Leon Goretzka – Germany’s surprise trump card at FIFA Confederations Cup 2017
The 22-year-old Goretzka has been an integral part of the German midfield in the tournament and his goal-scoring capabilities has added an extra dimension to his team’s offense.Updated: Jun 30, 2017 13:02 IST
The FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 has been almost a cakewalk for Germany till now and a major reason behind their impressive show is the charismatic midfielder - Leon Goretzka.
The 22-year-old Goretzka has been an integral part of the German midfield in the tournament and his goal-scoring capabilities has added an extra dimension to his team’s offense. His two goals against Mexico in the semi-final has not only impressed a lot of experts but has also made Goretzka the 2017 Confederations Cup’s joint top-scorer alongside compatriot Timo Werner.
However, the brilliance shown by Leon Goretzka in this year’s FIFA Confederations Cup was no flash in the pan.
‘Talent of the century’
The young midfielder was a much coveted talent in the German youth set-up. While playing for Bundesliga 2 side Vfl Bochum, he was awarded the 2012 under-17 Fritz Walter Medal in gold. It did not take him much time to establish himself as one of the most exciting talents of the league. Peter Neururer, Goretzka’s head coach at VfL Bochum, went on to say that he had “never seen an eighteen year old footballer who had the potential as Goretzka” and titled him as the “talent of the century”.
The growing buzz caught the attention of quite a few top-flight clubs and in June 2013, the youngster signed a five year deal with Schalke 04. The move was exactly what his career needed and his performance over the last three seasons has made him a transfer target for big name clubs like Arsenal and Bayern Munich.
Goretzka is also no stranger to performing on the global stage. The 22-year old midfielder made his debut for the Germany U-16 team in 2010 and since then, he has represented his nation at all levels of the game. But sadly, he has been quite unlucky when it comes to international tournaments.
The 22-year-old was included in the 30-man preliminary squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but a muscle injury in his debut match against Poland ended his dream of making the main squad. Two years later, he was named in the squad for the Rio 2016 Olympics but it was the same story once again as the youngster was ruled out with a shoulder injury after playing just one match.
However, he has faced no such hindrance in the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 and considering his current run of form, he will certainly be the trump card for Germany when they face Chile in the final on July 2.
First Published: Jun 30, 2017 12:57 IST