Football World Cup: Ben Lederman starts his career in Poland

Lederman has come an extensive way, both geographically and metaphorically, since being lauded by the American media as the future of the World Cup, and the following big thing from Barcelona’s academy. A few years advanced, however, he left La Masia, having been wedged in a tangled net of FIFA bureaucracy towards which he still holds a grudge.

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Football World Cup: Lederman is back

Now, however, Lederman is back on the up, starring for determined Polish league runners-up Rakow Czestochowa as one of the top midfielders in the Ekstraklasa, and with an eye on universal stardom albeit not for the FIFA World Cup Stars and Stripes. He was spotted by Barcelona scouts when playing in contradiction of one of their youth teams for California State Under-10s and was invited to La Masia aged 11. His whole family stimulated lock, stock and barrel to Barcelona to provision Ben.

Hailing from a Jewish family, he enjoyed his bar mitzvah at a synagogue in the Spanish city. By assembly Barcelona, Lederman attained the honour of becoming the first-ever American Football World Cup player to be recorded with the club. Social media was ablaze with talk of the wunderkind, with any clips and pics of his growth eagerly viewed and examined. The New York Times profiled him when he was 13, telling him as An American Boy Wonder in Barcelona on their front page.

Lederman, though, was too busy enjoying his soccer to pay any courtesy to the hype. It was like a dream come true, he admits. But at such a young age you don’t pay attention to that sort of thing media stress, you go out and play every day and like it. If you start reading these things, it’s too much stress. Otherwise, he will become a World cup player as soon as possible.

Article 19 of its rules on the status and transfer of players prohibits youth players from registering with a club outside their home country until they are 18 unless they meet sure exceptions which Lederman did not, and he, along with 10 other teenage players, was disqualified from competitive football in 2016 and Football World Cup also. One day I went into training and the coach said to me that Barca had got into a difficult condition with FIFA, and from now on I would be powerless to play, he clarifies.

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Poland Vs Saudi Arabia Tickets | Football World Cup Tickets Qatar | Football World Cup Tickets

FIFA World Cup: They did not know how long I would be incapable to play

They said it would be provisional, but they did not know how long I would be incapable to play. He told me I could not play in official matches anymore course it affected me, because at that age all you want to do is to play football. It was not fair. Seeing his dream being slowly booked away in front of his eyes of the FIFA World Cup, had a crushing effect on the young Lederman but it was somewhat he attempted to use to fire him for the rest of his profession.

It’s a terrible thing to explain: sitting in the mob at the weekend viewing your team-mates play, and you have to sit it out, it’s painful, he says. You have to be strong emotionally, and I think I was and still am because of this. It was hard at the time, but maybe everything happened for a reason, and it helped my career differently for the Football World Cup. He found some kinship with the other players who were disqualified, such as South Korean wunderkind Lee Seung-woo.

There was an age variance, but we saw each other and we would talk about the condition and what happens next, he reveals. We were just exercising every day, waiting for the situation to get done, and it just wasn’t. Lederman’s career was at a standstill. He missed out on the US team for the 2017 Under-17 World Cup, and earlier eventually got a Polish passport, which allowed him to resume competitive deeds. For more know about Football World Cup Tickets.

By this point of the Football World Cup, however, he was well down the pecking order for his age group, and in 2018, at the age of 18, he was released by Barcelona. He says: It was a tough condition, but that’s football you have to understand it and move forwards. Football bounces a lot of circles some days you can be at the top, and the next at the bottom it switches all around. But you can always make your way back up. For a couple of years, it looked as if Lederman might drift from the disposed of entirely.

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Poland Vs Saudi Arabia Tickets | Football World Cup Tickets Qatar | Football World Cup Tickets

2 seasons on the youth books of Belgian side Genk did not lead to a professional World Cup deal, and he was left opposite the footballing wilderness. So, a young man who just 7 years prior was being lauded in the pages of one of the world’s foremost newspapers found himself in the Israeli 3rd division. Lederman signed a short-term contract with Hakoah Amidar Ramat Gan in the Liga Alef.

He made 1 appearance for the club, on February 14, 2020, starting and playing 65 minutes of a 1-0 overthrow to Maccabi Sha’arayim. Lederman says of this detour it was a short retro. My agent at the time was from Israel, so he told me to go and train with this club for Football World Cup, it was just transitory, to play a few games and keep my rhythm. It was not normal in Europe, but that was the situation at the time I was just required to play.

Lederman’s manager came up trumps, with a move to unheralded Polish side Rakow. A modest platform, but one where his ability could shine. There is a lot of Barcelona in the way he plays a central midfielder who continuously seems to have time on the ball and the skill to make the right pass. There is steel to his game too, though: at 5’11’ he has aerial presence and is no decrease violet in the tackle either and also do not want to out from World Cup.

Having never gained a major trophy before, Rakow lifted the Polish Cup in 2020-21 and has come 2nd in the Ekstraklasa in each of the last 2 campaigns. They led the league with 3 games to go in 2021-22, but let it slip to Lech Poznan at the Football World Cup Final hurdle. Lederman says of Rakow I signed a 6-month contract, but after they liked what they saw, I signed for 4 years.

The initial wasn’t easy, it was my first qualified club, but with hard work and commitment I proved my worth to my squad, and I am where I am because of that. I’m loving everything in Poland except for the weather. We have a good training staff, and a good squad for the World Cup, and every season we are playing better and better. We have a very determined coach, we are an ambitious club, and we want more and more every term.

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Poland Vs Saudi Arabia Tickets | Football World Cup Tickets Qatar | Football World Cup Tickets

The outcomes are coming, with a lot of hard work we are the team that works the hardest in Poland. So, should FIFA World Cup fans get happy again Lederman accepted a call-up to a Poland U21s exercise camp in May 2021 and made his debut for his adopted nation in an U21s Euros finalist against Germany in November? I like to focus on things and places where I am required, he says bluntly when asked about the Poland v US special. Poland required me more. 

The USA has not ever even contacted me in the previous few years. Of course, it, was tough, but I felt more required and that in the end made it easy. Lederman is now directing the top of the game for both club and country. Rakow will play in the World Cup only the Polish Ekstraklasa winners go into the Champions League, so that is one next stage.

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