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Meet Darius Johnson...The Teenager Behind Viral ‘Two-Footed First Touch’ Video

Meet Darius Johnson...The Teenager Behind Viral ‘Two-Footed First Touch’ Video
I woke up the next morning and the clip was on Soccer AM and SPORTbible, then I was like 'woah' is this really happening right now?


It was a moment that would see him gain over 5,000 Instagram followers in 24 hours, but several days after a five-second clip would catapult his talents to millions around the world, this humble teenager from South West London remains grounded as he continues to try and achieve his dream of turning professional.

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Image: Rising Ballers FC/YouTube
Image: Rising Ballers FC/YouTube

This is Darius Johnson, a 19-year-old forward who plays for Rising Ballers FC, a team who give undiscovered youth players the coverage needed to maximise their chances of becoming a professional footballer.

The club post regular footage to their YouTube channel, including highlight videos on youth players as well as polls and debates on a series of topics.

And it's here where Darius' remarkable two-footed first touch became a hit.

"It came to me at a crazy height and I just knew that I wasn't going to be able to bring it down with one foot; so I just said you know what, let's try something different." he told SPORTbible.

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"It was pure instinct to use two feet and it worked out.

"I reckon my next few touches could have been better, but it was a crazy three seconds of my life."


If a sentence had to sum up this humble and hard working teenager it would that last line.

He constantly strives to better himself, an attitude that his peers believe will help him to achieve his goals.

Eni Shabani, director at Rising Ballers, believes the 19-year-old is close to hitting the big time.

"If he maintains this consistency then you'll see him playing a professional club very soon." he told SPORTbible

"On top of that, I think from the player's that we work with, aside from just being an incredible player, his mentality is brilliant.

"He is grounded and humble. He is so focused on becoming a professional footballer that I'm sure he will."

Image: Rising Ballers FC/YouTube
Image: Rising Ballers FC/YouTube

Shabani went on to describe the moment Johnson took the ball down with such ease, but his reaction says it all.

"When he did that first touch, I just shrugged my shoulders because I'd already seen him play. That touch is literally the tip of the iceberg," he told SPORTbible.

"The stuff we have seen him do on and off the field, the flair that he has, it goes way beyond that touch.

"But if we're talking about that moment; I've seen lots of touches in my time but this one is number one. The way he took it down and turned his man. Crazy."

"It literally look us one game to realise that this kid is an absolute baller.

"I knew that if we work with him and train him hard, then he's going to be something really special."


Johnson's journey to YouTube stardom hasn't been straightforward.

Most 19-year-old hopefuls have progressed through the ranks at their respected professional club, whether that be in League Two or the Premier League.

But the youngster remains optimistic that a club will come along and snap him up, despite his unusual career path.

"I didn't have any trials when I was really young, but clubs started to take notice when I was 13." he said.

"Before that I was playing a lot of cage and street football. That helped me massively.

"After the age of 13, Queen Park Rangers expressed an interest in me, and I went on trial at Chelsea and Oxford as well.

"There hasn't been anything set in stone as of yet, but I'm hopeful for the future."

Darius Johnson was on trial at Chelsea last season. Image: Brighton & Hove Albion
Darius Johnson was on trial at Chelsea last season. Image: Brighton & Hove Albion
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If a club decide to take a chance on Darius, they will not only have an incredibly gifted player on their hands but a driven, hard working individual who is supremely confident about his own ability.

"My playing style has changed over the years." he said.

"I didn't really express myself on the ball early on. I had skills but I didn't use them to the best of my abilities.

"But now I go out there with 100% confidence. I am very direct. I like to cause the defenders problems and can pull off plenty of tricks.

"I like to bring the 'wow' factor to games.

"If I had to compare myself to one player, it would be Eden Hazard, without doubt. He's also very direct and strong on the ball. Shifting left and right."

Image: Rising Ballers FC/YouTube
Image: Rising Ballers FC/YouTube

Johnson has become a fan favourite on the popular YouTube channel, who have over 10,000 subscribers to their name.

But the 19-year-old wants to showcase his talent to a worldwide audience.

"Playing at Rising Ballers gives you lots of exposure, so I want to turn professional soon. That's the aim." he said.

"I want to play at a high level and really showcase my talent to the world."

Remember the name.

Topics: Football News, News, Football, YouTube

Jack Kenmare

Jack Kenmare is a writer at SPORTbible. He's interviewed some of the biggest names in sport, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pele, Carles Puyol and Tim Henman. He dabbles in all things sport but football is his biggest passion. He was once hit in the head by a wayward strike from Nicky Butt and lived to tell the tale.

 

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