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Paul Thiong’o “Zizou” is a Kenyan born soccer star turning out for the Empoli youth soccer academy in Tuscany Italy.Empoli has been in and out of the Italian Serie A league but is currently in Serie B and is one of the most recognized clubs with solid youth development structures in the world. Some of empoli’s most recognized products include players like: Luca Toni, Antonio Dina tale, Jovinco, Marcelo Zalayeta among others.
 The young technical midfielder Zizou joined the Italian youth side in 2007 immediately after featuring in the Danone international cup held in Leon France where he was voted the most valuable player amongst thousands of youths congregated from all over the world.

Thiongo was born on 12th August 1995 in Mombasa to Alex Njenga (dad) and Salome Nduta (mum).He however was brought up in Nairobi’s Kawangware where he played for Impala fc under the Kenya youth soccer events that organizes and runs youth tournaments and events in Nairobi and Mombasa.

With his vibrant talent at the age of 11, Thiong’o helped his Impala youth team to win the Nairobi KYSE tournament to book a place for the super cup finals played in Mombasa in. It was through KYSE that his talent made a major leap when he was selected to play in the Kenya youth Soccer events select team which traveled to Leon France for the Danone nations cup in 2007.Danone international youth tournament is one of the biggest youth soccer championships in Europe with the legendary Zinedin Zidane as its patron and international ambassador. The annual event is made up of 40 national tournaments and a World Final agreed by FIFA. Each year 40 teams are qualified to represent their country at the World Final

At the Danone nations cup, Paul, by then a young tiny player, was a phenomenal midfielder impressing all present scouts and media who eventually scrambled to have him signed up to their youth systems. His exceptional prowess earned him most valuable player in the entire championship and honors from legendary Zinedin Zidane who has inspired his nick name zizou.

Thiongo in acctionAfter the Danone cup, He acquired invitations for trials alongside six other Kenyan players to Empoli and emerged the exceptional talent winning a straight scholarship to study and play soccer with and for Empoli youth team on a 4 year probation contract.

“Paul is an exceptional talent; the scouts in Italy had a very easy time to make their decision because he was undoubtedly good and incomparable to no other player of his age in the academy” Said his coach Abdul Idd Salim. “However, being under age he had to get a guardian before being signed up because that is a requirement and was lucky to get one in Tuscany where he also goes to school.”

Paul on the other hand recognizes that “nothing comes easy, you must work hard ,train hard, remain focused and keep God first then every other success will follow you” Says the teenager who is fluent in English, Kiswahili and Italian. “ Nimeishi ghetto na ninajua vile maisha ni hard mtaani,hiyo imenifanya nihustle kivyangu training ili nipate ku improve game yangu ushaona” ( I have lived the Ghetto life and I know life is not easy in there. This forced me to work harder by myself in order to improve my game).