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Dutch side sign one year old

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What were you doing when you were one and a half? Maybe uttering a few banal words (of course your folks reckoned your nascent speech demonstrated some preternatural Shakespearian genius but turns out they were wrong, eh) and smiling at waitresses in a very cute manner? But generally it was just one unending cycle of puking and pooing, wasn’t it? Yeah, us too.

All of which makes our admiration for Netherlands toddler Baerke van der Meij increase by the second. Have a squeeze at the clip below and you’ll notice that Baerke, not even out of nappies at 18 months old, is the rightful heir to such Dutch heroes as Johan Cruyff, Dennis Bergkamp and Wesley Sneijder.

After Baerke’s dad Jorg uploaded the footage to YouTube of his precocious son chipping three footballs into a box, the infant was immediately handed a 10-year professional contract with his local club Venlose Voetbal Vereniging, or the much manageable, but slightly sinister, VVV.

However, before you all start getting on your moral high horse shouting ‘child exploitation’, the contract is merely a ‘symbolic’ one – whatever that means. But if in 19 years a prodigiously talented Holland midfielder by the name of Baerke van der Meij lights up the 2030 World Cup, just remember where you heard his name first.

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