The Bundesliga has seen a whole host of icons down the years. As such, bundesliga.com decided to ask some of today’s icons who their idols were growing up…
Florian Wirtz – Marko Marin/Lucas Barrios
Wirtz may have spent a decade as part of Cologne’s youth academy and now plies his trade for Bayer Leverkusen, but former stars from Werder Bremen and Borussia Dortmund are the players he looked up to as a youngster.
By his own admission, the 20-year-old was an admirer of the Green-Whites, for whom Marin was a key player at the time. Barrios, meanwhile, was Dortmund’s star striker between 2009 and 2012, scoring 39 goals in 83 Bundesliga appearances for Die Schwarzgelben, and clearly had a major impact on Wirtz growing up.
Watch: Wirtz reveals admiration for Marin and Barrios
Jamal Musiala – Robert Lewandowski
The current No.42 mentioned the Poland international's five goals in nine unforgettable minutes versus Wolfsburg in 2015, the first of which came just six minutes after he had entered the fray from the substitutes bench. Musiala, of course, got to fulfill every youngster’s dream by playing with his idol, and the duo won two Bundesliga titles together, in 2020/21 and 2021/22.
Watch: Musiala looks back at sensational Lewandowski display
Mario Götze – Zé Roberto
Götze grew up Dortmund through and through, but that didn’t stop him appreciating top talents from rival outfits. Zé Roberto is undoubtedly a Bundesliga legend, having almost helped Bayer Leverkusen to a treble in 2001/02 before moving to Bayern and picking up four league titles and DFB Cups apiece.
A tough-tackling midfielder who had work-rate in abundance to go alongside his silky Samba skills, the Brazilian was a crowd favourite at both the BayArena and in Munich, while he also spent 24 months in Hamburg to round off more than a decade in Germany. No wonder Götze was a fan.
Watch: Götze names Zé Roberto as favourite Bundesliga player