Matthias Ginter’s outstanding talent was apparent from a very early age. The central defender has been among Germany’s brightest new prospects for several years and was presented with the gold Fritz Walter Medal, as the best youth player in his age group in 2012 (U-18) and 2013 (U-19). Only Mario Gotze has managed to match the achievement of collecting this prestigious accolade (in gold) in two different age groups.

Ginter joined Freiburg at the age of 11. Although he trained as a defensive and attacking midfielder, he ultimately established himself as a central defender for the German Bundesliga side that is renowned for nurturing young talent. Despite being only 23 years old, the tough-tackling, aerially-dominant model athlete has already amassed 150 first-class appearances and has won numerous caps for Germany’s U-18, U-19 and U-21 sides.

Ginter made his international debut for coach Joachim Low in a 1-0 friendly win over Chile in Stuttgart on 5 March 2014, becoming Germany’s 900th senior international in the process. A few months later, he celebrated his country’s FIFA World Cup™ triumph, despite being an unused member of the squad in Brazil. He joined Borussia Dortmund the same summer and is still on the way to fulfilling his potential at the club. Two years after Germany became world champions, Ginter played a much greater role at the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament, playing in all but one match of his country’s campaign at Rio 2016 and scoring two goals in the process. He ultimately claimed a silver medal after Germany lost to host nation Brazil on penalties in the final.