Known for his agility, speed, and goal-scoring abilities, Dries Mertens is a Belgian professional football player. Born on May 6, 1987, in Leuven, Belgium, Mertens primarily plays as a forward or winger for the National Team of Belgium and the Turkish professional club Galatasaray.
Mertens began his professional career at the Belgian club Anderlecht before moving to the Netherlands to join Utrecht in 2009. His impressive performances caught the attention of Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven, where he played from 2011 to 2013. During his time at PSV, Mertens showcased his exceptional skills, contributing significantly to the team’s success.
In 2013, Mertens made a high-profile move to Italian Serie A club Napoli. At Napoli, he established himself as a key player and a fan favorite. After nine seasons at Napoli, he transferred to Galatasaray in 2022.
Mertens has also been a prominent figure in the Belgian national team. He has represented his country in major tournaments such as the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA European Championship. With his technical skills, speed, and goal-scoring ability, Mertens has been an essential asset for Belgium’s attacking line.
This article describes Dries Mertens Biography, early life, profile, professional and international career, playing style, and personal life.
Everything to know about Dries Mertens Biography
Off the field, Mertens is known for his charitable work. He actively supports various causes related to children’s welfare and education. Everything to know about Dries Mertens is in this article, so stay with us and read the rest.
Dries Mertens Information
- Full Name: Dries Mertens
- Nickname: “Ciro”
- Profession: Football Player
- Height: 169cm (5ft 7in)
- Eye Color: Dark Brown
- Hair Color: Brown
- Weight: 61kg
Date of Birth and Personal Info
- Date of Birth: 6 May 1987
- Birth Place: Leuven, Belgium
- Nationality: Belgian
- Position: Forward, Winger
- Professional Debut: 2005
- Jersey Number: 10
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Dries Mertens Early Life
According to Dries Mertens Biography, he was born in Leuven, Belgium, on May 6, 1987. Dries Mortens’s parents were Herman and Marijke Mertens. His father, a former top gymnast and secondary education sports teacher, achieved the title of Belgian champion in gymnastics.
Dries Mertens real name is Dries Mertens. He began his career as a young player at the now-defunct local club Stade Leuven. During this time, the scouts from Anderlecht first noticed Mertens, leading to an opportunity for him to join the club’s youth academy in 1998.
He spent five years in Anderlecht’s youth program before being let go in 2003, as coaches believed he was too short and lacked the physical ability to compete professionally. After he departed from Anderlecht, Mertens was signed by another Belgian Pro League team, Gent.
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Dries Mertens Profile
In this part of Dries Mertens Biography, we read more about his football profile. He plays as a forward and winger for the national team of Belgium and the famous Turkish club Galatasaray. He wears the jersey number 10 in Galatasaray.
Before starting his professional career, he played for Stade Leuven, Anderlecht, and Gent youth academies. During his professional career, he played for Gent, Eendracht Aalst, AGOVV, Utrecht, PSV Eindhoven, Napoli, and currently at Galatasaray.
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Dries Mertens Football career
In 2005, he joined the youth squad of KAA Gent under the guidance of coach Etienne De Wispelaere. He participated in the second team. However, there were concerns about Gent regarding his small physical strength.
Following the start of the new year in the 2005/06 season, De Wispelaere assumed the position of head coach at Eendracht Aalst. The new coach proposed that KAA Gent should temporarily loan out Mertens to Aalst for six months. At that time, Aalst was a club competing in the third division. In this part of Dries Mertens Biography, we explore his professional football journey.
Mertens officially joined AGOVV Apeldoorn on July 1, 2006, and his decision benefitted the Dutch club. Throughout the season, Mertens made 38 appearances and scored an impressive 15 goals. His impact on the team was so significant that he was chosen as the club captain for the 2008-09 Eerste Divisie season.
Mertens continued to excel in his new leadership role and contributed an additional 13 goals for the season. His outstanding performances led to him receiving the prestigious Golden Bull award, recognizing him as the most talented player in the Eerste Divisie. As mentioned in Dries Mertens Biography, he played 110 games in various competitions and found the back of the net 31 times.
At the beginning of the 2009-10 Eredivisie season, Utrecht completed the signing of Mertens for a transfer fee of €600,000. In his first season with the club, he received recognition for his outstanding performances and was honored with the Di Tommaso Trophy as Utrecht’s Player of the Season.
Mertens continued to progress the following season, scoring ten goals in 31 league appearances for Utrecht. This included a memorable hat-trick against AZ on the season’s final day. Additionally, Mertens had his first taste of the UEFA Europa League and contributed three goals in the competition.
In June 2011, Mertens had agreed to join PSV Eindhoven, another club in the Eredivisie. He immediately impacted by scoring on his competitive debut for PSV on August 7, 2011, scoring their only goal in a 3-1 defeat against AZ. A few weeks later, on August 28, Mertens achieved his first hat-trick for PSV in a dominant 6-1 victory over Excelsior.
Mertens’ success continued into the following season, as PSV secured the Johan Cruyff Shield by defeating Ajax 4-2. According to Dries Mertens Biography, he played a crucial role in this triumph. After two seasons with PSV, Mertens left the club with an impressive record of 88 appearances and 45 goals.
