It's not unusual for FC Bayern Munich to take along some promising youth players from their own system to their annual winter training camp, as players like David Alaba can attest, but when the club invited 15-year old goalkeeper Christian Früchtl to participate, it attracted a little more attention than usual.
The media and other clubs aren't the only ones to have perked their ears on this one, as player agents have been bombarding the teenager and his parents with offers to represent the teenager, in hopes of getting to sign the next big thing, as his father has revealed to Bild.
"In the last few weeks, we've already had 20 agents check in with us", said his father, Erwin Früchtl. "But we're putting that subject on the back burner for now."
That's a prudent plan, considering how young their son is, and how far he still has to go before even thinking about becoming a professional footballer. But, so far, the kid has turned some heads, including receiving some effusive praise from the Sport Director of the club (and habitual grump), Matthias Sammer, and also from current number one keeper for Bayern and Germany (and, let's be honest, the world), Manuel Neuer. What impresses these two guys, who should know a thing or two about talent, is the incredibly large frame at such a young age, measuring 1.90 meters (almost 6 foot, 3 inches) in height and a shoe size of 50 (about 16 or 17 US), coupled with talent and coordination, and an eager willingness to absorb and learn the goalie game from the professionals.
Here's to hoping that Früchtl continues on his path, so that he can one day replace Neuer as the club's goalkeeper (it probably doesn't hurt that he has played both in the field and in goal, considering the evolution of the position), and we can then all have fun with English commentators butchering his last name (my money is on Fruktell).