Paris Brunner is the latest winner of the U17 Fritz Walter award, given to the best German player aged 17 or under. But who exactly is Borussia Dortmund's bright young star? bundesliga.com tells you everything you need to know.
Data correct as of 3 September 2023
Age: 17 (born 15 February 2006)
Club: Borussia Dortmund
Country: Germany (24 youth caps)
Teenager Brunner is still at the very start of his career – he is yet to even make a senior appearance – but big things are expected of him in the future. The forward was part of the set-ups at Rot-Weiss Essen and Bochum before making the switch to Dortmund in 2020, and he has already turned heads while with Die Schwarzgelben. He scored 16 goals in just five U17 Bundesliga appearances, a run which unsurprisingly saw him earn a move up to the club’s U19s and he subsequently scored on his debut at that level aged just 16. His scoring rate has been compared to that of Youssoufa Moukoko, who was equally prolific at youth level before breaking into the first-team squad.
It is Brunner’s performances on the international stage that have attracted the most attention, however. The 6'1" forward has netted on 15 occasions in 18 encounters for Germany U17s, including four strikes at the 2023 European Championships. That tally was enough to see him top the competition’s goalscoring charts, as well as win the Player of the Tournament award as he and his teammates lifted the trophy. As such, Dortmund’s latest prodigy follows in the footsteps of Moukoko, Florian Wirtz, Karim Adeyemi, Timo Werner, Leon Goretzka and Mario Götze as players to win the Firtz Walter award for his age group. It's certainly not bad company to keep.
Plays a bit like… Youssoufa Moukoko
It may seem like a lazy comparison, but it isn’t hard to see the similarities between Brunner and Dortmund’s number 18. Both strikers are happy to run the channels and pair pace with a devastating eye for goal. The younger of the two will be hoping to now make the step up, just like Moukoko, and Dortmund fans will be salivating at the prospect of these two wonderkids leading the line for years to come.
Did you know?
Brunner himself sees similarities in his play with that of Bayern Munich and Germany star, Leroy Sane, saying previously in an interview with DFB: "I identify most with Leroy Sane because he has a similar playing style to me. I like his abilities: he is fast, agile, dangerous in front of goal and often goes one-on-one."
That certainly adds up but Brunner's second pick as senior national team inspiration was slightly more left-field. Rather than a fellow attacker, Brunner named defender Antonio Rüdiger as his other "role model". The Dortmund ace called the Real Madrid centre-back a “mentality monster” in the same interview.
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What they’re saying
"Thanks to this power, his physicality and athleticism coupled with his technical skills, he is predestined to score quickly after winning the ball quickly. He also has a good basic speed. All these different factors make him so dangerous." Germany U17 manager Christian Wück.
“I'd say there are a few things that define my game and help me score. I try to act towards the goal with a lot of speed, power and determination, I often go into dribbling or one-on-ones and look for a quick finish”. Brunner on his key strengths.
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