Stuttgart (AP) – You are something like the class representatives. A few days before the Bundesliga season starts, 17 out of 18 captains have been chosen.
Only Hertha BSC has not yet named a new captain after leaving striker Vedad Ibisevic (FC Schalke 04). In addition to the Berliners, with RB Leipzig (Marcel Sabitzer), Bayer Leverkusen (Charles Aranguiz), SC Freiburg (Christian Günter), FC Augsburg (Jeffrey Gouweleeuw) and promoted VfB Stuttgart (Gonzalo Castro) five other teams with new leaders in start the league.
The age structure is particularly striking. On average, the captains are 30.7 years old. The average of all Bundesliga professionals is 25.4 years. The hunt for young talent is becoming more and more competitive. Borussia Dortmund brought in a 17-year-old in Jude Bellingham (Birmingham City) this summer, and FC Bayern Munich in Tanguy Nianzou (Paris St. Germain) an 18-year-old. Power and dynamism are required in a game that has become faster and more athletic in recent years. But it is a matter of finding the right address to teammates or referees or finding solutions in tricky situations, what counts above all is calm and routine. Apparently most coaches see it that way too.
At Bayern, for example, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry (all 25) have long since grown up a new generation of leading players. Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer (34) is wearing the armband for the fourth season in a row from the remaining guard of the triple winners from 2013. BVB coach Lucien Favre and Schalke coach David Wagner also held on to their captain Marco Reus (31 ) and Omar Mascarell (27) – although they were injured for a long time. Mascarell played his role “very well even in difficult times,” explained Wagner. Even when he was out, he was “always an important contact for the team and coaching team”.
He is said to be Gonzalo Castro (33) in Stuttgart from now on. Coach Pellegrino Matarazzo took off promotion captain Marc Oliver Kempf (25) during the summer break and gave it to the rather quiet midfielder as a surprise. With his experience from 383 Bundesliga games, Castro should help the league’s youngest team, with an average age of 23.9, “on and off the pitch,” says Matarazzo. It is the most formative example of a troop that is peppered with talent, but in which the supposed old people are in charge.
The captains of the Bundesliga clubs at a glance:
FC BAYERN MÜNCHEN: Manuel Neuer (34 / determined / since 2017)
BORUSSIA DORTMUND: Marco Reus (31 / determined / since 2018)
RB LEIPZIG: Marcel Sabitzer (26 / elected / since summer 2020)
BORUSSIA MÖNCHENGLADBACH: Lars Stindl (32 / determined / since 2016)
BAYER LEVERKUSEN: Charles Aranguiz (31 / determined / since 2020)
TSG 1899 HOFFENHEIM: Benjamin Hübner (31 / determined / since December 2019)
VfL WOLFSBURG: Josuha Guilavogui (29 / elected / since 2018)
SC FREIBURG: Christian Günter (27 / elected / since summer 2020)
EINTRACHT FRANKFURT: David Abraham (34 / determined / since 2018)
HERTHA BSC: still open
1. FC UNION BERLIN: Christopher Trimmel (33 / elected / since 2018)
FC SCHALKE 04: Omar Mascarell (27 / determined / since January 2020)
1. FSV MAINZ 05: Danny Latza (30 / determined / since 2019)
1. FC KÖLN: Jonas Hector (30 / elected / since 2018)
FC AUGSBURG: Jeffrey Gouweleeuw (29 / determined / since summer 2020)
SV WERDER BREMEN: Niklas Moisander (34 / determined / since 2019)
ARMINIA BIELEFELD: Fabian Klos (32 / determined / since 2019)
VFB STUTTGART: Gonzalo Castro (33 / determined / since summer 2020)
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 200914-99-561550 / 3