Gakpo opens about his faith: ‘God told me what to do’
Tuesday, December 5, 2023 at 12:00
Cody Gakpo left PSV for Liverpool last winter. Following the release of the new Puma football shoe, Voetbalzone reporter Jelle Kusters was invited to England to talk to the born Eindhoven native about his journey through the youth of PSV to ultimately Liverpool. He also spoke with Gakpo about last season’s title race and the World Cup in Qatar. The attacker of the Dutch national team is convinced that he could have become national champion if he had stayed at PSV together with Noni Madueke.
Gakpo played in the youth of the Eindhoven club from a young age. “I was six years old and then I had to do an internship at PSV every Sunday,” he begins his story. As a result of this internship, Gakpo ended up at the Under 7 team of PSV, the club where he would play until he was 23.
“I had difficult, but also very good years. In the end, I kept going and always kept faith,” the proud Eindhove resident looks back. “I’m grateful for where I am now.”
During the period when Gakpo played in the PSV youth team, he had a few players he looked up to. “Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were already the two superpowers in football at that time.”
Gakpo’s father tried to raise him up with other football legends. “I always used to play football with my father and he was old-school, so of course you get Diego Maradona and Pelé,” says the Liverpool striker.
Gakpo has been playing on Puma football boots all his life, with which he has had an official collaboration since 2016. “I can’t imagine anything without Puma in my house anymore.” The attacker notices that he no longer wants to play in other football boots. “Because I have been playing it for so long, it has really become something that belongs to me as a player.”
Gakpo looks back positively on the World Cup in Qatar. According to him, it was a wonderful period in which the Netherlands unfortunately lost to the eventual world champion in a striking match. “I think if we had progressed further it could have been even better, but that is also football.”
In addition, the Dutch international also thinks that he could have become champion with PSV if he and Madueke had not left during the winter break. “Yes, certainly. I think we could have become champions,” Gakpo responds to the question of whether PSV could have overtaken Feyenoord in the battle for last season’s title.
He also explains why he chose not to leave in the summer: ‘In the end it was a very stressful transfer period with clubs coming and going. As a religious person, I have also sought my answers from God. It was very clear to me that it was better to stay and that’s a good thing!’