Wolfsburg midfielder Junior Malanda suffers untimely death in automobile accident
According to reports in German publication Bild, Wolfsburg’s promising midfielder Junior Malanda was involved in a car crash on a highway in north-central Germany a few hours ago, and breathed his last on the spot. The Belgian 20-year-old is reported to have been in the back seat of an SUV which, according to German police, was travelling at excessive speed.
The accident occurred at 15:35 German time on the A2 highway when the car skidded off a guardrail on the side of the road and crashed into a tree. Police told Bild: "It is assumed that excessive speed was cause of the accident in violent wind and aquaplaning [conditions].”
Malanda was reportedly on way to join his Wolfsburg teammates for a training camp in South Africa.
Tributes start pouring in from Bundesliga footballers
Malanda was part of the new exciting generation of Belgian footballers, and has played at all junior levels for his country. He had joined Wolfsburg in 2013 from Belgian club Zulte Waregem. He had already made 15 appearances this season for the Bundesliga club, also scoring 2 goals – a commendable record for a defensive midfielder playing in one of Europe’s best leagues.
Tributes have only begun to flow in from the football fraternity in the wake of this sad and untimely demise. Kevin de Bruyne, Malanda’s compatriot for club and country, said – "So strange to hear your friend in the morning and then hear this news. Lost a great friend way to early. Rest in peace my friend. You will always be around."
Bayern Munich’s Mario Gotze and Jerome Boateng have expressed their sorrow: