08 July 2022


His career, characteristics and the history behind our new summer signing

Divock Origi is officially a Rossonero. This week’s focus is on the Belgian striker signed from Liverpool, as we try to find out more about him. After seven years on Merseyside - with a loan spell at Wolfsburg in-between - the just turned 27-year old can’t wait to pull on the shirt for the newly-crowned Champions in his first Serie A season. Coach Pioli will have at his disposal a dynamic and flexible player, able to play on the flanks when called upon. Quick, a good dribbler and the ability to strike from distance, Origi can hurt teams in many different ways; he can link up play with those around him but also attack the penalty area. He is still young in age but already has a wealth of success and experience, scores decisive goals and who wants to make his mark in the Rossoneri jersey.

Divock was born in Oostende - a town on the West coast of Belgium between the North Sea and the Dover Strait - on 18 April 1995. His Kenyan father, Mike Okoth Origi, played for the town's club Ostenda when they were in the second division. Divock’s early years, and footballing ones too, followed that of his father’s journey around various clubs in Belgium. Between 1998 and 2002, Mike Okoth wore the colours of Racing Club Genk, where it was here in 2001 that Divock entered the footballing world at one of the best youth setups not only in Belgium but across Europe. As well as Origi, high-calabre players such as: Courtois, de Bruyne, K. Koulibaly, S. Milinkovic-Savic, Malinovskiy and many others have all passed through the ranks here in recent years.

After almost ten years, Divock decided to go to France and made Lille's youth department his new home in 2010. His talent was there for all to see and after only three years made his first team debut on 2 February 2013. He was sent on as a sub by then Coach Rudi Garcia in the 68th minute and needed only six minutes to get his first professional goal, after 74 minutes; Origi still hadn’t yet celebrated his 18th birthday. Divock soon became a member of the first team squad but was bought by Liverpool in the summer of 2014, after impressing for Belgium in the 2014 World Cup finals in Brasil. The Reds loaned him straight back to Lille but the following summer, after 89 appearances and 16 goals for the French side, his Premier League adventure set off.

His first year, under recently appointed Jürgen Klopp, finished off with ten goals in 33 appearances, a fourth-place finish in the Premier League and a Europa League final defeat to Seville. In the following seasons, he found it difficult to hold down a place in the side, and for this reason he went out on loan to Wolfsburg for the 2017/18 season. He came back the following year and became a Club legend after a brace in the 4-0 Champions League semi-final win over Barcellona at Anfield. He rscored again in the final against Tottenham, grabbing the second to clinch the victory. He became labelled as a player who scored decisive goals: not bagging many but getting the all-important ones, as highlighted by his six career goals against cross-city rivals Everton.

In the last few seasons, he wasn't included consistently in Klopp's rotation policy, partly due to their stunning run of form, which has also reflected on his country’s contribution (32 caps and three goals from 2014 to 2022). In May, he bid farewell after seven successful years, that included: one Champions League, one Premier League, one FA Cup, one League Cup, one European Supercup and one Club World Cup. He was, however, loved and appreciated by the fans, and Klopp had this to say: "For me, he will always be a legend of Liverpool and it has been an absolute joy to work with him, he is one of the most important players I’ve ever had". But now it's time for AC Milan, where he scored in last year's Champions League: a new adventure that will hopefully bring many more important goals and title wins in the future.

The AC Milan 2022/23 season tickets are now available: #UnaStoriaUnica, see you at San Siro!

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