A 0-1 defeat doesn’t look so terrible against the backdrop of a terrible injury to 18-year-old star Florian Wirtz. After the match, the club’s medical staff confirmed a rupture of anterior cruciate ligament of left knee. Already on the field, it was clear that the worst should be expected – Florian’s leg, after a junction with the Cologne football player, unnaturally bent, and the football player himself was taken away on a stretcher and sent to the hospital.
Wirtz is the youngest scorer of 10 goals in the Bundesliga
Top football clubs lined up behind him, but now the World Cup is in question. The recovery time is not yet clear – it usually takes about six months. It’s a shame, given form Wirtz has taken – he leads in goals + passes among players under 21 in the top 5 leagues in Europe: 17 (7 + 10) points in 23 Bundesliga matches. In all tournaments this season, he scored 10 + 14 in 31 games.
In early March, insider Fabrizio Romano reported that the guy was already lined up from Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern. Bayer had no plans to let go of the young star this season, but now any transition is almost impossible in the near future. Even getting to the football World Cup in November-December is in question: Wirtz made his debut for the national team in September, played four matches and counted on an invitation to Qatar.
The head coach of the Germans, Hans-Dieter Flick, is upset, but has already supported the player: “Wirtz is one of the main talents of German football in lastseasons. That’s why we were all shocked when we found out about the torn cruciate ligament. I already called him and tried to cheer him up. I’m sure. He will have our full support.”
Bundesliga fans have been discussing Wirtz since May 2020 – then he came out in a match against Werder Bremen at age of 17 years, becoming the youngest player in Bayer history (updated Kai Havertz’s record) and third in Bundesliga.
For first goal in Bundesliga, midfielder took less than a month, and he scored immediately versus Bayern. This goal was youngest in Bundesliga: at that time, Wirtz was 17 years old. He broke record of Nuri Shahin, which held for 15 years. True, six months later Yussuf Mukoko from Dortmund rejuvenated the record by 12 month, scoring at 16 years and 28 days.
But in September 2021, Florian broke another football achievement: he scored the 10th goal in Bundesliga, becoming youngest player who managed to score double-digit goals – 18 years, 4 months. Prior to this, achievement was held by Lukas Podolski.
Bayer acquired Wirtz for 200,000 euros from Cologne
Now the football player is estimated at 70 million. Wirtz, like Podolsky, is a graduate of Cologne. The German Express said that with this transition, the Leverkuseners violated the long-standing tacit agreement of Cologne, Bayer and Gladbach: the clubs agreed not to poach young players from each other to the academy. Bayer cheated, although Leverkusen’s youth coach Patrick Helmes (he played for the youth team and the adult team of Cologne) thinks that everything is in order: “We signed him immediately to the first team.”
Bayer really intercepted a 16-year-old guy from Cologne U17, where he was not promised an instant rise. Leverkusen immediately promised U19 training with the main team. Five months later, Florian made his debut in Bundesliga. For transfer, Cologne received 200 thousand euros, and 2 seasons later the player is estimated at Transfermarkt at 70 million.
Now Wirtz has received the first serious injury of his football career – it just so happened that it was in the match against Cologne.