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Fritz Walter Medals awarded to Germany’s top youth players

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Is it bad news for Germany that the country’s top two male players play outside of Germany?

TOP Oss v Ajax U23 - Dutch Keuken Kampioen Divisie Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images

The DFB has announced this years Fritz Walter Medals to nation’s top youth players. This year, in a strange turn of events, neither the top U19 player nor the top U17 player actually plays for a German team.

Nicolas Kuhn, the U19 winner, plays for Ajax’s reserve team in the Eerste Divisie over in the Netherlands. The U17 winner, FC Liefering’s Karim Adeyemi, plays in the 2.Bundesliga of Austria. (Sure, Liefering is RB Salzburg’s feeder club, and RB Salzburg is RB Leipzig’s feeder club).

Bayern Frauen’s Gia Corley received the Bronze award for the women’s youth. Unfortunately, at this time, they do not split the women’s award between U19 and U17 players like they do the men’s. The 17 year old Corley is expected to float between the first and second teams of Bayern this year in order to ensure she gets playing time.

This is the fifth year in a row that a Bayern player has received an award. Niklas Dorsch, Anna Gerhardt, Lukas Mai, and Oliver Batista-Meier were previously honored.

Joti Chatzialexiou, the DFB’s sports chief, talked about the award.

The Fritz Walter Medal has established itself as the most prestigious individual award in German youth football. The award winners are blessed with extraordinary sporting talent and have proven to be key figures in their respective national youth teams over the course of last season. Additionally, they have excelled both on and off the pitch due to their huge sporting ambition, illustrated through both their team spirit and general demeanor, which fits in with the values of Fritz Walter. For us, it’s important that these talented players are motivated even further by their medals – they must aim to continue to develop their ability as much as they possibly can, with the intention of ultimately making it to the senior national team, as Klara Bühl and Lena Sophie Oberdorf have already achieved. They must have the ambition to establish themselves as consistent inclusions in the side.

Previous winners include Kai Havertz, Fiete Arp, Timo Werner, Lena Lotzen, Leon Goretzka, Melanie Leupolz, Niklas Stark, Benjamin Henrichs, Jonathan Tah, Sara Dabritz, and Matthias Ginter.

Full List of Winners

U19

Gold: Nicolas Kuhn - Ajax
Silver: Josha Vagnoman - Hamburg
Bronze: Yann Aurel Bisseck - Holstein Kiel

U17

Gold: Karim Adeyemi - FC Liefering
Silver: Jordan Meyer - Stuttgart
Bronze: Lazar Samardzic - Hertha Berlin

Frauen Youth

Gold: Klara Buhl - Freiburg
Silver: Lena Oberdorf - SGS Essen
Bronze: Gia Corley - Bayern Munich