Bienvenido, Ilaix! RB Leipzig have added the talented youngster to their ranks. The 18-year-old midfielder joins from Barcelona and has signed a five-year deal until 2026.
Signing Ilaix brings this transfer window to a successful close for us, one in which we made several strategic changes.
Commercial director for sport:
“We have been able to land an exceptional talent in Ilaix Moriba. We are very proud that he has chosen RB Leipzig, despite many offers from several top clubs in Europe, and that we were able to quickly convince him of our philosophy. We would like to thank FC Barcelona for the open and honest discussions.
Ilaix has been on our wish list for several months now, and we have managed to sign him to a long-term deal that sets a clear signal for the future. He has a great mentality and he will strengthen our team going forward. However, this is also a move to a new country with a new language for him. As a young player, he will get the time he needs to settle in and to integrate himself to the team.
Signing Ilaix brings this transfer window to a successful close for us, one in which we made several strategic changes.”
There aren’t many players his age that bring that much talent to the table at a top level.
“Ilaix Moriba is what we call a box-to-box midfielder. There aren’t many players his age that bring that much talent to the table at a top level. We are pleased that we have been able to convince him of our philosophy and approach.
In addition to his technical ability and his intelligence on the pitch, he is also strong in the tackles and in the air. He is able to cover a lot of ground and can read the game well, meaning that he is able to defend while also posing a threat in front of goal.
Despite being just 18, he is already very mature. We can look forward to getting a player that perfectly fits our style of play and that still has the potential to develop.”
We have big goals this season and I can’t wait to take on this challenge at Leipzig.
“I’m very happy to be able to join RB Leipzig. It’s a very exciting club, one that has always preferred to play attacking football, which fits perfectly to me.
I’m confident that Leipzig is the right place for me to take the next step in my career and continue my development, which is what informed my decision.
Now, my full focus is on settling in at the club, within the team and the city in order to be able to play to my best as quickly as possible. We have big goals this season and I can’t wait to take on this challenge at Leipzig.”
Product of La Masia | Professional debut at 16
Ilaix Moriba was born in Guinea and grew up in Spain. Espanyol were his first club, before he joined Barcelona’s legendary La Masia academy in 2010, aged just seven. He quickly became a highly-touted talent within the club’s 2003 age group.
The central midfielder moved up to the Barcelona reserves in 2019/20, playing in the Segunda División (the third-highest division in Spain). Moriba made his professional debut on 7th September 2019, aged 16. His debut professional goal followed on 8th March 2020, in a 3-2 home win against UE Llagostera.
Welcome to Leipzig, Ilaix Moriba!
18 appearances for Barça | Spanish cup champion in 2021
The right-footed player was included in a first-team matchday squad for the first time on 9th January 2021. Eleven days later, he made his senior Barça debut under head coach Ronald Koeman. Moriba then started for Barcelona in their 2-0 win over UE Cornellà in the Copa del Rey.
Moriba started on his debut LaLiga appearance for the 26-time Spanish champions on 13th February 2021. He set up Francisco Trincão’s opening goal in a 5-1 win against Deportivo Alavés.
He was subbed on in the 81st minute of Barcelona’s 4-0 win over Athletic Bilbao in the final of the Copa del Rey in April 2021.
Looking forward to a reunion with Messi | Guinea international
Moriba scored his first La Liga goal on 6th March, in a 2-0 win against Osasuna. The assist came from none other than Lionel Messi, who Moriba can now look forward to seeing again when Leipzig face PSG in the Champions League group stage on 19th October and 3rd November. Moriba made his UCL debut on 10th March 2021, when he was subbed on in the 79th minute of Barça’s second leg match against PSG in the round of 16 (1-1).
In addition to moving through the youth ranks at Barcelona, Moriba also featured for the Spain U17s and U18s. He has since declared for the Guinea national side.
- Full name: Moriba Kourouma Kourouma
- Date of birth: 19th January 2003 in Conakry (Guinea)
- Age: 18
- Nationalities: Guinea, Spain
- Shoots: right
- Height: 1.85m
- LaLiga: 14 games | 2 goals | 1 assist
- Copa del Rey: 3 games
- UEFA Champions League: 1 game
- UEFA Youth League: 8 games | 1 goal | 1 assist
- Segunda División B: 18 games | 2 goals | 1 assist
Youth national sides:
- Spain U18: 2 games | 0 assists
- Spain U17: 7 games | 2 goals | 2 assists