If you need something heartwarming to brighten up your Monday morning then say hello to Dário Essugo.
That name isn’t one many of us outside Portugal would’ve known before Saturday. However, following Sporting Lisbon’s 1-0 win over Vitoria SC, he’s become football’s sweetheart.
Essugo has made his way up through Sporting’s youth ranks in recent years and signed his first professional contract last week. Then, just days later, he was brought on in the final few minutes against Vitoria in place of Joao Mario.
Essugo’s big moment
In doing so, he made history as Sporting Lisbon’s youngest ever senior player at 16 years and six days.
Aside from all of us feeling incredibly ancient there are no negatives to this tale, and as you can see from Essugo’s reaction, this moment meant the world to him.
One of the best football related videos we’ve watched in a while.— Próxima Jornada (@ProximaJornada1) March 21, 2021
Dário Essugo, who turned 16 years of age six days ago, is brought to tears after making his Primeira Liga debut for Sporting.
Just look how much it means to him.
“It is an indescribable sensation, in which I always breathed in and always dreamed,” Essugo told the media. “I have to thank everyone. It is only the beginning, to continue working and helping the club to achieve its goals. It is different to be playing at a senior level. “They supported me and I was even more relaxed.”
Dário Essugo was 11 years old when Portugal won Euro 2016.— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 21, 2021
Yesterday, he cried tears of happiness after becoming the youngest player in Sporting Clube de Portugal's history at the age of 16 years, six days ❤️ pic.twitter.com/bRiS0uhQaO
The reaction of his teammates only adds to the outpouring of emotion, as they all bundle over to congratulate him.
Sure, his natural ability is something that’ll be examined in the weeks and months to come, but the fact that he couldn’t hold his emotions in just showcases what this game means to so many around the world.
He follows in the footsteps of a club renowned for bringing through young talent, most notably of course being Cristiano Ronaldo, who first appeared for the club at 17 years, six months and nine days – which hilariously seems quite slow by comparison.
Featured image credit: Getty / ESPN