Leon Goretzka

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Leon Goretzka
2017 Confederations Cup - Final - Leon Goretzka (2).jpg
Goretzka with Germany in 2017
Personal information
Full name Leon Christoph Goretzka[1]
Date of birth (1995-02-06) 6 February 1995 (age 23)[1]
Place of birth Bochum, Germany
Height 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)[1]
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Schalke 04
Number 8
Youth career
1999–2001 Werner SV 06 Bochum
2001–2012 VfL Bochum
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2012–2013 VfL Bochum 32 (4)
2013–2018 Schalke 04 116 (14)
2014–2015 Schalke 04 II 2 (0)
National team
2010–2011 Germany U16 10 (2)
2011–2012 Germany U17 17 (5)
2012–2014 Germany U19 3 (0)
2013–2015 Germany U21 10 (1)
2016 Germany Olympic 1 (0)
2014– Germany 15 (6)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21:10, 12 May 2018 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 19:54, 2 June 2018 (UTC)

Leon Christoph Goretzka (German pronunciation: [ˈleːɔn ˈɡoːʁɛtskaː]; born 6 February 1995) is a German professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Schalke 04 and the Germany national team.

Club career

VfL Bochum

In 1999, Goretzka started his career with Werner SV 06 Bochum. He stayed for two years with the WSV before making the move to VfL Bochum in 2001.[2]

On 30 July 2012, Goretzka was awarded the 2012 under-17 Fritz Walter Medal in gold.[3] On 4 August 2012, Goretzka made his professional debut for the VfL Bochum in the 2. Bundesliga against Dynamo Dresden in the rewirpowerSTADION.[4]

2012–13

Goretzka had an impressive 2012–13 season at VfL Bochum and was their standout performer as VfL Bochum narrowly avoided relegation from the 2. Bundesliga. During the season, Goretzka was linked to several big clubs around Europe including Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Arsenal and Real Madrid. Matthias Sammer, then the Sporting Director at Bayern Munich, reportedly met with Goretzka to try to convince him of joining Bayern in the summer of 2013.[5]

Schalke 04

On 30 June 2013, Schalke 04 confirmed the transfer of Goretzka from VfL Bochum. He signed a five-year contract until 30 June 2018. The transfer fee was reported to be €3.250 million.[6]

2013–14

Goretzka training for Schalke in 2013

During the 2013–14 season, Goretzka had a promising first season scoring five goals in 32 appearances in all competitions. Goretzka became a regular starter in the second half of the season and helped Schalke finishing in third place in the Bundesliga behind champions Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.[7] At the end of the season Goretzka was called up for the 30-man preliminary squad of the Germany national team for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Goretzka made his debut in a friendly match prior to the World Cup against Poland.

2014–15

During the 2014–15 season, Goretzka was limited to only 11 matches in all competitions due to a thigh injury. Goretzka returned from the injury on Matchday 24 against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. Goretzka played in only 10 Bundesliga matches during the season. Schalke had a disappointing season and finished in sixth place in the Bundesliga.[8]

2015–16

Goretzka training for Schalke in 2015

During the 2015–16 season, Goretzka scored two goals in 34 appearances in all competitions. He was back to full fitness at the start of the season, but had several injuries throughout the season. Goretzka was also diagnosed with an inflammatory bowel disease during the season and said "I was diagnosed with a chronic bowel inflammation, which had been having a negative impact on my ability to recover." Goretzka continued "So I completely changed what I eat, cutting out gluten, cow's milk, pork and nuts. As a result, I have fewer issues with my health and I can recover from a game much quicker.[8]

2016–17

During the 2016–17 season, Goretzka played in a career-high 41 matches in all competitions and scoring in them eight goals and providing four assists. This is regarded as Goretzka's best season to date as Goretzka flourished in a more attacking role. On 20 April, Goretzka received a concussion and suffered a double fracture of his jaw while playing against Ajax Amsterdam in the Europa League. Goretzka continued and played almost the entire match until he was substituted in the 84th minute. Schalke finished in a disappointing 10th place in the Bundesliga and did not qualify for European places.[8]

2017–18

During the 2017–18 season, Goretzka played in 29 matches in all competitions and scored four goals. This was his first season without European football since his arrival at Schalke in 2013. HE had problems with stress reaction in bones in his lower leg and that injury kept him out of action for over two months. Goretzka helped Schalke finish second behind champions Bayern Munich and thus qualifying for the UEFA Champions League for the first time since the 2014–15 season. On 25 November 2017, he played in his 100th Bundesliga game in a match against Schalke's bitter rivals, Borussia Dortmund. On 19 January 2018, Goretzka announced that he would leave Schalke in the summer of 2018 and join rivals Bayern Munich. His decision did not go down well with the Schalke fans and board. Schalke's supervisory Board Chairman, Clemens Tönnies, expressed his first reaction regarding Goretzka's decision on a football talk show. Tönnies said: "My first reaction was, that you shouldn’t wear the jersey of Schalke anymore." Tönnies even said that Goretzka could be forced to sit in the stands should his decision have a negative impact on the team.[9]

