Credit - Burnley FC

Luca Koleosho: A Journey from the United States to Europe’s Largest Stage

August 18, 2023


On September 15th, 2004, Luca Koleosho was born in the United States to parents of Nigerian, Italian and Canadian heritage. Flash-forward eighteen years later, and Koleosho clocked a 61-minute shift on the field for Burnley in the Premier League season-opener against Manchester City. Luca’s journey from his American roots to the fields of Europe has not only shaped his soccer career but also highlighted the sacrifices and rewards of leaving home at a young age to pursue your dreams.

A Brave Departure

At the age of 13, most children in the United States are still navigating the challenges of middle school and exploring their hobbies. However, Luca Koleosho made a choice that set him apart from his peers. With dreams of playing soccer at the highest level, he left behind his friends, family, and familiar surroundings in the United States to embark on an adventure across the Atlantic.

The Spanish Odyssey

Luca’s journey led him to the shores of Spain, a nation deeply passionate about soccer and arguably one of the best soccer cultures in the world. He joined CF Reus, a club that participates in renowned tournaments such as the Surf Cup International in Salou, Spain. The exposure to top-level competition and the opportunity to train and play alongside young talents from around the world provided Luca with an invaluable experience that significantly shaped his development as a player.

Challenges of Leaving Home

Leaving home at such a young age is undoubtedly a daunting task. The comforts of familiarity, family, and the sense of belonging are difficult to leave behind. Luca’s journey highlights the emotional and psychological challenges that come with this sacrifice. Adapting to a new culture, language, and environment can be overwhelming, but Luca’s determination and passion to pursue a professional soccer career helped him persevere through the tough times.

The Importance of European Exposure

Luca’s story underlines the significance of exposure to top-level soccer in Europe for young talents. The European soccer scene is known for its rigorous training methods, intense competition, and high standards of development. Players who make the leap to European academies like International Development Academy often find themselves surrounded by experienced coaches, world-class facilities, and opportunities to learn from the best. This exposure not only hones their skills but also provides a unique platform to showcase their abilities to scouts and clubs from across the globe.

Paving the Path for Future Talents

Luca Koleosho’s journey serves as an inspiration for aspiring young soccer players worldwide. His story demonstrates that while the path may be challenging, the rewards of dedication, hard work, and a willingness to step out of one’s comfort zone can be truly extraordinary. As young talents witness the success stories of players like Luca, they are encouraged to dream big and pursue their aspirations relentlessly, regardless of the obstacles they may encounter.


Luca Koleosho’s journey from the United States to Europe’s soccer stage is a testament to the power of dreams and determination. Leaving home at a young age and navigating the challenges of adapting to a new environment showcases Luca’s resilience and commitment to his passion. As he steps onto the field, wearing the Burnley jersey against Manchester City, his journey reminds us all that the pursuit of excellence often demands sacrifices, leaps of faith and a quality Development Academy. Luca’s story encourages young talents to embrace the unknown, work tirelessly, and grasp every opportunity to elevate their game to new heights.

If you would like to pursue your dream of playing at the highest level, International Development Academy is currently enrolling for the 2023/24 and 2024/25 academic seasons. Please fill out the form below and one of our Academic Advisors will reach out to you as soon as possible.

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Image Credit: Burnley FC




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