever goalscorer at just 16 years and 332 days old, Živković announced himself to the Dutch football world.
With both Serbian and Dutch blood running through his veins, the young attacker attracted interest from both sides of Europe with his characteristically animated performances. In August 2013, a request from the Serbia U19's team to include Živković in a preliminary friendly squad was rejected by Groningen on the basis that the game was not included in the international playing calendar. A subsequent call from the Netherland's U19 squad in the same month was accepted, but the striker didn't make it through pre-selection.
The teenager is beginning to attract the big guns and comparisons between himself and Arjen Robben have already, inevitably, begun. However, although Živković's preposterous pace, cool control and magical movement can be likened to the Bayern Munich winger, his ability in the air separates him apart from the Dutch legend. His first goal for the club came via an acrobatic diving header and his height makes him a terrific target for wingers bombing down the flanks.
With a little muscle, Richairo Živković's goalscoring tally could soar, but his slight frame renders him a fragile foe for any defender. With just 5 goals in 21 Eredivise appearances, the Dutch starlet lacks a genuine goalscoring threat and has now gone four games without a goal. Fortunately, age remains on the strikers' side and improvements can be made.
The nippy forward has earned praise from both FVV Foxhol's and FC Groningen's youth coaches who label Živković as 'focused' and 'a great talent'. However, Dutch eyes are not the only peepers gazing in the direction of the Eredivisie's freshest talent. In November 2013, FC Groningen received 13 applications from scouts representing top European clubs such as Barcelona and Real Madrid to look Richairo in action. Although the scouts never confirmed who they were there look, Groningen director Hans Nijland said 'it is obvious they have come to see Richairo'.
With Manchester City, Liverpool, Barcelona and Real Madrid leading the chase for the speedy striker, big things lie in store for Richairo Živković.
Živković's main strengths include:
Živković's main weaknesses include:
Živković has made 24 appearances in FC Groningen's first team squad
He has scored 5 goals in 21 appearances for the club
However, out of the 24 matches he has featured in, he has only started 5 times
Živković's personal Twitter account is @RichairoJZ
His former club is FVV Foxhol
- 1-3 - Not good enough to reach the top level
- 4-5 - Potential to nail down a regular spot in a mid table side
- 6-7 - Potential to be a top European striker
- 8-10 - Potential to be world class