Our Denis Zakaria Biography tells you Facts about his Childhood Story, Early Life, Parents, Family, Girlfriend/Wife to be and siblings (Bodour and Richard Florian). More so, Denis’ Lifestyle, Personal Life Net Worth, etc.
In a nutshell, we portray the History of a Swiss defensive midfielder. A boy who was once denied football, and then defied the odds stacked against him – to become successful. The Swiss’ Life story begins from his early days to when he became famous.
To whet your autobiography appetite on the appealing nature of Denis Zakaria’s Biography, behold his early life and rise trajectory. In clear terms, what we have below summarizes his life history.
Yes, everyone is aware he is a dependable defensive midfielder, one who excels greatly in the area of standing tackles, aggression and fastball movement.
Despite the many accolades, our team realizes – that just a few are acquainted with Denis Zakaria’s Biography.
For this reason, we’ve gone ahead to prepare it – because of our love of the beautiful game. Now, much ado, let’s begin.
Denis Zakaria Childhood Story:
For Biography starters, he bears the nickname “Zak” and full names Denis Lemi Zakaria Lako Lado.
The Swiss footballer was born on the 20th day of November 1996 to his mother, Rina Zakaria and father, Lako Lado Zakaria, in the city of Geneva, Switzerland.
Denis Zakaria came to the world as the last born child (the baby of the house), out of three children (himself, an older brother and a sister).
The beautiful union between these love birds (Denis Zakaria’s parents) produced him and his two siblings.
Denis Zakaria is a pure Genevan, a boy who is lucky enough to live in the heart of Switzerland city. More precisely, he spent his childhood days in Rue du Perron.
This is a neighbourhood located in Geneva, the second-most populous city in Switzerland after Zürich.
Also to note, Denis Zakaria grew up alongside his older brother (Richard Florian) whom he spent most of his joyful childhood time with. Also, his elder sister (Bodour) whom he spent a lesser time with as kids.
The three siblings didn’t enjoy childhood all alone. They had the company of their cousin, who goes by the name Emmanuel.
Everyone saw the humble relative as a family member. In fact, Rina and Lako catered for Emmanuel like he is one of their children.
Denis Zakaria Family Background:
The Swiss footballer hails from a middle-class household – a household that is inclined with sports.
Report from our research has it that Denis Zakaria’s Dad played football at an amateur level (in Africa). Currently, he works in a sports ministry in Congo.
On the other hand, Denis’ Mum is a businesswoman. Just like Daine Davies Tom Davies’ mum, Rina is a hairstylist. In fact, she runs one of the most successful hair salons in Geneva city.
For family reasons, Denis Zakaria was raised by a single parent (his mother, Rina) who alone brought him up alongside his elder brother Richard.
Badour, the only daughter of Zakaria’s mum – spent her childhood years in the United States.
A few years ago, Rina explained to a journalist what she went through in raising her two boys – Denis and Richard. She describes her children as her whole life. In her words;
I had to fight in life to provide for my children. I tried to give them what I didn’t get as a child.
Early on, I have always taught Richard and Denis that it takes effort to be successful.
Denis Zakaria Family Origin:
During his childhood, the Switzerland footballer made several trips to Africa, the land of his parents and grandparents.
Put simply, Denis Zakaria’s parents have their origin from two countries (recently ravaged by civil wars) in the old continent.
South Sudan, now referred to as the Republic of South Sudan, is the country of his Dad -Lako Lado. On the flip side, Denis Zakaria’s Mum (Rina) hails from the Democratic Republic of Congo (similar to the parents of Benoit Badiashile). Just like Christopher Nkunku, Congolese blood flows through Denis’ veins.
In case you are not aware, Rina arrived in Geneva (Switzerland) all by herself in the year 1983. Zak’s mum did not know anyone in the country. In fact, she was unable to speak French but fluent in Swahili and Tshiluba.
The worst of all was that she didn’t have any money. Rina Zakaria had to fight her battles to become successful. Today, she is glad that football (through her son Denis) has wiped away the tears in her eyes.
Results from our research have it that Denis Zakaria (through his Dad) belongs to the Bari tribe of South Sudan. This is a tribe of Karo, the Nilotic people inhabiting the landlocked African country. It is where his paternal grandparents come from.
