Frankfurt / Main (AP) – 17-year-old Bundesliga pro Florian Wirtz of Bayer 04 Leverkusen could become the youngest German U21 national player to date on Friday.
With a performance in the European Championship qualifier against Moldova (6.15 p.m. / ProSieben Maxx), the young footballer would replace the previous record holder Julian Draxler. “We are of course happy to have such a great talent with us. He has skills that we normally could not cover with our selection,” said national coach Stefan Kuntz.
However, the 57-year-old also warned against too high expectations of the attacking player, who this year had received the gold Fritz Walter medal as the best German U17 talent. “We are not going to say that the boy is the savior that we need twice 90 minutes to qualify,” said Kuntz of the Leverkusen youngster. “That wouldn’t be fair to the others and it would be too much of a burden for Florian.”
The Kuntz-Elf needs two wins from the matches against Moldova and four days later in Fürth against Bosnia and Herzegovina to have good chances on the EM ticket. Germany is currently in second place in the qualifying group behind Belgium. The nine group winners and the five best runners-up will buy tickets for the 2021 tournament.