Youngster Michael Kayode has expressed his elation after making his Serie A debut for Fiorentina on Sunday, Soccernet.ng reports.
The 19-year-old defender, who was playing in the fourth division just three years ago, described the experience as a dream come true.
Kayode featured for 82 minutes in Fiorentina’s commanding 4-1 victory over Genoa at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris on the opening day of the new season.
Deployed as a right-back in a 4-2-3-1 formation, Kayode’s inclusion in the starting lineup marked a significant milestone in his young career.
The match itself saw Fiorentina take control early, with Cristiano Biraghi netting a goal just five minutes into the game. Giacomo Bonaventura further solidified their lead by capitalizing on a rebound and Nicolás González headed home Fiorentina’s third goal.
Eleven minutes into the second half, Rolando Mandragora put the final nail in the Genoa coffin. Davide Biraschi managed to pull one back for the home team, but it was not enough to disrupt Fiorentina’s dominant performance.
After the encounter, Kayode shared his joy on Instagram, saying, “On October 22, 2020, I made my debut in Serie D at the age of 16. Only from that moment on, everything seemed unbelievable to me.
“On August 19, 2023, I made my debut in Serie A, realizing the dream of a little boy who, until a few years ago, watched them on TV.
“I want to thank all the people who helped me achieve this great goal. From my family, to the coaches, teammates, staff, and all the people who believed in me. I haven’t achieved much yet, the road is still long, but I managed to fulfill the dream of that little boy.”
Kayode’s meteoric rise can be traced back to his pivotal performance in Italy’s 2023 European U19 Championship final, where he scored the game-winning goal.
Born in Borgomanero to parents of Nigerian descent, Kayode remains eligible to play for the Super Eagles.