He is only 21 years old, and already he has titles and awards to his name. World Cup 2014, Super Cup Winner 2014, Youth A Team Trophy 2011/12. That's embellished with the Gold Fritz Walter medal for best young talent in 2012 and 2013. He comes from the deep south-west, and wears the shirt of his favourite team: he's Matthias Ginter.
It all began in a small area in the German black forest, in Baden Württemburg. Matthias Ginter was four years old when he joined SV March. At the age of eleven he moved to the famous talent factory of Freiburg. There, he rose through the ranks of all of the youth teams and ended up in the Youth A Team, training with the professional squad. By the preparation period for the second half of the 2011/12 season, he'd impressed to the extent that, on 21 January 2012, he appeared as a substitute at a meeting against FC Augsburg. In the 88th minute he scored the winner to make it 2:1. That happened to be two days after his 18th birthday, making him the youngest goalscorer in Freiburg's club history.
His true position is at the back of the pitch. He may have started off in attacking midfield, modelled after David Beckham ("I always played in right midfield and loved it"), but his real strengths lie in central defense.
The 21-year-old impresses with his pronounced intelligence for the game, his smart attacking play, his incredible calmness around the ball and his formidable openings. His success rate at controlling balls from his teammates stands at 84, or rather 80%. That's an unbelievably good rate, and proof that his prospects are far-reaching. "In Dortmund," he says, "I want to develop towards the next stage of my sporting potential."
"We are happy and rather proud that he has come so early and so willingly to Borussia Dortmund," said Michael Zorc following the signing in 2014. "It was clear that it wouldn't be easy. It was also clear that I wouldn't make every game." After one year of playing games in League 14, and a further 6 in other competitions, Ginter came to the conclusion: "It was the right decision, and the correct path for me."
Matthias Ginter is a down to earth guy, who enjoys new adventures. He's sure to reach his full potential in his second season at BVB. Considering his capacities, the BVB fans should be excited. Matthias Ginter is definitely ready: "I'm ambitious enough to attack." And: "Many sportspeople say that the more difficult times have shaped them more than anything," says the 21-year-old. He explains: "Because it's those experiences that make you better-equipped for the future."
Michael Zorc has full confidence in Ginter: "as strong and versatile German talent, we have become very invested in Matthias." He required a lot of patience at SC Freiburg; but finally the club accepted Dortmund's offer. Ginter signed a 5-year contract lasting until June 2019.