Leon Christoph Goretzka (German pronunciation: [ˈleːɔn ˈɡoːʁɛtskaː]; born 6 February 1995) is a German professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Bayern Munich and the Germany national team.
Goretzka with Germany
|Full name||Leon Christoph Goretzka|
|Date of birth||6 February 1995|
|Place of birth||Bochum, Germany|
|Height||1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|1999–2001||Werner SV 06 Bochum|
|2014–2015||Schalke 04 II||2||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15:19, 18 May 2019 (UTC)|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 20:39, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
On 30 July 2012, Goretzka was awarded the 2012 under-17 Fritz Walter Medal in gold. On 4 August 2012, Goretzka made his professional debut for VfL Bochum in the 2. Bundesliga against Dynamo Dresden in the rewirpowerSTADION.
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, the then sporting director of Bayern Munich, reportedly met with Goretzka to try to convince him of joining Bayern in the summer of 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. 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.
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.
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.
During the 2016–17 season, Goretzka played in a career-high 41 matches in all competitions, scoring eight goals. This was 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 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.
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.
On 1 July 2018, Goretzka officially joined Bayern. Goretzka signed a four-year contract until June 2022. On 12 August 2018, in the DFL Super Cup, Goretzka came on for Thomas Müller in the 64th minute. This was Goretzka's first appearance for Bayern. On 1 September, he scored his first goal for the club in a 3–0 away victory over VfB Stuttgart. The following year, on 19 January 2019, he scored his first ever brace in the Bundesliga, scoring twice in a 3–1 win over Hoffenheim. On 15 February 2019, he scored an own goal in a Bundesliga game after 13 seconds; no Bayern player had yet touched the ball.
On 18 May 2019, Goretzka won his first Bundesliga title as Bayern finished two points above Dortmund with 78 points. A week later, Goretzka won his first DFB-Pokal as Bayern defeated RB Leipzig 3-0 in the 2019 DFB-Pokal Final. Goretzka did not appear in the match as he was out injured.
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. On 24 August 2011, Goretzka made his Germany national U-17 football team debut against Turkey in a 4–0 victory. 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. 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. 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.
Goretzka was unsuccessfully contacted by the Polish national team but rejected the offer as he is not aware of any Polish background.
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. On 13 May 2014, he made his debut in a 0–0 draw against Poland. 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.
In May 2017, Goretzka was named in Germany's squad for the Confederations Cup in Russia. 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. 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.
On 4 June 2018, Goretzka was included in Germany's final 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. On 27 June, Goretzka made his World Cup debut in the last match of the group stage in a 2–0 defeat to South Korea as his side got knocked out from the World Cup for the first time since 1938.
Alongside Schalke teammate Max Meyer, Goretzka was named in the squad for the 2016 Summer Olympics. He captained Germany in their first match against Mexico, but picked up a shoulder injury, and returned to Gelsenkirchen.
In 2013, Goretzka was referred to as one of the brightest talents in German football. 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". 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. Goretzka produces powerful shots from outside the penalty area, a trait similar to that of Paul Scholes. He is also well known for his excellent heading ability which sees him regularly score goals with his head. At 1.89 m, Goretzka's high-jumping ability helps him to win aerial battles even against the strongest and tallest defenders. 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. His game has often been compared to two of German footballing greats, Lothar Matthäus and Michael Ballack.
- As of 12 August 2019
|Schalke II||2014–15||Regionalliga West||1||0||—||—||—||1||0|||
- As of 11 June 2019
- As of 11 June 2019 (Germany score listed irst, score column indicates score after each Goretzka goal)
|1.||19 June 2017||Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi, Russia||Australia||2017 FIFA Confederations Cup|
|2.||29 June 2017||Mexico|
|4.||4 September 2017||Mercedes-Benz Arena, Stuttgart, Germany||Norway||2018 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|5.||8 October 2017||Fritz-Walter-Stadion, Kaiserslautern, Germany||Azerbaijan|
|7.||20 March 2019||Volkswagen Arena, Wolfsburg, Germany||Serbia||Friendly|
|8.||11 June 2019||Opel Arena, Mainz, Germany||Estonia||UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying|
- UEFA European Under-17 Championship: Runner-up 2012
- Summer Olympic Games: Silver Medal 2016
- FIFA Confederations Cup: 2017
Goretzka completed his Abitur and graduated from the Alice-Salomon-Berufskolleg (Alice-Salomon-Vocational School) in Bochum, North Rhine-Westphalia. His father, Konrad, is an automotive engineer and electrical engineer for Opel.
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This has to be one of the fastest own goals of all time. A similar effort is certainly not springing to mind.
- "Robert Lewandowski hits brace as Bayern Munich beat RB Leipzig in DFB Cup final to seal the double". bundesliga.com. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
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