On June 16, 2013, Mertens became the first signing made by Rafael Benitez after taking charge of Napoli. Mertens debuted in Serie A on August 25, 2013, contributing to Napoli’s 3-0 victory over Bologna. He scored his first goal for Napoli on October 30, securing a 2-1 away win against Fiorentina.
In the final of the Coppa Italia on May 3, 2014, Mertens entered the game as a replacement for Marek Hamšík, helping Napoli secure a 3-1 victory over Fiorentina. On December 22, 2014, Mertens added another winners’ medal to his collection as Napoli emerged victorious in a penalty shoot-out against Juventus in the Supercoppa.
As mentioned in Dries Mertens Biography, with the departure of Gonzalo Higuain to Juventus, Napoli’s manager Maurizio Sarri, heavily relied on Mertens to provide goals during the 2016/17 season. Mertens stepped up to the challenge and impressively scored 34 goals in 46 appearances across all competitions.
On November 28, 2018, Mertens reached a significant record by scoring his 100th goal for Napoli during a 3-1 UEFA Champions League victory over Red Star Belgrade. He then achieved his 200th Serie A appearance for the club on April 14, 2019, in a 3-1 victory against Chievo.
Mertens continued to make history on April 28, 2019, by scoring in a 2-0 away win over Frosinone, equaling Diego Maradona’s record of 81 goals in Serie A for Napoli. Finally, on November 21, 2021, Mertens scored his 103rd Serie A goal for Napoli in a 3-2 defeat to Inter, becoming the club’s all-time top scorer in Serie A.
Mertens made a move to Galatasaray, a Turkish club, on August 8, 2022, joining them on a free transfer. As of early March 2023, he scored 6 goals and provided 3 assists in 22 official matches for his new team. He had a successful season with Galatasaray, as they clinched the championship in the Süper Lig for the 2022-23 season.
A significant moment in their journey was a 4-1 victory over Ankaragücü in an away match during the 36th week on May 30, 2023. This win secured Galatasaray’s lead with two weeks remaining in the season, resulting in their 23rd championship title in the club’s history.
As mentioned in Dries Mertens Biography, he debuted for the Belgium national team on February 9, 2011, in a friendly match against Finland at the Jules-Otten Stadium in Ghent. On August 15, 2012, he played a significant role in Belgium’s 4-2 victory over the Netherlands, scoring a goal and providing two assists.
He was a key member of Belgium’s golden generation alongside Kevin De Bruyne, Jan Vertonghen, Vincent Kompany, Eden Hazard, Axel Witsel, and Christian Benteke. He made his first appearance in a World Cup match on June 17, 2014, entering the game in the second half and scoring the winning goal against Algeria. In 2018, he was part of the Belgian national team for the World Cup.
On June 17, 2021, Mertens reached the record of 100 appearances for Belgium, securing a 2-1 victory over Denmark during the UEFA Euro 2020. Mertens was also part of the Belgian squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, but the team had a disappointing performance and failed to advance from the group stage.
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Dries Mertens Playing Style
In this part of Dries Mertens Biography, we read more about his playing style. Primarily deployed as a forward or winger, Mertens possesses exceptional speed, agility, and quickness, allowing him to navigate past defenders easily. His close ball control and technical skills make him a proficient dribbler, often using his quick feet and body feints to create space and beat opponents.
His positioning and timing are impeccable, enabling him to find scoring opportunities and create chances for his teammates. Despite his relatively small stature, Mertens demonstrates great aerial ability and timing, making him a threat in the air. One of Mertens’ notable strengths is his clinical finishing ability. He possesses a powerful and accurate shot, capable of finding the back of the net from various angles and distances.
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Dries Mertens Honors
In this part of Dries Mertens Biography, we take a look at his achievements and honors. At PSV, he reached the trophies of the KNVB Cup and Johan Cruyff Shield. During his time at Napoli, he achieved twice Coppa Italia and once Supercoppa Italiana. In recent years at Galatasaray, he won Süper Lig of Turkey.
Looking at Dries Mertens stats, he scored 258 goals in 742 matches during his professional career. Internationally, he played in 109 matches, scoring 21 goals for the National Team Of Belgium.
- KNVB Cup (2011–12)
- Johan Cruyff Shield (2012)
- Coppa Italia (2013–14) (2019–20)
- Supercoppa Italiana (2014)
- Süper Lig (2022–23)
- FIFA World Cup third place (2018)
- Eerste Divisie Golden Bull (2009)
- Di Tommaso Trophy (2010)
- Belgian Footballer of the Year (2016)
- Serie A Team of the Year (2016–17)
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Dries Mertens Personal Life
According to Dries Mertens life story, after being in a relationship for 10 years, Dries Mertens and his girlfriend Katrin Kerkhofs decided to tie the knot in 2015. Katrin Kerkhofs, a television producer and presenter in Belgium, became his wife.
In October 2021, the couple announced that they would have a baby. Ciro Romeo Mertens born on March 26, 2022.