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From refugee camp to Munich, Bayern sign Australian Irankunda



Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich have signed Australian teenager Nestory Irankunda from Adelaide United on a long-term deal starting in July next year after he turns 18.

The pacey 17-year-old winger was born in a Tanzanian refugee camp to Burundian parents before moving to Perth as an infant and then on to Adelaide, where he took up the game.

Irankunda has represented his adopted country at under-17 level and was on the bench for two Socceroos international friendlies this year but did not get on the pitch.

“It’s really unbelievable,” Irankunda told the A-League website. “There were multiple teams interested and I had to make the choice and I made the choice of Bayern Munich.

“There was obviously offers from English Premier League teams but my dad said he supported Bayern. There was a photo he showed me in the refugee camp, in Bayern Munich kit, so I went off that, to make my parents and my dad proud.”


Irankunda made his debut for Adelaide at the age of 15 in January last year and while he played mainly off the bench in his first season a series of spectacular goals marked him out as a special talent.

“We’ve had Nestory on our radar for some time and we’re pleased we’ve reached an agreement with him and Adelaide United on a move to Munich for next summer,” Bayern’s director of youth development Jochen Sauer said in a statement.

“Nestory is an extremely quick winger, a strong dribbler and finisher with good drive towards goal. We’re convinced by his potential and that he will take the next steps with us.”

Financial details of the transfer were not disclosed.




Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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