As a boy, Denis and Richard often visit South Sudan and Congo. These are the African countries of his parents and ancestors.
While there, the boy’s Dad (Lako Lado) ensured they learn Bari, the local dialect. Asides from learning the language, Denis and Richard also played soccer with several village children. According to his Dad;
These trips made a deep impression on Denis. He was happy to have been there and to realize how difficult the living conditions of people from his origin.
Denis Zakaria Education and Career Buildup:
The Swiss professional footballer schooled in Rue du Perron. After classes, he, alongside his elder brother Richard, would go play football (every day) at La Treille Park – which is behind Geneva’s city hall.
Betrayed by his Short Height:
Early on, Denis Zakaria was deemed very short for his age. That posed a disadvantage as he got excluded from most team selections. Denis felt frustrated by that with the mindset of fighting his way back.
In reaction to being left out, the now 191-centimetre defensive midfielder decided to forge an aggressive ball-winning character each time he was asked to play football. Being very aggressive made up for his lack of height.
Thankfully, this became the reason why Denis Zakaria’s short height got overlooked. More so, his composure, aggression, tackling and strength became the reason why he regularly got picked all in local matches.
On some occasions, Denis, together with his friends, played football in nearby alleys close to his family home.
Other times, he played football with his brother (Richard) right inside their home. Kicking football around the house didn’t go down well with Rina, his mum.
Both boys had no choice but to play soccer at home, mostly during winter when it was too cold.
That brought grave consequences, as damages to glasses of flower vases occur during those kickarounds. According to her;
The apartment bore the marks of their passion. There were no more vases, no more flowers because Denis and Richard were breaking everything.
Denis became so increasingly addicted to football to the extent of always pestering his Mum (Rina) to take him for trials at a nearby Geneva-based academy Servette FC.
Denis Zakaria Football Story:
Taking her son (aged 5) to have his first-ever trial with Servette FC was the best idea. Thankfully, Denis passed with flying colours. Each day, Rina would come to pick him up after her job.
Rina is the kind of mother who was mandated to stay at work from (9 am to 5 pm) every weekday. While at work, Denis Zakaria’s mum preferred he kept themselves busy with soccer rather than hanging out in the street.
Every week day, I would go to fetch Denis at the Balexert stadium after my work and at the end of his training.
Each time Denis fails to attend training, he would cry all day. Missing training happens whenever he misses the bus that comes to pick him up to the games. Crying would make his mother so sick.
Rina was the kind of ever-busy mother who worked to take care of the family – even on Saturday. For this reason, she never had time to go see her son’s matches. As a way of consoling Denis, she would say;
Go ahead, I’m here with you.
At age nine, besides a passion for football, Denis was already developing moral values. The boy was deemed as honest, courageous and well educated.
In his eyes, football for Denis was simply a school of life. He is lucky to have a family who agreed to his idea of football.
Denis Zakaria Biography – The Road to Fame Story:
A passion for football and inner strength continued to shape his character. That made him become the academy’s most valuable asset – for his age grade.
As a child, Denis is not the defensive midfield kind of boy – that the world later knew him to be. He was a natural-born goal scorer who played as a forward. Sometimes, our boy hit the record of scoring ten goals in a single match.
While at Servette academy, Denis got the opportunity to meet some of the club’s icons. A perfect example is Philippe Sylvain Senderos. Zakaria is pictured here receiving an autograph from the former Arsenal Superstar.
As the former Arsenal man signed his jersey, little did he know he was sitting in front of a boy who would take his place in the Swiss national team.
Zak, who was once betrayed by his body began to grow most quickly between ages 12 and 15. Denis didn’t only have height, his muscles also began to develop.
Combining aggression, strength and Speed:
At Servette, Denis Zakaria conceived an idea that would see him become the best in his role as a forward.
The way he figured it, the average tall and powerful footballer always has lesser speed. So he decided to do the extraordinary.
As a way of beating nature, Denis began to push himself so hard to acquire top speed and acceleration. Combining that with his height and strength made him become a force to be reckoned with. José Polidura, his first coach and mentor, once said;
“We called him gazelle legs because he was so fast. he went with his immense strides.
Back then, Zak always had the banana to boost his height and he keeps a special memory of it.