Bayern Munich

On 19 January 2018, Bayern Munich announced that a pre-contract agreement had been reached with Leon Goretzka, enabling him to transfer to Bayern Munich on a free on 1 July 2018. Goretzka signed a four-year contract.[10]

International career

Youth

On 15 October 2010, Goretzka made his Germany national U-16 football team debut in a friendly against Northern Ireland and he scored in the 3–2 victory.[11][12] On 24 August 2011, Goretzka made his Germany national U-17 football team debut against Turkey in a 4–0 victory.[13] In May 2012, he captained the Germany national U-17 football team at the 2012 UEFA U-17 Football Championship in Slovenia and led the German U-17 team all the way to the final against the Netherlands.[14] In the final, Goretzka scored the lead goal of the match taking the scoreline to 1–0 and his goal was compensated in stoppage time taking the scoreline to 1–1; the subsequent penalty shoot-out was won by the Netherlands.[14] On 8 August 2013, he debuted for the Germany national U-21 football team under Horst Hrubesch, in a 0–0 draw against France in which he had a magnificent match.[15]

Senior

On 8 May 2014, Goretzka was included in the 30-men preliminary squad of the German national team for the 2014 FIFA World Cup by Germany's manager, Joachim Löw.[16] On 13 May 2014, he made his debut in a 0–0 draw against Poland.[17] After Germany's match against Poland, in which Goretzka had suffered a muscle injury, he was removed from the team's preparatory training camp and final squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.[18]

In May 2017, Goretzka was named in Germany's squad for the Confederations Cup in Russia.[19] In the nation's opening match for the tournament on 20 June, he scored his first goal for Germany in a 3–2 Group B win over Australia.[20] Goretzka scored two goals against Mexico in the Semi-finals. Goretzka finished joint top scorer with Timo Werner and Lars Stindl in the competition with three goals. The German national team won the competition, beating Chile in the Final in Saint Petersburg.[21]

On 4 June 2018, Goretzka was included in Germany's final 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup .[22]

Olympic team

Alongside Schalke teammate Max Meyer, Goretzka was named in the squad for the 2016 Summer Olympics.[23] He captained Germany in their first match against Mexico, but picked up a shoulder injury, and returned to Gelsenkirchen.[24]

Playing style

In 2013, Goretzka was referred to as one of the brightest talents in German football.[25][26] Peter Neururer, Goretzka's head coach at VfL Bochum, said that he had "never seen an eighteen year old footballer which had a potential as Goretzka" and titled him as the "talent of the century".[27] Goretzka has a potent eye for scoring goals and is known to possess good ball control ability and also has the ability to pick out passes for his teammates.[28] Goretzka produces powerful shots from outside the penalty area, a trait similar to that of Paul Scholes.[28] He is also well known for his excellent heading ability which sees him regularly score goals with his head.[28] At 1.89 m, Goretzka's high-jumping ability helps him to win aerial battles even against the strongest and tallest defenders.[26] His main position is a central midfielder although he can be deployed as a defensive midfielder, a right winger and in the position of playmaker.[26][29] His game has often been compared to two of German footballing greats, Lothar Matthäus and Michael Ballack.[30]

Career statistics

Club statistics

As of 18 May 2018
Club Season League Cup Continental Total Ref.
League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Bochum 2012–13 2. Bundesliga 32 4 4 0 36 4 [2]
Totals 32 4 4 0 0 0 36 4
Schalke 2013–14 Bundesliga 25 4 2 1 5 0 32 5 [7]
2014–15 10 0 0 0 1 0 11 0 [31]
2015–16 25 1 2 1 7 0 34 2 [32]
2016–17 30 5 2 0 9 3 41 8
2017–18 26 4 3 0 29 4
Totals 116 14 9 2 22 3 147 19
Schalke II 2014–15 Regionalliga West 1 0 1 0 [32]
Career totals 149 18 13 2 22 3 184 23

International statistics

As of 2 June 2018
National team Year App. Goals Ref.
Germany 2014 1 0 [33]
2016 2 0
2017 9 6
2018 3 0
Total 15 6

International goals

As of 8 October 2017 (Germany score listed first, score column indicates score after each Goretzka goal)
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 19 June 2017 Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi, Russia  Australia
3–1
3–2
2017 FIFA Confederations Cup
2. 29 June 2017  Mexico
1–0
4–1
3.
2–0
4. 4 September 2017 Mercedes-Benz Arena, Stuttgart, Germany  Norway
5–0
6–0
2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
5. 8 October 2017 Fritz-Walter-Stadion, Kaiserslautern, Germany  Azerbaijan
1–0
5–1
6.
4–1

Honours

International

Germany

Individual

Personal life

Goretzka completed his Abitur and graduated from the Alice-Salomon-Berufskolleg (Alice-Salomon-Vocational School) in Bochum, North Rhine-Westphalia.[35] Goretzka's father Konrad Goretzka is an automotive engineer and electrical engineer for Opel.[36]

