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Yael Engel: The Devil's Angel

The past, the present and the future of one of the most iconic and controversial Premier League footballers to play the game
Started on 16 January 2021 by ImThatSybGuy
Latest Reply on 24 January 2021 by Jack
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The Devil's Angel (Part One)

Berlin, July 1999
On a seemingly quiet day in a Berlin police station in June 1999, officer Jan Müller got in one of the weirdest chases of his 30-year career. “I was having lunch when suddenly some kind of firework exploded, a few meters outside the window I was looking at. The windows were blurred so I couldn’t see who or what was causing the uproar. Naturally, we wanted to go after the people responsible.” Officer Müller and some colleagues rushed outside to see a kid standing a few feet outside of the police station. “I remember how he looked at us, arrogant, with no fear in his face.” Stumped by the behaviour of the kid, the agents approached him.

As soon as the officers closed in, the kid ran away, officer Müller remembers. “He was incredibly fast, especially for a kid of his size.” The kid, who the officers expected to be around 16-17 years old kept officer Müller and four other officers busy for approximately 5 hours. “Most chases never last so long, especially for something like us, but he was taunting us. It was like he wanted to be caught, but wanted to give us a hard time doing so.”

After a 5-hour chase, the kid was arrested. “We brought him into the station and he basically froze. His face didn’t change in expression, his mouth never truly opened to speak to any of us.” Officer Müller and his colleagues were trying to find out anything about the kid for hours upon hours until finally giving up when the clock struck 11 times. “We all wanted to give the kid a warning and warn his parents, but without a name or identity, we couldn’t do that.”

A breakthrough came in the early hours of the morning, they found out the name and address of the kid: Yael Engel. The same kid who would later be remembered as one of the Premier League’s most controversial and arguably most iconic cult heroes. This is part one of the documentary detailing the life and possible future of Yael Engel, better known as the Devil's Angel.

“We were shocked to find out he was only 13 years old and a bit later we realised nobody was looking for him. We called towards his home address a few times, but we had no luck.” officer Müller remembers. “We were at a point where we were fed up, we decided to take a drive to the address.” Officer Müller drove towards the boy’s home: “A colleague of mine recognized the address from old incidents, mostly drugs-related, which wasn’t extraordinary for that part of the city.”

The car pulled up to a building which looked abandoned. “I tried to ring the bell three or four times, no success. I tried to look into the window, but there wasn’t a lot to be seen. Suddenly I realized the door was cracked open, I walked into the house and looked around. No sign of life, but suddenly a violent smell of death sneaked up on me. I walked upstairs and a saw woman laying there, dead.” The woman officer Müller found, who turned out to be the mother of Yael and was according to the coroner dead for a few weeks. Shot in the back of the head, execution-style.

Upon further exploring, officer Müller found multiple threatening letters: “Most letters had a common message, pay up or else. No sender and always with the message made my cut-ups of magazines.” After exploring the rest of the house, Müller realized why the kid did what he did: “he was scared and wanted attention, for his mother and himself.”
Terrifying. Welcome back, Syb.
Interesting decision for the police to chase Engel for so long for something as little as a firework. However, it seems fortunate that he did, otherwise the later details would not have been discovered. A great introduction which asks a lot more questions.
Horrifying ordeal for a young kid to have gone through, but hopefully it was the catalyst that led him to the Premier League. I'm surprised that the police had the stamina to keep up with him for 5hrs!

Really intrigued to see where you go with this, best of luck!
Great start to this, but what a life it seems Yael has already lived, with a mother who was clearly hooked on drugs and then finding her lifeless body. It makes sense that he made a cry for help but also could explain potential controversies his career may see.
as someone from the land of Edmundo, I'm eager to see some bad boy drama

The Angel of Death (Part Two)

Berlin, 2000
In the months that followed Yael struggled, the 13-year old boy lived with the sister of his late mother, Julia. “I remember how bad Yael felt in the first few months. His mother wasn’t exactly a saint, but she was and will always be his mother. He felt horrible and understandably so, but it was quite hard for me and my husband to get him back out there, into the normal world. There were days where he’d hardly eat, talk or sleep.”

Help came from an unexpected quarter as officer Müller contacted Julia. “We had spoken a few times on the phone before, but the last time was months ago”, Julia recalls. Officer Müller: “The kid made an impression on me, he had gone through so much in so little and I never really forgot about him. I always hoped he’d turn out well and that’s what I wanted to know. That’s why I try to keep in touch.” While Julia wasn’t as keen to keep officer Müller around at first, it was officer Müller who ended up suggesting something that would change Yael’s life for good.

We told Thomas or officer Müller, whatever you prefer, about Yael’s struggles and we were hopeless, me and my husband had no clue whatsoever what to do with Yael and then he started to suggest he takes up athletics. He told us about how Yael kept five officers running for multiple hours straight and we kind of liked the sound of it at first, but we felt like Yael was struggling to connect with kids his age as well and we feared Yael taking up athletics wouldn’t really help. Thomas then suggested we’d look into football, me and my husband instantly really like that idea, so we did just do that.” It took Julia a lot of convincing, but Yael agreed.

The following winter Yael started playing football for one of Berlin’s many football clubs, SSC Südwest. Youth coach Johannes Mayer, who was Yael’s first coach remembers his time very well. “We don’t very often get kids who are in their teens who start playing and instantly understand the game so well. Yael had everything really, he was strong and incredibly fast. His technical skills were very street-like, it was clear he had learned to play football before, but on the street, not on a field.” Yael’s lightning-quick speed, as well as his height and physicality, meant that he’d only need a handful of games to impress. Yael was allowed to play for better teams as well as older teams in a heartbeat and it was not just within SSC Südwest people were impressed by him.
The only angel he doesn’t want to end up like is Angel Rangel.
Sounds like Yael is primed for a move to really start his young career.
With some proper coaching, Yael could be a very good player.
A misfit on the social side, but a perfect fit on the field. It seems Julia has found the sweet spot for Yael.

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