How he became a Defensive Midfielder:
With his unrivalled football prowess, there was simply nothing Denis could not do on the pitch. His unrivalled football prowess made him become a complete footballer – one who could score goals, decide the game in midfield and also defend.
Observing he was a jack of all trades, his coaches agreed to continually reposition him on the field. Denis got tossed about in all positions where he excelled. The fact that he was that good made his coaches even more confused as to where to place him.
During his final year as an academy player with Servette, William Niederhauser (Denis’ youth coach) decided to get him a final position – which is the Defensive Midfield. He shined there the most – a reason why he got fixed there.
No Exotic Lifestyle, No Partying:
A meteoric improvement to his gameplay came when Denis decided to go the extreme – in terms of killing his personal life for a career. This happened during his senior career, the time he already achieved his impressive growth spurt of 1.94 m (6 ft 4 in).
Denis Zakaria’s brother, Richard, in an interview, gave an account of what he observed. In his words;
Denis always trained so much and that made him have the same lifestyle and missed out on his youth. He saw his friends going out to birthdays and parties but could do nothing about himself.
Denis Zakaria Bio – The Rise to Fame Success Story:
Despite being a defensive midfielder, the youngster still kept his attacking reflexes. Denis still had the instinct to go forward – just like Patrick Vieira (same style and size). Such determination to excel led to Switzerland’s U19 call up.
Having not been able to resist his qualities, BSC Young Boys (a Swiss sports club based in Bern, Switzerland) acquired Denis in June 2015. The move saw him leaving his parents and family members for the first time.
Denis Zakaria travelled for 159.0 km to live with a host family in the Neufeld district of Bern – the area where BSC Young Boys is located.
As someone who wasn’t able to secure his own accommodation, he decided to live with a host family. With this household, Denis Zakaria got new siblings – a sister and three brothers – all aged 17 to 22.
While at BSC Young Boys, Zakaria did not let go of his dream of becoming one of the world’s best Defensive Midfielders. In fact, he rose to become a reliable force at YB in a very short time.
To the joy of Denis Zakaria’s parents and family members, his athleticism and unwavering determination catapulted him into the Switzerland U21 and then the national football team – all within the space of one year.
Borussia Mönchengladbach and 2018 World Cup:
In June 2017, Denis Zakaria got another call of destiny – this time, a contract with Borussia Mönchengladbach. The German club got him as a replacement for Mahmoud Dahoud who left them for Borussia Dortmund.
In Germany, Zakaria established himself as the revelation of the Bundesliga. His unwavering determination to become the best in his role has produced constant international call-ups to big tournaments – the likes of the 2018 World Cup, UFEA Nations League, etc.
At the time of producing Denis Zakaria’s Biography, he is dubbed one of the youngest best defensive midfielders in the world. His speed is rather unusual for a footballer of my size. More so, he is very tough, aggressive and tenacious.
Without a doubt, the hype surrounding Denis Zakaria is very true. Below is a piece of video evidence that shows his extraordinary qualities and explains why the biggest clubs in Europe want his signature.
If you could recall, Granit Xhaka was bought for 35 million pounds by Arsenal in 2016. By that purchase, he had remained the most expensive Swiss footballer in history. Our boy is just about to beat that record.
With the way Zak is going, it is certain that he will soon explode to overpower Granit Xhaka to become Switzerland’s most expensive footballer. The rest, as we say of his Biography is now history.
Denis Zakaria Love Life:
For the Swiss, the pursuit of a successful career in football comes first before keeping up with a girlfriend, having a wife and possibly children.
Without a doubt, Denis Zakaria is Tall, Dark, and Handsome. He is the dream man for many ladies who aspire to become his WAG. As I produce this Bio, the Swiss is yet to publicly reveal his girlfriend or wife to be.
Perhaps, Denis Zakaria’s parents and advisers, have told him to keep his love life a secret. It is no surprise because he is at a crucial stage of his career.
Denis Zakaria Personal Life:
In this section of our Biographical writeup, we’ll tell you things about him you probably are not aware of. We do this because a lot of fans have asked… Who is Denis Zakaria?
