The world of football is in mourning as VfL Wolfsburg’s midfielder Junior Malanda was killed in a single-car collision today. Once again,footballers and football fans alike have been served a stark reminder that there are things in life more important than the sport.
The 20-year-old Belgian midfielder was in the back seat of a VW Touareg. Malanda, the driver and the person sitting on the passenger seat up front were on their way to Hanover when the accident occurred just outside Porta Westfalica. A police spokesperson told Bild am Sonntag:
“One can assume that the car was travelling at a maladjusted pace. There was a stiff wind and aquaplaning. The Touareg has been confiscated, and experts are examining traces of the accident.”
Malanda was catapulted out of the car as the vehicle went off the track and was killed immediately. The driver and other passenger are both in the hospital being treated for severe injuries.
“A rare talent”
Malanda had, during his career, managed to play for all age groups of the Belgian national team, excepting the senior side of the national team. Belgium doach Marc Wilmots took to Twitter after the news of the player’s passing had been broken, writing:
“Belgian football has lost one of its great hopes. All my thoughts are with Junior Malanda’s family and close friends.”
Malanda managed to get his breakthrough in the Belgian league playing for Zulte Waregem. During his one-and-a-half years at the club the 20-year-old managed to make 52 league appearances, scoring six goals. His performances didn’t go unnoticed, earning the player a 4 million Euro move to Wolfsburg.
After arriving at Wolfsburg, Malanda featured in 17 Bundesliga matches, scoring two goals. Malanda was regarded as one of the biggest talents in Dieter Hecking’s squad, and despite a somewhat bumpy start to the 2014-15 season, most experts agreed on Malanda having a promising future.
The Wolves in mourning
Dieter Hecking and his team were supposed to be travelling to South Africa. Sporting director Klaus Allofs confirmed shortly before the flight that would have taken the Wolves to their training camp was leaving, that the players and officials would stay behind in Germany.
Players and officials are going to meet at 10 in the morning tomorrow to decide how the team is going to handle their teammate’s death. It’s still up in the air at this point, if Wolfsburg are going to travel to South Africa to attend their training camp.
Teammates and other Bundesliga stars in disbelief
Several footballers have taken to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to express their sadness about Malanda’s passing. Kevin de Bruyne was the first Wolfsburg player to comment upon his teammates death by posting a picture on Instagram.
Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner followed up his teammate’s post by stating that he seldom has met a person with a bigger heart than Malanda.
Alongside the VfL players several Bundesliga players expressed their sadness about Malanda’s death, among them, Thorgan Hazard.
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