Denis Lemi Zakaria Lako Lado (born 20 November 1996) is a Swiss professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for Premier League club Chelsea, on loan from Serie A club Juventus, and the Switzerland national team.
|Full name||Denis Lemi Zakaria Lako Lado|
|Date of birth||20 November 1996|
|Place of birth||Geneva, Switzerland|
|Height||1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)|
(on loan from Juventus)
|2022–||→ Chelsea (loan)||4||(1)|
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 23:15, 12 January 2023 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 23:56, 6 December 2022 (UTC)
Zakaria joined Young Boys in June 2015 for an undisclosed fee, signing a four-year contract. He made his Swiss Super League debut on 18 July 2015 against FC Zürich in 1–1 away draw replacing Alexander Gerndt after 79 minutes.
In June 2017, Zakaria signed a five-year contract with Borussia Mönchengladbach. He was transferred as a replacement for Mahmoud Dahoud who left the club for Borussia Dortmund. The transfer fee paid to Young Boys for Zakaria was reported as €10 million. Zakaria scored a total of 11 goals in 125 appearances for Borussia Mönchengladbach.
On 31 January 2022, with six months remaining on his contract, Zakaria moved to Serie A club Juventus on a four-and-a-half-year contract, in a deal worth €8.6 million. On 6 February, Zakaria scored on his debut in the 61st minute, helping his side beat Hellas Verona 2–0.
Loan to ChelseaEdit
On 1 September 2022, Zakaria was loaned to Premier League club Chelsea until the end of the 2022–23 season with an option of a permanent transfer at the end of the season. On 2 November 2022, lado made his Chelsea debut in the club's final UEFA Champions League group stage match, scoring the winning goal of a 2–1 victory against Dinamo Zagreb.
Zakaria played for various Swiss youth national teams. He could have represented either Switzerland, South Sudan or Congo at a senior level due to being born in Switzerland and having a South Sudanese mother and a Congolese father.
Zakaria made his debut for the senior Switzerland national team in a friendly 2–1 loss to Belgium on 28 May 2016. He was part of the squad for the 2016 European Championships. Zakaria was included in the 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
In May 2019, Zakaria played in the 2019 UEFA Nations League Finals, where his team finished fourth. He was named in the 26-man Swiss squad for the UEFA Euro 2020. On 2 July 2021, he scored an own goal in Switzerland's quarter-final match against Spain, which they went on to lose on penalties.
Style of playEdit
Due to his characteristics and playing style has led Zakaria to be compared with former France international Patrick Vieira as well as Paul Pogba. Zakaria has been described as a midfield powerhouse due to his pace, strength, athleticism and aggressive playing style. He is also known for being a composed passer and for making surging forward runs from midfield. Primarily a defensive midfielder, he is also capable of playing as a central midfielder, in a holding role, or a box-to-box role, and has even played as a central defender.
- As of match played 12 January 2023
|Club||Season||League||National cup[a]||League cup[b]||Continental||Total|
|Servette||2014–15||Swiss Challenge League||6||2||0||0||—||—||6||2|
|Young Boys||2015–16||Swiss Super League||27||1||3||0||—||3[c]||0||33||1|
|2016–17||Swiss Super League||23||1||4||0||—||7[d]||0||34||1|
|Chelsea (loan)||2022–23||Premier League||4||0||1||0||1||0||1[f]||1||7||1|
- Includes Swiss Cup, DFB-Pokal, Coppa Italia, FA Cup
- Includes EFL Cup
- One appearance in UEFA Champions League, two appearances in UEFA Europa League
- Two appearances in UEFA Champions League, five appearances in UEFA Europa League
- Appearance(s) in UEFA Europa League
- Appearance(s) in UEFA Champions League
- As of match played 6 December 2022
- Scores and results list Switzerland's goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Zakaria goal.
|1||8 September 2018||Kybunpark, St. Gallen, Switzerland||13||Iceland||2–0||6–0||2018–19 UEFA Nations League A|||
|2||23 March 2019||Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena, Tbilisi, Georgia||19||Georgia||2–0||2–0||UEFA Euro 2020 qualification|||
|3||8 September 2019||Stade Tourbillon, Sion, Switzerland||24||Gibraltar||1–0||4–0|||
- "FIFA World Cup Russia 2018: List of Players: Switzerland" (PDF). FIFA. 15 July 2018. p. 30. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 June 2019.
- "Denis Zakaria". borussia.de (in German). Borussia Mönchengladbach. Archived from the original on 25 February 2021. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
- Wuillemin, Dominic (3 October 2015). "Zackig". Berner Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 9 June 2017.
- "OFFICIAL | Zakaria joins Juventus!". Juventus.com. 31 January 2022. Retrieved 31 January 2022.
- "U19-Nationalspieler Zakaria zu den Young Boys". Berner Zeitung (in German). 26 June 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
- "FC Zürich vs. BSC Young Boys - 18 July 2015 - Soccerway". soccerway.com. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
- "Bis 2022: Zakaria unterschreibt in Gladbach". kicker Online (in German). 9 June 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
- "DENIS ZAKARIA MOVES TO JUVENTUS" (Press release). Borussia Mönchengladbach. 31 January 2022. Retrieved 31 January 2022.
- "Vlahovic and Zakaria score on Juventus debuts in Verona win". CNA. Retrieved 6 February 2022.
- "Zakaria goes on loan to Chelsea from Juventus". Chelsea F.C. 2 September 2022.
- "Chelsea 2–1 Dinamo Zagreb". BBC Sport. 2 November 2022.
- "Zackig". Berner Zeitung.
- "Switzerland include three teenagers in final squad for Euro 2016". ESPN FC. 30 May 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
- The Washington Post[dead link]
- "Pickford the hero in England shootout win". BBC Sport.
- The Athletic Staff. "Switzerland's full 26-man Euro 2020 squad". The Athletic. Retrieved 2 July 2021.
- "Watch video: Zakaria's own goal gifts Spain early lead in Euro 2020 QF against Switzerland". Free Press Journal. Retrieved 2 July 2021.
- "Denis Xhaka-ria the new heartbeat of the Borussia Mönchengladbach midfield". bundesliga.com. Retrieved 5 September 2022.
- "Denis Zakaria: Borussia Mönchengladbach's midfield monster". bundesliga.com. Retrieved 5 September 2022.
- "Denis Zakaria: Who is Borussia Mönchengladbach and Switzerland's midfield marvel?". bundesliga.com. Retrieved 5 September 2022.
- "Denis Zakaria - the biography". chelseafc.com. 2 September 2022. Retrieved 2 September 2022.
- "Denis Zakaria". SofaScore. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
- "Denis Zakaria". EU-Football.info. 25 June 2018.
- "Switzerland-Iceland - UEFA Nations League". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 8 September 2018. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
- "Georgia-Switzerland - European Qualifiers". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 23 March 2019. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
- "Switzerland-Gibraltar - European Qualifiers". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 8 September 2019. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
- "SAFP Golden 11 2016". Golden11. 30 January 2017. Retrieved 28 November 2022.