Dublin-born Kevin Zefi has been making waves in Ireland after breaking through at Shamrock Rovers, but he will soon be turning out in the famous black and blue of Inter Milan
Kevin Zefi is a name that probably means very little to those outside of South Dublin.
But he is a name that is set to follow the likes of Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Andrea Pirlo in donning the famous black and blue of Inter Milan.
Zefi, a 16-year-old from Clonsilla in West Dublin, has had a very understated upbringing in the Irish capital, rising through the ranks in the Shamrock Rovers youth levels.
However, he is now faced with the prospect of turning out for one of the world’s most historic clubs if he plays his cards right at the San Siro.
But who exactly is Kevin Zefi? Mirror Football takes a closer look at Inter Milan’s latest recruit.
Regarded as one of the most exciting prospects to come out of Ireland in recent years, Zefi has been the talk of the town in Dublin in recent months.
Then just 15 years of age, Zefi became the youngest goalscorer in League of Ireland history as he scored for Shamrock against Longford Town in September last year.
After joining from boyhood club St Kevin’s Boys in February 2019, the teenager rose through the Rovers ranks, playing for the Under 15’s, Under 17’s and Under 19’s before reaching senior level.
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Deployed as a winger, Zefi’s main threat is his pace, natural ability on the ball and a daring eye for goal.
And Shamrock Rovers’ head of the academy Shane Robinson shed a little more light on why the Ireland youth international catches the eye so easily.
“Kevin is that type of player that catches the eye easily – he backs himself 100% in possession of the ball. He has lovely balance and uses his body very well to protect the ball.
“He has worked very hard on his overall game over the last number of years and deserves credit for that, he has gone up through the levels impressively from U15 to U19 with First Division appearances last season also.
“We will miss him around the Academy but will watch on with pride as his career continues to progress at Inter Milan.”
A move at just 16 would be a daunting prospect for plenty of teenagers.
But Zefi has already tried his hand in the Nerazzurri ranks, and even speaks a little bit of the language.
“I went over [to Milan] in February for a month,” he explained. “I was just getting a feel for the team, seeing how it was and I liked it.
“I have been learning Italian and I knew a little bit before that. I have some family in Italy and I’m doing it in school so I think I’m good with it.”
It’s been a sharp rise to become a standout star in Ireland, and Zefi put much of that down to his development under the watchful eye of his coaches at the Tallaght Stadium.
He added: “[Shamrock Rovers academy coaches] Thomas Morgan and Dessie Baker helped me to grow as a player and I have to thank them for that and for all the advice they gave me.
“I really appreciate everything they did for me in the short space of time I worked for them.
“I’d like to thank also Aidan Price for giving me the opportunity to play for the B team last season and express myself and I’d like to thank Shane Robinson, head of the Academy.”