|Dries Mertens Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 6½ in|
|Date of Birth||May 6, 1987|
Dries Mertens is considered as one of the best attacking players in the European leagues. Under Sarri, he flaunted his versatility as he excelled in the center forward role in free-flowing Napoli side. Because of his immense performances in Napoli’s attempt to win elusive scudetto, he has gained the status of a hero in Naples. His loyalty to the club instead of moving to European giants has elevated his popularity to the cult level in the third largest Italian city.
Leuven, Flemish Brabant, Belgium
Naples, Campania, Italy
Dries Mertens started his soccer journey with the youth setup of the local club, Stade Leuven. After two years, he joined academy of Anderlecht in 1998. After he was released by Anderlecht in 2003, he was signed up by the youth academy of another Belgian giant, Gent.
Professional Soccer Player
- Father – Herman Mertens
- Mother – Marijke Mertens
- Siblings – Unknown
Dries Mertens is represented by Søren Lerby of Stirr Associates.
11 – FC Utrecht, Belgium National Team
14 – PSV Eindhoven, SSC Napoli, Belgium National Team
5 ft 6½ in or 169 cm
58 kg or 128 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Dries Mertens has dated
- Katrin Kerkhofs (2015-Present) – Dries Mertens has been dating Belgian model and TV personality, Katrin Kerkhofs for a long time. They got married in a lavish wedding ceremony in June 2015. It was reported that they separated for a brief period of time and managed to get back together in 2016.
Race / Ethnicity
Medium stubble beard
Dries Mertens has a personal endorsement deal with Nike, as part of which, he is required to wear their cleats for his soccer matches for his club as well as the national team.
Best Known For
- Being one the finest attacking players in the Italian league. He has delivered scintillating performances for SSC Napoli since 2013.
- Being a key member of the Belgian national team’s playing 11. He has been performing at the high level for the national team for over 8 years.
First Soccer Match
He made his professional debut in 2005 with the Belgian soccer club, Eendracht Aalst. He had been sent on a season loan by Gent to the 3rd division side and he proved to be a key player for them. He was even declared Player of the Year.
In August 2011, he made his first appearance for Eredivisie club PSV Eindhoven in a match against AZ Alkmaar. He scored his side’s only goal in a 3-1 loss.
In August 2013, he made his Serie A debut for Napoli in a 3-0 win over Bologna. He was sent in as a substitute for Marek Hamsik in the second half by Rafa Benitez.
In February 2011, he made his international debut for Belgium in a friendly match against Finland.
- Long Shots
- Ball Control
- Technical Ability
- Lack of strength
- Short height
- Aerial duels
- Defensive work rate
Dries Mertens Facts
- Before he joined PSV, he was lined by another Dutch giant, Ajax for the transfer. They wanted Mertens to replace Luis Suarez, who had moved to Liverpool. However, their bid was rejected.
- In June 2011, PSV paid a combined fee of €13 million to bring Mertens and Kevin Strootman to the club from Utrecht.
- He was released by Anderlecht because the youth team coaches felt he was too short and incapable of handling the physicality of the professional level.
- Towards the end of 2011-12 season, he was involved in a horrific collision with Heracles goalkeeper Remko Pasveer while trying to score. He lost a number of teeth when he collided with Pasveer, who found one of Mertens’ teeth lodged in his head three weeks after the collision. However, he did manage to score the goal.
- In June 2013, he became Rafael Benitez’s first signing in the role of manager of Napoli. The Naples based club had paid money to acquire his services.
- In October 2013, he scored his first goal for Napoli as he scored the winner in their Serie A match against Fiorentina.
- After Arkadiusz Milik suffered a serious knee injury, Maurizio Sarri decided to play Mertens at the tip of his attack. He responded by scoring 28 goals in 35 matches as his side finished in the third spot.
- In December 2016, he was declared as Belgian Footballer of the Year. He managed to overcome competition from Radja Nainggolan and Eden Hazard.
- At the 2018 FIFA World Cup, he scored his side’s first goal of the tournament as he scored a stunning volley from left inside of the penalty area.
- He won Coppa Italia cup with Napoli at the end of 2013-14 season. He scored his side’s final goal in 3-1 win over Fiorentina. He also won Supercoppa Italiana at the start of the following season.
- Visit his official website @ driesmertens.be.
- Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Featured Image by Dries Mertens / Instagram