The 19-year-old, who represents Germany at U19 level, has been a Borussia Dortmund player since July 2016. He made the step-up to the first-team squad during the 2020/21 season. As of June 2021, the attacking player has made seven appearances across all competitions (one goal and one assist). In 2021 he won the DFB-Pokal trophy and achieved promotion to the 3. Liga with the U23s.
Ansgar Knauff grew up in Göttingen with his mother, who introduced him to football at four years of age. ''It happened during the World Cup in 2006. I sat there in front of the TV with my mum and watched football for the first time. We got swept along in the excitement of all the Germany games. I loved it so much, and I said to her: ''Mum, now I want to play football. She found out which clubs were in the area and how it all works,'' said Knauff to the website Spox.
Ansgar Knauff made a strong impression at a young age at hometown club SVG Göttingen with his incredible footballing abilities. After a one-year spell at the youth set-up of Hannover 96, he moved to the youth residence at the Borussia Dortmund academy, where he would remain until June 2021. According to BVB youth coordinator Lars Ricken: ''When he came to us in the U15s, Ansgar was by far the smallest player.'' Nevertheless, everyone at the club was convinced of his potential.
The lightning-quick winger soon suffered an injury and faced a long spell on the sidelines. ''Everyone kept their calm in this situation, including Ansgar,'' says Ricken. Knauff claimed a place in the U17 team in the final stage of the U17 Bundesliga in 2019, scoring two goals and providing four assists. The young man, who names Kylian Mbappe as his idol - ''the way he plays football has inspired me'' - has been part of the Germany U19 squad since October 2020.
Three months previously, he got his first taste of first-team action at BVB, as he was part of the squad that travelled to summer training camp in 2020, where he gained valuable new experience - and the following revelation: ''I really noticed how much the established players help the youngsters to feel at home, and how quickly you feel secure in this entirely new environment.''
The cancellation of the youth football season due to Coronavirus meant that Knauff moved up to the U23s in the summer of 2020. ''That was an important step. The Regionalliga helped me mature as a footballer. Playing at senior level is just completely different. Almost an entirely different type of football.''
He signed a senior contract at the end of November 2020. His debut followed on 8 December 2020, when he was substituted on for seven minutes in a Champions League match in St. Petersburg. On 20 March 2021, he made his Bundesliga debut away to 1. FC Cologne, immediately providing the assist to draw BVB level at 2-2 equaliser. Two matchdays later, he scored his first goal in a 3-2 away win at VfB Stuttgart. He was also in the starting XI in both UEFA Champions League quarter-finals against Manchester City. "I will never forget that for the rest of my life."
"Ansgar is no longer a guest. He is part of our team," says Edin Terzic about the promising talent. Sporting director Michael Zorc confirms: "He will stay with us as a full member of the squad."