Ajax have pulled off a smart coup by signing Manchester City academy graduate Carlos Borges Forbs, who, incidentally, has an interesting history about his surname. The 19-year-old winger was a major success for City’s youth teams and boasted some brilliant numbers for them at the U-18 as well as U-21 levels.
The Portuguese youngster joined the Cityzens as a 10-year-old in 2014 from Sporting CP’s academy. He immediately took to their system well and climbed the ranks rapidly. Borges started excelling in their robust academy, with their world-class coaches helping him tap into his strengths and prove his potential.
Who is Carlos Borges?
The 19-year-old made 28 appearances in the U18 Premier League for City’s U18 side, in which he scored 23 goals and provided 21 assists. After his incredible work, the coaches moved him up to play with the U-21 side – for whom he scored 22 goals and provided 12 assists in 35 appearances in the Reserves Premier League.
The Portuguese star scored five goals and provided six assists in the UEFA Youth League, proving himself as a goal magnet. Despite his amazing numbers, Pep Guardiola did not feel that Carlos had it in him to excel in the senior team yet – despite being on the verge of losing Riyad Mahrez.
With the winger pushing for an exit, it initially looked like West Ham United would sign him. However, Ajax came out from nowhere to agree a deal worth around £12 million to rope in the youngster from City. At the Dutch club, the 19-year-old is almost guaranteed regular playing time with the senior team and has joined a club famous for helping youngsters develop into world class talents.
Why does Borges have ‘Forbs’ on Ajax shirt?
Carlos has already started training with Ajax’s first team and featured in their pre-season campaign too. He featured in his side’s recent pre-season friendly against Borussia Dortmund, which they lost 3-1. In spite of that, the Portuguese youngster came on as a substitute to make his debut – but had an interesting name at the back of his t-shirt.
Instead of ‘Borges’ – which everyone knows to be his surname, the teenager opted for the club to have the name ‘Forbs’ written at the back of it. This confused many, with Carlos being asked about it soon after his debut.
When asked about the decision to have that name in his kit, he simply replied, ‘That’s for my mother. That is her name. I do it for her.’ This is rather interesting and unique, because normally footballers prefer to don their paternal surname in the back of their shirts.
It appears that Forbs might – whose full name is Carlos Roberto Forbs Borges – might be sharing a strained relationship with his father. He appears to owe his entire football career to his mother, who has helped and supported him through his rise in the European youth football scene.
This is also similar to how former Manchester United and Barcelona forward Memphis Depay doesn’t like people calling him by his surname. Instead, he opts the name ‘Memphis’ written at the back of his kits and that is because of how angry he was at his father for abandoning his family when he was four. The Dutchman, however, has since reconciled with his paternal figure and insisted that everything is now good between them a few years ago.
The new Ajax signing has not yet delved into why he opts against taking his father’s surname or whether he has major issues with his dad, but his unique decision to use his mother ‘Forbs’ name shows his extreme gratitude towards her for helping him become the player he is today.