The 26-year-old defender has been a Borussia Dortmund player since July 2022. Beforehand, he played for FC Bayern Munich.
Niklas Süle left the south for the South Stand. He was 17 when he felt the force of the Yellow Wall for the first time. 286 appearances later, he joined Borussia Dortmund from Bayern Munich and became a Black & Yellow himself. "There is no more emotional stadium in the entire world! And the fact that I'm now playing for BVB nine years later means a lot to me. I can't wait to be part of this club, I want to know how it ticks and supports its team," the 26-year-old told members' magazine BORUSSIA (July 2022 edition). "We're delighted that we have managed to sign Niklas Süle, a Germany international, on a free transfer and have tied the player down for four years," declared former sporting director Michael Zorc when the transfer went through at the start of February 2022. Sebastian Kehl added: "Niklas has shown during the course of personal talks that he is really keen on Borussia Dortmund. He possesses a lot of experience, composure in his build-up play and the necessary physicality to take the next step with us from the summer onwards."
Niklas Süle joined his new employer with 222 appearances in the Bundesliga (114 for Bayern, 108 for Hoffenheim), 35 in the Champions League (all for Bayern) and 40 at senior international level under his belt. He is a five-time German champion (from 2018 to 2022), a two-time DFB-Pokal winner and has lifted the UEFA Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup once each (both 2020). At international level, Süle won the 2017 Confederations Cup and became a silver medalist at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. "The final against Brazil at a sold-out Maracana was one of my most awesome football experiences ever! We were there with a team no-one expected anything from and yet we progressed to the final. The medal has a very special place in my home!"
Süle was born in Frankfurt (Main) and grew up a little further south in Mörfelden-Walldorf (Groß-Gerau district) and has a brother, Fabian, who is three years his senior. He first laced his boots for Weiß Walldorf. GQ wrote: "When the two of them were still kids, Niklas seven and Fabian 10, things would get heated at home in father Georg's garden. 'Our dad set up a goal. Before we started, he watered the lawn and said. 'Anfield is now ready. Now you can slide-tackle each other,'' recalled Niklas Süle. 'They were battles between the two of us.' They didn't give each other an inch and fought until their shins were green and blue. The brothers dueled again and again – and pretended they were playing at the real Anfield, i.e. in Liverpool."
Niklas joined Eintracht Frankfurt at the age of 11, where he played between 2006 and 2009. He then moved to SV Darmstadt 98, but only stayed there for six months before moving into the TSG Hoffenheim academy at the beginning of 2010. "I left home early, at 14, and joined the Hoffenheim academy," he told members' magazine BORUSSIA (July 2022 edition). "That was a very big step! As a youngster, you're already training like a pro and having to manage school at the same time."
Süle was promoted to the Hoffenheim second team ahead 2012/13 and made his first appearances in the Regionalliga Südwest while also representing the U19s. "I was in the middle of preparing for my school-leaving certificates and I remember sitting at lunch with the other boys when I got the message from our coach Markus Gisdol: Niklas, you're playing tomorrow! In the Bundesliga! Against the great HSV! Madness!" Süle's Bundesliga debut on Matchday 33 of the 2012/13 season ended in a 4-1 home defeat. To save themselves from automatic relegation, his team needed to go to Dortmund and win on the final matchday. They found themselves 2-1 up heading into the closing stages thanks to two penalties. "Then I was introduced from the bench. In defensive midfield, to replace now global superstar Roberto Firmino. Imagine it: in the most important game in the club's history at the time, coach Markus Gisdol put me, a 17-year-old, on in that lion's den atmosphere."
The 1.95m-tall central defender sustained a cruciate ligament injury in December 2014, eventually returning to action following an eight-month spell on the sidelines and making 33 out of a possible 34 appearances – all for 90 minutes. "With 6.2 interventions per match, he was named by the magazine 11 FREUNDE as the most effective defender in the league." (Source: Wikipedia). Ahead of the 2017/18 campaign, Süle signed a five-year contract with Bayern Munich, with whom he won the German title in each season. He tore his cruciate ligament for a second time in October 2019 and was ruled out until August 2020.
Süle committed only 57 fouls and was booked just eight times across his 114 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern Munich. He has never been suspended throughout his entire Bundesliga career. He has clocked a top speed of 35.0km/h and won 64% of his duels in the Bundesliga last term (highest value at Bayern). When it came to aerial duels, he even came out on top 75% of the time.