National soccer player Jody Lukoki has died at the age of just 29.
DR Congo footballer Jody Lukoki has died aged just 29.
He most recently played for Dutch club FC Twente, who released a statement on their club’s website, stating: “The club is shocked and deeply moved by this tragic event.
“FC Twente sympathizes with their loved ones and wishes them strength in dealing with this great loss.”
The Congolese was previously active at PEC Zwolle, Bulgarian club Ludogorest and Turkish club Yeni Malatyaspor.
PEC Zwolle, together with FC Twente, have expressed their “dismay and sadness” at the death of Lukoki. Lukoki scored Zwolle’s first-ever goal in European competition.
Jody Lukoki’s Cause of Death and Honors
Jody Lukoki’s cause of death is currently unknown.
Tributes from former clubs have been awash and along with statements from Zwolle and Twente, his Turkish side said: “It is with sadness that we have received the news that Jody Lukoki, who wore our club’s shirt in the 2020-21 Super League season, has been sweating brought, deceased.
“Our condolences go out to his family and community.”
Jody Lukoki’s club career
Lukoki, nicknamed “The Son of the Wind”, started his career at Ajax, where he played as a youth. He was born in Zaire, DR Congo, but his family immigrated to the Netherlands during the First Congo War.
He made his senior debut for Ajax in a 2-0 home win over club rivals Feyenoord in January 2011 and immediately won his home fans over to his side by nutting then-Feyenoord player Tim de Cler after the ball went dead was in play.
After 24 league games and five goals for Ajax, the winger was loaned out to SC Cambuur after it became clear he was then-coach Frank de Boer’s third-choice winger.
After one season, Lukoki moved to PEC Zwolle on what should have meant a three-year deal, joining the team that recently beat his former side Ajax in the KNVB Cup final.
During Zwolle’s 2014/15 UEFA Europa League play-off game against Sparta Prague, Lukoki scored his side’s first-ever goal in continental competition.
Lukoki only stayed at Zwolle for a year before moving to Bulgarian club Ludogorest Razgrad. The winger made over 100 league appearances between 2015 and 2020 and scored his side’s winning goal in the 2-1 UEFA Europa League group stage match against 1899 Hoffenheim in 2017.
Ludogorest announced that after five years, Lukoki and the Bulgarian side had amicably parted ways, with the winger moving to Turkish club Yeni Malatyaspor.
After just one season, it was announced that Lukoki would be returning to the Netherlands and he had signed for FC Twente, but a knee injury prevented the Congo international from playing games and in February FC Twente terminated his contract citing “events.” in his private life”. as the reason for his departure.
Jody Lukoki’s international career
Lukoki made several appearances for the Netherlands at various youth levels, but switched to his native country in 2015. He continued to hold dual nationality but was called up to Congo for the first time in March 2015 for a friendly against Iraq.
The last of Lukoki’s three caps came during a friendly against Burkina Faso in 2020.