Cologne - Bayer 04 Leverkusen attacking starlet has been recognised as Germany's most highly-rated Under-18 prospect after being awarded the prestigious golden Fritz Walter medal ahead of team-mate for club and country .

The two 18-year-old Werkself midfielders, who both got their first taste of Bundesliga football last season, were the youngest members of the Germany side that won the in Hungary this summer.

Following in world champions' footsteps


of 1. FC Nürnberg and 1899 Hoffenheim's Benedikt Gimber, meanwhile, were crowned the best Under-19 and Under-17 players respectively, winning the prize that has been awarded yearly since 2004 by the German Football Association (DFB) in co-operation with the Fritz Walter Foundation.

“This award is a great recognition of Nik's performances,” said Nürnberg sporting director Martin Bader. “It is also a recognition of the good work the club are doing at youth level. This motivates us to put faith in our young players also in the future.”

Previous winners of the golden Fritz Walter medal, named after the 1954 FIFA World Cup-winning captain, include current world champions such as (FC Bayern München), Julian Draxler (FC Schalke 04) and Matthias Ginter (Borussia Dortmund).