First thing first, he is an adorable guy who has a real radiance, known for his smile and his eternal good humour. According to the Swiss midfielder, his aggression on the pitch is simply a family characteristic that is linked to his African origins.
As much as he is aggressive and stubborn in a game, Denis is so cool off the pitch. The video below proves he is a happy guy who knows how to transmit happiness.
Denis Zakaria Lifestyle:
Speaking about how he spends his monies, there is just someone you can’t separate from Denis. This is his love for exotic cars. Below is proof that Denis Zakaria is a passionate car collector.
Zak is also a famous Land Rover owner, one who enjoys being seen about town in this luxury SUV. Behold the Swagalicious Swiss showing off the dividends of his footballing monies.
Denis Zakaria Family Life:
Without support from his household, the road to becoming a footballer would be very difficult. Family is first for Denis and everything else comes second as far as what’s important to him.
In this section, we’ll tell you more about Zakaria’s parents and family members. Without further ado, let’s proceed.
About Denis Zakaria’s Father:
Although he grew up mostly with his mum, the Swiss did occasionally spend time with his South Sudanese Dad. As I write, research has it that Denis Zakaria’s Father is currently a sports advisor for the government of DR Congo.
For reasons unknown, Mr Lako Lado (in the year 2011) left Switzerland to work full time in the African country. The decision left his family members (especially Denis) sad, and he once lamented about not hearing from his Dad.
The footballer’s statement (on not hearing from his Dad) has left the media to speculate if Denis Zakaria’s parents are divorced or just separated. Speaking about the Father’s decision to leave his family, the Swiss Footballer once said;
Sometimes it is sad not to see or hear from my father. But that’s the way it is. The closer is the relationships with the other family members.
About Denis Zakaria’s Mother:
Rina is an exemplary or exceptional mum. A woman who has singlehandedly fought her way – through thick and thin – to become successful. Upon reaching Belgium from South Sudan at the age of 30, Rina set out for all kinds of jobs.
She first worked as a receptionist, and then a nanny at the Qatar mission. Rina Zakaria then got the job of a Support Worker who looks after the well-being of elderly people.
With these jobs, she was able to provide for her children – Denis, Richard and Badour. Much later in life, Rina Zakaria opened her own business – a hair salon in Geneva. Denis is responsible for setting that up.
Rina once had an interview while sitting in her apartment in the old town of Geneva. She told RedBull the following;
In life, it’s not money that makes you happy. I arrived in Geneva from a war-ravaged native Sudan with next to nothing. It was fate that brought me here.
Denis Zakaria Siblings:
So far as research can tell, the Swiss footballer has two siblings – Richard and Badour. He spent his early life with them – except for Badour who later travelled to the United States. Let’s tell you more about his siblings.
Denis Zakaria Brother:
Richard is the first son of the family. He is three years older than Denis. Unlike his little brother, Richard went through education – fulfilling his Mum’s early wish. Early on, Rina was of the opinion that her kids would give a higher priority to schooling.
Like Denis who later dropped of schooling, Richard took the route to pursue his education. He went on to become a lawyer – a successful one. Richard’s idea of education made his Mum happier.
Dropping out of school was pardonable probably because Denis is the last born. Although, Rina is more fearful for his last child because she saw football as a 50/50 chance. While explaining the situation, Denis’ big brother Richard said;
When Denis quit business school to be a professional at Servette, Mama was very worried. But she is very happy today.
Denis Zakaria Sister:
Bidour is the first child of the family. She was 41 years old (as of 2010) – meaning Rina (Denis Zakaria’s mum) gave birth to her at a very young age (probably during her teenage or upon reaching adulthood).
Bodour Zakaria is married and now lives in the United States with her family. Through skype, she often keeps close ties with her Mum and brother in Europe. Also, her Dad who resides in Congo – at the time of writing.
Denis Zakaria Relatives:
Asides from having passion and a gift for football, he comes from a large and diverse united family. From his paternal side are his relatives from Congo while that of South Sudan is that of his maternal.
As pointed out earlier, Denis has visited his relatives (especially during his childhood) and still keeps in touch with them.
Presently, only one of them (his cousin, Emmanuel) lives with him alongside his brother and mother.
Denis Zakaria Facts:
Having journeyed to this stage of our Biography write-up, we’ll use this concluding episode to unveil more truth about the Geneva native. Without much ado, let’s proceed.
