Who is Exequiel Zeballos?
Oscar Exequiel Zeballos is an Argentine footballer who currently plays for Boca Juniors as a winger. Before joining Boca Juniors in 2014, he played for La Banda and Los Dorados de Termas de Ro Hondo.
He is the world’s youngest professional soccer player, having signed with Boca Juniors at the age of 16 in 2018. He reminds me of Cristian Erbes, who also began his career with Boca Juniors.
Exequiel began playing football at the age of four in the football school run by René Ruiz in his birthplace of Sarmiento de La Banda. His coach “Pinino” gave him the nickname “Palacio” because of his quickness and technical ability, which were comparable to Rodrigo’s.
Despite never having played as a center forward in the area, “El Trenza” has always been a prolific goalscorer, a trait shared by the youthful Zeballos. Exequiel competed in his first interprovincial competition at the age of seven, representing Los Dorados de Termas in Sunchales.
Zeballos has had the opportunity to attend Jorge Donis’ school multiple times, and on one of them, Boca watcher Diego Mazzilli took note of him in his notebook. Argentine prodigy Juan Felipe Ibarra, “Bio” Torres, and El Paraiso, a neighborhood team where he played with his buddies, have all played at tiny football schools in the past.
Zeballos has always been regarded as a potentially extraordinary talent, with mesmeric talents and the confidence to take on any defender who stands in his way. Some have even compared him to Neymar. Though he may not quite reach the heights of Brazil’s superstar, Zeballos’ name appears to be one that fans around the world will have to get used to hearing in the coming decade.
Zeballos is a typical attacking winger, blessed with good speed and wonderful fundamental skill. He possesses a great kick that allows him to successfully complete penalties and free kicks (he has a unique manner of hitting the ball in set kicks), as well as shooting powerful long-range shots. He can be decisive when dribbling, defeating all of his opponents with feints and double steps, gaining a valuable advantage on the outer lanes.
Despite not being a center striker and so having to start from a more secluded position, he has a remarkable sense of goal, which is offset by flawless insertion times starting from the outside. Due to his low center of gravity, he has a good capacity to defend the ball, a feature that allows him to be dangerous even in small places.
He can act on both flanks tactically, but putting himself on the left allows him to go to the shot with his strong foot, the right, more comfortably (even the left-handed is not so bad). The 4-2-3-1 offensive winger role and the 4-3-3 winger role are both well-suited to his technical and athletic abilities.
Physically, he can improve, and, as is typical for a young player, he must be more consistent throughout a match.
He may appear reclusive on the surface, but he is not, as seen by his refusal to back down when the most difficult technical and tactical responsibilities fall to him.
Zeballos began his football career with Sarmiento de La Banda’s school squad, however, he would occasionally play for local side Los Dorados de Termas de Rio Hondo. Because of the similarities in his game to former Inter attacker Rodrigo Palacio, he was dubbed “Little Palacio.” Noelia Escauela Ramos is his girlfriend. On Instagram, he posts images of his family, including his mother, father, and brother.
Zeballos is 5ft 9 inches tall and has a weight of 68 kilograms, his eyes, and hair color are both black. His salary is €1.500 per week and his market value is €1.000.000. He has 512k followers in Instagram.
The Career of Exequiel Zeballos
After playing for Sarmiento de La Banda and Los Dorados of Termas de Ro Hondo, Zeballos joined Boca Juniors in 2014. Zeballos received his first professional contract in 2018, making him the club’s youngest player to do so.
Under Miguel Angel Russo, the winger made the jump to the first team in 2020. Before making his senior debut, he was an unused replacement four times, including for a Copa Libertadores group stage match against Caracas on October 22. Zeballos made his Copa de la Liga Profesional debut against Newell’s Old Boys at home on November 29th, after replacing Sebastián Villa.
Exequiel Zeballos competed in the South American Under 17 Championship in 2019 with Under-17S. He played eight matches in Peru throughout this competition. On March 24, he stood out by scoring a goal against Colombia, helping his team to victory (2-1). On April 15, he also assisted in the final match against Ecuador (4-1 loss). Argentina had five wins, two ties, and two losses in the event.
He played under the age of 17 in Brazil a few months later. He played three games in the world juniors. In a team race against Cameroon, he shines out and assists teammate Juan Pablo Krilanovich. He then scored against Paraguay in the quarterfinals. Argentina will, however, lose 3-2.
Awards, Titles, and Achievements
Exequiel Zeballos was part of the Argentina national team where he won two titles with them.
- South American U-15 Championship: 2017
- South American U-17 Championship: 2019
Below is the chart showing the comparison of Exequiel Zeballos's goals with other Forward players. The selected players for comparison include Exequiel Palacios, Aymeric Laporte, Joao Cancelo, Marc Guéhi.
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