Meet Elif Elmas, Macedonian football star in the making

Montenegro v England - UEFA EURO 2020 Qualifier
PODGORICA, MONTENEGRO - MARCH 25: General view inside the stadium as a ball sits on the turf prior to the 2020 UEFA European Championships Group A qualifying match between Montenegro and England at Podgorica City Stadium on March 25, 2019 in Podgorica, Montenegro. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Let’s talk about one of the most talented teenagers in football, the 19-year old Macedonian Elif Elmas.

Elif Elmas is a professional footballer who plays for Turkish club Fenerbahce and the Macedonian national team as a midfielder.

He started his career at Rabotnichki Skopje and made his professional debut in the 2015-16 season at the age of 16 years old.

Elmas quickly established himself as the most talented player on the domestic level, helping his team to reach the 2016 Macedonian Football Cup Final, where they lost 2-0 to Shkendija.

The youngster was born to a family of Turkish descent and the coach of the Turkey national football team, Fatih Terim, tried to call him up during the 2016-17 season, but Elmas rejected the call, deciding to play for his birth country.

He played for the Macedonia U-21 side at the time and they managed to qualify for the 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship, winning the qualification Group 3 ahead of the French U-21 team, which included stars like Laporte, Lucas Hernandez, Pavard, Ousmane Dembele, Tolisso and Rabiot.

The teenager made his debut for the senior national team in June 2017, just five days before traveling to the UEFA U-21 Euro in Poland.

GIBRALTAR, GIBRALTAR - MARCH 23: Ireland manager, Mick McCarthy during the 2020 UEFA European Championships group D qualifying match between Gibraltar and Republic of Ireland at Victoria Stadium on March 23, 2019 in Gibraltar, Gibraltar. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

McCarthy says he “hated” the Ireland win against Gibraltar

The Ireland manager explained how his team felt when they visited the island, saying it was "just bizarre."

Elmas now proved his talent on the big stage and secured his move to Turkish side Fenerbahce. He played only seven games in his first season in Turkey but has established himself as a regular first-team player at the start of the current campaign, accumulating over 2000 minutes on the pitch.

He scored his debut goal for the Macedonian national team in the opening game of the EURO 2020 qualifiers, scoring twice in the 3-1 victory over Latvia at the Philip II Arena in Skopje.

In terms of the player’s strengths, perhaps the most notable is his versatility, as he’s been utilized in a variety of roles by Ersun Yanal, the manager of Fenerbahce.

His primary position is in the center of the park, as a creative box-to-box playmaker, but Elmas can play as an attacking midfielder, or a left winger as well.

He is a technically gifted player, who possesses an amazing range of passing. His proficiency with the ball is beyond his years, while his vision and intelligence make him look like a younger version of Manchester CIty’s midfielder David Silva.

Elmas is already linked with a big move to the Premier League, with Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City being interested to sign him.

Both Mauricio Pochettino and Brendan Rodgers love skillful players like him, and under the tutorship of one of these two great coaches, Elif Elmas could follow in the footsteps of Macedonian football greats Goran Pandev and Darko Pancev and go on to win the Champions League in the future.

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