Comparing his Borussia Mönchengladbach Salary to the Average Swiss Citizen :
Since you started viewing Denis Zakaria‘s Bio, this is what he has earned with the club.
|TENURE/SALARY||DENIS ZAKARIA BORUSSIA MONCHENGLADBACH SALARY BREAKDOWN IN EUROS (€)|
Where Denis Zakaria comes from, the average Swiss citizen earns about 5,900 Euros per month. Therefore, a total is 10 years and 7 months is required to make Denis Zakaria’s weekly wages with Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Denis Zakaria Profile:
In modern football, you can hardly find a 6-foot-4 Defensive midfielder who has got a speed of 85. The honest truth is that no one exists. What this simply means is that Denis possesses what Fabinho, Ngolo Kante, Thomas Partey and Casemiro don’t have.
Denis Zakaria’s Religion – A Christian or Muslim?
Judging by his surname, you might align the Swiss footballer to be among the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri, Gunners’ Granit Xhaka and Haris Seferovic who are Muslim footballers. Also, you could link with 3.5% of the Switzerland resident population who follow Islam.
We make the above assertion because the name “Zakaria” meaning “God has remembered” is an Arabic masculine name mostly used by Muslim citizens from the Arab world.
However, the conflicting thing is, Denis’ surname name is also associated with the Christian version of Zechariah (the father of John the Baptist) which bears the same meaning as Zakaria. Again, his first name (Denis) is used by Christian which means “God of wine”.
Based on the above premises, we hereby conclude that Denis Zakaria’s parents ordained their son – a Christian by birth (owing to his first name). Also, after researching deeper, we realize Denis Zakaria is a Christian.
However, there could be traces of Islam among his relatives – mostly from his maternal side (Congo). His extended family from South Sudan (his father’s side) are likely to be Christians.
Denis Zakaria Biography Summary:
Dear readers, kindly use the table below to get answers to Wiki inquiries about the Swiss professional footballer.
|Full Name:||Denis Lemi Zakaria Lako Lado|
|Date of birth:||20th November 1996|
|Age:||26 years and 4 months old.|
|Place of Birth:||Geneva, Switzerland|
|Nationalities:||Switzerland, South Sudan and DR Congo.|
|Parents:||Rina Zakaria (Mother) and Lako Lado Zakaria (Father)|
|Father's origin:||South Sudan|
|Mother's origin:||Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|Siblings:||Richard Florian Zakaria (Brother) and Badour Zakaria (Sister)|
|Height:||1.94 meters (6 foot 4 inches)|
|Net Worth:||7 million Euros (2021 stats)|
|Agent:||LIAN Sports Group|
The Biography of Denis Zakaria makes us understand the fact that Potential is a priceless treasure, like gold. Aspiring footballers must always think big and don’t let people’s views about your limitation get to you.
More so, the only person you are destined to become is the person you finally decide to be. If you could recall in our Bio, Denis was left out of his team because of the views of his friends that he was too short to get selected to play football with them.
The Swiss Footballer didn’t just sit back and allow his height issue to overpower his sense of reason. Instead, he forged his character – (pace, aggression, tackling etc.), which has helped to compensate for what he lacked in height.
As of today, the Swiss have recovered from what nature once denied him. As British newspaper TheTimes puts it, Zakaria now sees himself in Patrick Vieira’s body. Indeed, Paul Pogba octopus legs is a prototype, but football has now got a better version in Denis.
Finally, it behoves Lifebogger to commend Denis Zakaria’s parents, notably his mum, Rina, for successfully raising him single-handedly and supporting his childhood dreams. She has been, without doubt, the heartbeat of his life.
Thank you for staying with us in this interesting Biography about Denis Zakaria. At Lifebogger, we always strive to deliver you stories about Swiss Footballers. Please reach us via the contact page if you notice anything that doesn’t look right in our Bio.
Asides from Zakaria’s Bio, we’ve got other related Football childhood stories for you. The Life history of Roman Burki, Yann Sommer and Manuel Akanji would definitely interest you.
Our team would appreciate it if you reach us via the comment section on what you think about Denis Zakaria, the 6 foot 4 Swiss professional footballer.