References

  1. ^ a b c "FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017: List of players: Germany" (PDF). FIFA. 2 July 2017. p. 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 July 2017. Retrieved 21 July 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Leon Goretzka" (in German). kicker. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Fritz-Walter-Medaille für Goretzka, Ginter, Rüdiger und Lotzen" [Fritz-Walter-Medal for Goretzka, Ginter, Rüdiger and Lotzen] (in German). German Football Association. 30 July 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 
  4. ^ "Trio infernale: Iashvili, Goretzka und Freier" [Trio infernale: Iashvili, Goretzka and Freier]. kicker. 4 August 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "Sammer meets with Goretzka". ESPN. 2 November 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2018. 
  6. ^ "Schalke und Bochum einigen sich im Fall Goretzka". Spiegel Online (in German). 30 June 2013. Retrieved 18 May 2018. 
  7. ^ a b "Leon Goretzka". kicker.de (in German). kicker. Retrieved 11 January 2017. 
  8. ^ a b c "Schalke's Leon Goretzka comes of age in Russia". bundesliga.com. 2 July 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2018. 
  9. ^ "Tönnies: "Du solltest das Trikot von Schalke nicht mehr tragen"". SportBild (in German). 21 January 2018. Retrieved 18 May 2018. 
  10. ^ "FC Bayern sign Germany international Leon Goretzka". FC Bayern Munich. Retrieved 19 January 2018. 
  11. ^ "Goretzka zur DFB-U16" (in German). VfL Bochum. 4 November 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  12. ^ "U16-Junioren schlagen Nordirland" (in German). RP Online. 15 October 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  13. ^ "Goretzka führt deutsche U17 als Kapitän zum Sieg" (in German). VfL Bochum. 24 August 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  14. ^ a b c "UEFA European Under-17 Championship Final Round 2012 – Slovenia 2012" (PDF). UEFA. 24 August 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  15. ^ "U21-Junioren bleiben torlos bei gutem Goretzka-Debüt" [U21 juniors remain scoreless in good Goretzka debut]. focus.de (in German). Focus. 14 August 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  16. ^ Kops, Calle (8 May 2014). "Löw überrascht beim vorläufigen WM-Kader" [Löw surprises with the preliminary World Cup squad]. dw.de (in German). Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  17. ^ Hallam, Mark (12 May 2014). "Germany vs Poland: More useful to Löw than you might think". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  18. ^ "Löw streicht vier und holt Kramer" [Löw eliminates four and gets Kramer] (in German). Spox.com. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  19. ^ Myson, Chris (17 May 2017). "Kroos, Muller and Ozil among stars left out of Germany's Confederations Cup squad". Goal. Retrieved 17 June 2017. 
  20. ^ "Socceroos face uphill task after being edged out by Germany". Guardian. 19 June 2017. Retrieved 20 June 2017. 
  21. ^ "Awards list dominated by victorious Germans". FIFA.com. 2 July 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2018. 
  22. ^ "Germany announce final World Cup squad, with Manuel Neuer, without Leroy Sané". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 4 June 2018. 
  23. ^ "Leon Goretzka: I'm very grateful". FC Schalke 04. 25 July 2016. Archived from the original on 18 September 2016. Retrieved 17 September 2016. 
  24. ^ "Leon Goretzka travels back from the Olympics". FC Schalke 04. 11 August 2016. Archived from the original on 18 September 2016. Retrieved 17 September 2016. 
  25. ^ Baystead, Simon (20 September 2013). "Leon Goretzka". liberofootball.co.uk. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  26. ^ a b c Woods, Adam (14 March 2014). "Everything you need to know about... Leon Goretzka". fourfourtwo.com. FourFourTwo. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  27. ^ "Schalke verpflichtet Bochums Supertalent Goretzka" [Schalke signed Bochum Super Talent Goretzka]. welt.de (in German). Die Welt. 1 June 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  28. ^ a b c "Leon Goretzka – Germany's Next Big Talent". nastytackle.com. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  29. ^ Koch, Maximilian (1 May 2013). "Ein Bochumer Junge für die große Fußballwelt" [A Bochum boy for the big football world]. faz.net (in German). Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  30. ^ "Schalke sensation Leon Goretzka: so much more than "the next Michael Ballack"". Bundesliga.com. 1 January 2018. Retrieved 19 May 2018. 
  31. ^ "Leon Goretzka » Club matches". World Football. Retrieved 11 January 2017. 
  32. ^ a b "Leon Goretzka". kicker.de (in German). kicker. Retrieved 11 January 2017. 
  33. ^ "Leon Goretzka". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  34. ^ "Fritz-Walter-Medaille 2012: Die Gewinner: Das sind die besten Talente Deutschlands" [Fritz Walter Medal 2012: Winners: These are the best talents Germany]. spox.com (in German). Spox.com. 30 July 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  35. ^ "RevierSport: Goretzka hat die Reifeprüfung abgelegt" [Reviersport: Goretzka took the matriculation examination]. reviersport.de (in German). Reviersport. 3 July 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 
  36. ^ Webb, Alex; Rothwell, Steve (1 May 2012). "GM-Peugeot Pact Makes Opel Workers Rivals for Survival at Two Plants: Cars". bloomberg.com. Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 2 September 2014. 

External links

  • Leon Goretzka at fussballdaten.de (in German)
  • Leon GoretzkaUEFA competition record
  • kicker profile
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