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Former Ajax player Jody Lukoki passes away at age of 29

Ajax Amsterdam youth academy graduate and former Democratic Republic of Congo national team member Jody Lukoki has passed away at the age of 29 with no cause of death revealed currently. Lukoki was last at Dutch club FC Twente where his contract was terminated in February due to “events in his personal life” according to the club. Previously signed to a two-year contract last June by Twente, the winger suffered a serious knee injury during the preseason before his contract was ended as he attempted to recover.

Born in Kindu when the DRC was known as Zaire, Lukoki and his family moved to the Netherlands at a young age where he excelled as a youth player before joining giants Ajax. Lukoki was known for his incredible pace and dribbling ability and made his debut for Ajax at the age of 18 in an Eredivisie match against rivals Feyenoord, earning the adoration of the club’s supporters when he performed a nutmeg dribble on a Feyenoord player after the ball went out of play.

The tricky dribbler was a part of three Eredivisie winning sides before going on to appear for Dutch clubs Cambuur and PFC Zwolle, where he scored the club’s first ever goal in European competition in a 1-1 UEFA Europa League playoff round match against Sparta Prague. Lukoki’s most prolific years came with Bulgarian giants Ludogorets Razgrad where he won four consecutive Bulgarian First League titles. He made 281 appearances and scored 40 goals over his 12-year club career and appeared three times for the DR Congo national side, wrapping up his time in football with Turkish club Yeni Malatyaspor before joining Twente.

Below is a video of a goal Lukoki scored with Cambuur following the link from BBC Sport Africa about his passing away.

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