10 Facts About Danelle Tan, the First S’porean Footballer to Join Borussia Dortmund

A new girl boss is in town. Well, she’s not exactly “in town” in town because she’s currently in London, but you get the idea.

She’s none other than Danelle Tan, the first Singaporean footballer to join the German football club, Borussia Dortmund (BVB).

Don’t know much about the young prodigy? Fret not; Goody Feed’s got your back. Here are ten facts about Danelle Tan so you can pretend to be smart if your friends bring her up.

Not Just the First Singaporean Footballer to Join BVB, But Also the First Asian Footballer to Join BVB

What’s your most significant achievement this year? (Highest number of bubble teas ordered isn’t an achievement)

It doesn’t matter what your answer is—18-year-old Danele Tan will almost certainly have a better answer.

She became not just the first Singaporean but also the first Asian footballer to join the BVB women’s team.

A spot in Singapore’s history, at the age of 18. (Spoiler: Danelle Tan actually earns her place in Singapore’s history at a much younger age)

According to the Football Association Singapore (FAS), Danelle Tan will kickstart her one-year contract with BVB from July onwards.

She will also join the team for pre-season training, which includes camping in the German Alps before the new season commences in August.

Image: Borussia Dortmund

Are you already impressed? Wait till you discover how she was offered to join the BVB women’s team.

Danelle Tan Offered Spot on Women’s Team After Training With BVB for One Week

Yes, you read that right.

After just one week of training with the BVB women’s team in February this year, she was offered a spot on the BVB women’s team.

According to the head of women’s football at Dortmund, Svenja Schlenker, Danelle Tan charmed the coaching team during the training sessions. They were also captivated by her videos.

Image: Borussia Dortmund

I guess the coaching team just knew that Danelle was a game-changer.

18-Year-Old is Currently Studying for A-Levels at the Mill Hill School in London

If you ever thought it was impossible to juggle academics and other commitments back in secondary school, Danelle Tan is here to prove you wrong.

The 18-year-old didn’t become the first Asian footballer to join the BVB women’s team by dropping out of school and training all day.

In fact, she’s been on the ball with her studies (pun intended).

Danelle Tan is currently studying for her A-levels at the Mill Hill School in London and will complete her examinations this June.

An academic weapon and a trailblazing athlete. Spoil market sia.

Danelle Tan Forgoing Her Spot at National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Football Programme

Since the young footballer has been presented with the famed black and yellow Dortmund kit, she chose to forgo her spot at the College of William & Mary (W&M) in the US.

This means that Danelle Tan will also be forgoing her spot in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I football programme—only the top 1.1% of high school football players get accepted in this programme.

The significance of this? If she stuck with her plans and joined the W&M NCAA Division I football programme at W&M, Danelle Tan would also become the first Singaporean to play in the Division I programme.

Regardless, the 18-year-old eventually chose BVB over W&M. Of course; this wasn’t an easy decision—she shares that the coaches at W&M were “possibly the warmest and most welcoming individuals” she’s met.

And you think deciding what to eat for lunch is tough.

First Female Singaporean to Play in a European League

As we hinted at earlier, this isn’t even Danelle Tan’s first time making history.

Earlier this year, she became the first female Singaporean to play in a European league.

On 5 February, the Singaporean footballer debuted for the London Bees at The Hive Stadium in London.


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A post shared by Danelle Tan (@danelle__tan)

The London Bees play in the FA Women’s National League South. For those unfamiliar with football, this is England’s third tier of women’s football.

To say that Danelle Tan’s achievements are outstanding would be an understatement.

Danelle Tan’s Father is Supportive of Her Decision to Join BVB

While you would expect most Asian parents to frown at the idea of their child chasing their dreams in non-conventional routes such as sports, Danelle Tan’s father appears to be supportive of her pursuits in football.

Perhaps he’s extra supportive, knowing he won’t have to help his daughter write NS deferment letters.

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When it came to Danelle’s decision to forgo W&M to join the BVB team, her father shared: “What decided things for us is the tight family atmosphere they have. It’s important for us as parents that she is supported and that she is in good hands.”

Danelle’s father also watched her debut game for the London Bees.

You won’t need sugar in your kopi for a while because of how sweet this is. Auntie, I want kopi ‘o’ kosong. 

She Started Playing Football at the Age of Six

Let’s dive deeper into the prodigy’s past.

Danelle Tan has shown a talent for football since she was six. At her first session at the JSSL academy, where her brothers played football every Saturday, she scored 12 goals.

Imagine playing at the academy and being outdone by a six-year-old.

She then continued playing football and, evidently, to extraordinary degrees of success.

Debuted for National U-16 & U-19 Teams at the Ages of 12 & 13 Respectively

When Danelle Tan was 12, she found her way into Singapore’s U-16 football team in 2017. Despite playing against players a few years older than her, she could still do exceedingly well.

That’s more than we can say for the rest of us. How long has it been since you even last exercised?

One year later, in 2018, the young footballer debuted for Singapore’s U-19 team. She was only 13.


The Youngest Player to Ever Score for Singapore 

Eh, I think this list is getting longer than my portfolio.

Wait lah, we’re not done talking about the Singaporean footballer’s achievements yet—Danelle Tan is the youngest player to ever score for Singapore.

Notice how we didn’t include “female” in that line?

That’s right. She’s Singapore’s youngest goal scorer for both men and women.

When Danelle Tan was 14, she debuted on the senior national team in a game against Timor-Leste at the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Women’s Championship.

The last-minute goal scored by Danelle earned her the title of becoming Singapore’s youngest goal scorer and the fifth youngest goal scorer internationally.

Image: Instagram (@fasingapore)

What were you doing when you were 14?

Danelle Tan’s Idol is Vivianne Miedema

Alright, enough with Danelle’s achievements—we’re sure most of you are sufficiently humbled by now. Here’s a fun fact about Danelle to wrap up the ten facts about the football prodigy.

The 18-year-old’s idol is Vivianne Miedema, the 26-year-old Arsenal forward.

Image: David Price / Getty Images

Once again, for the football noobs, Vivianne Miedema is widely said to be the best striker in the world.

The 26-year-old footballer also plays for the Netherlands’ national team. You might also recognise her from her prior stints playing for Bayern Munich and SC Heerenveen.

It’s not too difficult to see why Miedema is Danelle’s idol.

If you’re interested to keep up with Danelle Tan, we suggest you get out of bed and hit the gym first. And also, wait long long.

But seriously, if you want to keep up with the football prodigy, you can check out her Instagram here.