Here are 10 facts you may not know about RB Leipzig star Timo Werner.
|Timo Werner.||Photo: Steffen Prößdorf, CC BY-SA 4.0|
At the age of 23, Timo Werner has established himself as one of the best strikers in the Bundesliga and as a regular part of the German national team. Here are 10 things you may not know about the promising striker:
1. Scored goals for fun at youth level
Werner represented Stuttgart and Germany at various youth levels and scored tons of goals. After netting 32 times in 37 matches for Stuttgart's U-17 side, he was promoted to the U-19 team before the 2012-13 season at the age of just 16. Werner continued his great form for the U-19 side, and in 2013, after scoring 24 goals in just as many matches, he was handed the Fritz Walter gold medal - an annual award handed out to the country's finest talent - in the Under-17 category. In 2015, he was awarded the Fritz Walter silver medal in the Under-19 Category.
2. Finished high school as a Bundesliga player
Werner started playing regularly for Stuttgart's first team during the 2013-14 season. By that time, he was just 17 years old and still in high school, but despite his status as a Bundesliga player, he decided to finish school.
"I could have focused solely on football, but my mother really wanted me to finish school. I never considered not doing it to be honest. That wouldn't have been smart. In hindsight I'm quite proud that I managed to finish school and kick on with my professional football career," he told Bundesliga.com.
3. Record breaker
Werner made his debut for Stuttgart's first team in a Europa League qualifier against PFC Botev Plovdiv at the age of just 17 years, four months and five days, becoming the youngest player to ever appear in an official match for Stuttgart. Later, he also became Stuttgart's youngest player to appear in the DFB Pokal and the club's youngest goalscorer as he scored his first senior goal in a match against Eintracht Frankfurt. He is also the youngest player to reach 50, 100 and 150 Bundesliga appearances and the youngest player to score two goals in a Bundesliga match.
4. Instant impact at RB Leipzig
Stuttgart was relegated in the 2015-16 season, and after spending three seasons at the club, Werner made the move on to RB Leipzig for a reported price of €10 million. He made an instant impact at his new club, scoring 21 times in 31 matches during his first season at Leipzig.
5. National team call-up
After having played 45 matches and scored 33 times for Germany's various youth national teams, Werner was handed his debut for the senior national team in March 2017 when he played 77 minutes in a friendly against England. He scored his first goal in the national team shirt as he netted twice in Germany's 3-1 win over Cameroun during the Confederations Cup in June 2017.
6. The dive
Werner received a lot of negative attention after a dive that won 'Die Rote Bullen' a penalty in a 2-1 win over Schalke 04 in December 2016 and was subsequently helped by RB Leipzig's psychologist. Werner afterwards said that it wasn't his intention to dive and that he even told the referee that the Schalke keeper Ralf Fährmann didn't touch him, but he was still booed and abused from the stands for many matches to come. Werner was even booed by the German fans during his international debut in March because of the dive.
7. Circulation problems in Turkey
Werner was substituted after just 32 minutes of RB Leipzig's Champions League game against Besiktas at the Vodafone Arena in Istanbul in the 2017/18 season. The striker, who was pictured with ear plugs and holding his hands to his ears during the game, reportedly couldn't cope with the noise and hostile atmosphere at the stadium. After the match, RB Leipzig said that he was suffering from 'circulation problems'.
8. Turbo Timo
Werner has been clocked at 11.11 seconds over 100 meters and has been named 'Turbo Timo' by the German media due to his blistering pace.
"I like to knock the ball three or four meters ahead of me when I'm on the counter or have space in front of me. That way I can increase the distance between a defender and myself," he told Bundesliga.com about his pace.
9. Mario Gomez fan
Werner has admitted he looked up to former German international Mario Gomez while growing up. Therefore, it was a special experience for him to play with the veteran in the national team.
"When I was 11, 12, I used to have posters of Mario on my wall. Suddenly, there I was with Mario giving me high-fives and wishing me good luck on playing for Germany instead of him," he told Bundesliga.com.
10. Dreams of the Premier League
There is currently a lot of speculation about the future of Werner whose contract with RB Leipzig runs out in 2020. The striker has been heavily linked with Bayern München in particular, but he has previously said he's keen on playing in the Premier League and that he is particularly fond of Manchester United.
"Yes, playing in the Premier League is a dream for me. I would like to play for two or three clubs, and Manchester United are one of those clubs," he told FourFourTwo in 2018.