13 fun facts about Florian Wirtz
Florian Wirtz is a highly talented and promising German football player who has already made a name for himself at the age of just 19. He currently plays as an attacking midfielder for Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga and the German national team.
Wirtz was born on May 3, 2003, in Pulheim, Germany. He began playing football at a young age and joined the youth academy of his boyhood team FC Cologne. He quickly made an impression with his skills on the ball and his ability to create chances and score goals.
He was dubbed as the best midfielder to come through the club in 30 years by local newspaper Kolner Express, and European big-wigs were all circling after Wirtz captained boyhood team Cologne to Under-17 German Championship glory in 2019, but Leverkusen eventually won the race, and prized him from Cologne in 2020.
The then-teenage star was swiftly promoted into the first team, becoming Leverkusen’s youngest-ever debutant at the age of 17 years and 16 days, surpassing Kai Havertz’ record, in the 4-1 thrashing of Werder Bremen in 2019-20. After a handful of appearances in the coronavirus-hit campaign, Wirtz played 29 Bundesliga games, which yielded five goals and as many assists in 2020-21 campaign.
He excelled even more in the following season, contributing to 17 goals from 24 league games (7 goals, 10 assists). His development was hampered by a painful ACL injury last year that kept him sidelined for almost six months.
However, he has shown some positive signs of regaining his peak form since returning from the long injury lay-off, helping in Leverkusen's revival under boss Xabi Alonso after their wretched start to the campaign under previous management.
On international level, the 19-year-old has already earned six caps for the German national team, having made his international debut under boss Hansi Flick in the 2-0 win over Liechtenstein in 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying in September, although he couldn't play a part in the finals at Qatar due to a serious injury.
At youth international level, Wirtz notably scored twice in the U21 Euro semi-final as Germany went on to win the tournament. Because of his promise, he is widely considered as one of the pillars of the national team's future, as well as one of the top talents that the country has produced in recent years.
Here are 13 fun facts about Florian Wirtz you need to know!