Belgium World Cup discard Origi enjoys Kenyan roots

Belgium striker Divock Origi burst to prominence in Brazil 2014, but was overlooked for the 2018 finals in Russia

Nairobi (AFP) – Wolfsburg striker Divock Origi is putting the disappointment of being left out of Belgium’s World Cup squad behind him with a two-week holiday in his ancestral home, Kenya.

The 23-year-old son of former Kenyan international Mike Okoth Origi was the breakout star of Belgium’s World Cup campaign in Brazil four years ago.

But faltering form saw him left out of Robert Martinez’s squad for Russia.

On loan from Liverpool to German side Wolfsburg, Origi has scored only six goals in 31 appearances this season but said he’s optimistic about his future.

“Many times after a game, I get the feeling that I have not done enough… of course there is room for improvement,” he told Kenya’s NTV on Sunday.

“But then, when you believe that God is in control and you will improve, then it happens. You also have to practice harder,” he said.

Origi gained international prominence in Brazil in 2014 when, as a Belgian substitute, he became the country’s youngest-ever World Cup goalscorer, his on target shot against 2018 hosts Russia propelling Belgium into the second round.

Belgium open their World Cup campaign against Panama next Monday, with Tunisia and England to follow.