19.08.2020Bayer 04

Fritz Walter medal: Gold for Florian Wirtz

A great honour for our youngest Bundesliga debutante: The German Football Association (DFB) have awarded Florian Wirtz a gold medal in the U17 section. The DFB announced the decision on Wednesday. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the highest individual award in German youth football will not be presented at an awards ceremony this year but instead at a separate individual event from the middle of September.

“Florian Wirtz is an exceptional lad who has all the potential required to make a significant contribution to German football in the coming years,” said Rudi Völler, the sporting managing director at Bayer 04. “We’ll do all we can at Leverkusen to encourage his great development in the future. I think he’s in the right place with us here as Bayer 04 gives young players the chance to get top-level match practice early on.”

Florian Wirtz, who made his debut for Leverkusen in January 2020, is following in big footsteps at Bayer 04. Benjamin Henrichs won the Fritz Walter gold medal in the U19 section in 2016 and Kai Havertz followed two years later. Simon Rolfes: “The Fritz Walter medal is absolutely deserved in every respect given the way Florian has performed in the Bundesliga and in Europe at his young age. Nevertheless, he’s still a young player and we want to continue to help in his development. If he carries on as he is with his attitude then Florian will definitely have a wonderful career.”

Youngest Bundesliga goalscorer

In the first half of last season, Florian Wirtz was playing for the FC Köln youth team. After his move to Leverkusen, he first appeared for the U19s in the U19 Bundesliga West before joining the first team squad after the break enforced by the coronavirus pandemic. Wirtz came off the bench to make his Bundesliga debut at Werder Bremen on 18 March – at the age of 17 years and 15 days, he was the third youngest debutante in the history of the Bundesliga. The youngster from Pulheim made history again 19 days later: His strike against Bayern Munich made him the youngest goalscorer in the top flight of German football.

Meikel Schönewitz, head coach of the Germany youth teams, said the following about Florian Wirtz: “He’s a creative playmaker who has very good basic techniques. He’s dealt very well with all the hype about him and ridden that wave in a positive sense – and that shows he has a rational personality and the right focus.” Wirtz has been in all of the Germany youth squads from the U15s and has made nine international appearances to date.

Leverkusen winners of the Fritz Walter medal:

2020: Florian Wirtz (U17/gold)

2018: Kai Havertz (U19/gold)

2016: Benjamin Henrichs (U19/gold); Kai Havertz (U17/silver)

2015: Jonathan Tah (U19/gold)

2014: Julian Brandt (U18/gold); Levin Öztunali (U18/silver)

2013: Dominik Kohr (U19/bronze)

2012: Dominik Kohr (U18/bronze)

2010: Kolja Pusch (U17/bronze)

2008: Marcel Risse (U19/bronze); Richard Sukuta-Pasu (U18/bronze)

2007: Stefan Reinartz (U18/bronze); Nils Teixeira (U17/bronze)

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