Timo Werner has been breaking records from the moment he burst onto the scene as a teenager with VfB Stuttgart. Now with RB Leipzig, the milestones have continued to tumble for the jet-heeled striker, who has reached 200 Bundesliga appearances at the age of just 23.
bundesliga.com runs you through some of the highlights of a career that is only just getting started…
Debut in diapers
Admittedly, Werner was not still wearing diapers when he made his first professional appearance at the age of 17, but it is young in footballing terms (this will be a constant trend throughout his career). When the striker started in Stuttgart's UEFA Europa League qualifier at Botev Plovdiv on 1 August 2013, just four months and 23 days after his 17th birthday, he became the youngest player in the club's 120-year history.
He featured again three days later, this time from the bench, in the 2-0 DFB Cup first-round win at BFC Dynamo before making his Bundesliga debut a fortnight later. Coming on in the 77th minute for full-back Gotoku Sakai as Stuttgart chased an equaliser at home to Bayer Leverkusen. Werner again set a club record as the youngest player in the Swabians' top-flight history at the age of 17 years, five months and 11 days.
In his 200 Bundesliga games to date, Werner has found the back of the net 75 times, scoring on average every 185 minutes – a rate similar to that of Germany predecessor Miroslav Klose. The first of those – and his first-ever in professional football – came just over a month after his debut, on his fourth appearance, when the then left winger scored a header after 16 minutes to equalise in the 1-1 draw at home to Eintracht Frankfurt.
Striker Vedad Ibisevic would miss a 90th-minute penalty against Kevin Trapp to leave Stuttgart disappointed, but it was still a historic day for the club and Werner as he wrote his name in the record books as their youngest-ever goalscorer in the Bundesliga at 17 years, six months and 16 days. All told in the Bundesliga, only Nuri Sahin and Julian Draxler have found the back of the net at a younger age.
By now, Werner was already a regular in the first team under Bruno Labbadia and enjoyed an unbroken 24-match run in the side during the 2013/14 campaign. Six weeks after scoring his first goal, the teenager had his second and third as Stuttgart won 3-1 away at Baden-Württemberg neighbours Freiburg thanks to Werner's brace. That day he didn't just become the first 17-year-old to score two goals in a single Bundesliga game, but the youngest player ever to do so.
Even before those records started to tumble with Stuttgart, Werner's ability and talent had long been recognised. With 16 goals in 18 games for Germany's U17s and nine in 11 for the U19s, the forward was firmly on the radar and at the start of his maiden Bundesliga campaign he was awarded the prestigious gold Fritz Walter medal at U17 level, beating out then Wolfsburg academy product Julian Brandt.
Named after Germany's first FIFA World Cup-winning captain from 1954, the award is handed out annually to the best young German players, both boys and girls. Werner followed up his U17 gong with the silver medal at U19 level in 2015, losing out to Hamburg and then Leverkusen defender Jonathan Tah. In third was Werner's later Leipzig and senior Germany teammate Lukas Klostermann.
Just two seasons into his first-team career and not long after signing a professional contract on turning 18, Werner became the youngest player to reach 50 Bundesliga appearances in February 2015. He eventually lost that title to Germany teammate Kai Havertz but still holds the record as the youngest player to reach 100, 150 and 200 games in the league, both achieved since leaving Stuttgart for Leipzig. The former is set to go again to Havertz in the coming weeks, but he is likely to hold on to the latter for a few years yet...
Watch: Werner's Bundesliga mixtape
Werner marked his 200th appearance with the opening goal for Leipzig against Cologne on Matchday 12. At 23 years, eight months and 18 days, he was more precocious than Raheem Sterling when he reached 200 appearances in the Premier League, while Lionel Messi brought up a double century of La Liga appearances at the ripe old age of 24 years, six months and 28 days.
The Germany striker took his Bundesliga tally to 75 in that game. Only two players in German top-flight history were younger when they reached that milestone: Gerd Müller and Dieter Müller, in 1968 and 1977 respectively.
While Werner's Stuttgart career was record-breaking in many ways, the stats show that beyond his youth and blistering pace he didn't really set the Mercedes-Benz-Arena alight. Thirteen goals in 95 Bundesliga games is not the healthiest of returns, and when the club were relegated in 2016 Werner saw his chance. Newly promoted Leipzig came knocking, looking for young, fast and hungry players as they prepared for their first season in the Bundesliga. His 62 league goals for Die Roten Bullen is by far a club record in the top flight and he has finished as top scorer in all three of Leipzig's Bundesliga campaigns, scoring double figures each year after failing to get beyond six in a season for Stuttgart.
Watch: Werner’s hat-trick of goals and assists
In 2019/20 alone he has 12 goals in as many games at the start of the season. That has included the first two hat-tricks of his blossoming career, against Borussia Mönchengladbach and Mainz. The latter of those also saw him become the first player in Bundesliga history to register a hat-trick of both goals and assists in a single game as Leipzig recorded the biggest win in their history with an 8-0 thrashing at the Red Bull Arena. His 73rd Bundesliga goal – and later 74th – came the following week in the win at Hertha Berlin as Werner claimed the honour of being the highest scoring Timo in the league’s history, overtaking Timo Konietzka.
It was that sudden glut of goals following the move to Leipzig, particularly a haul of 21 in 2016/17, that saw Werner called up by Joachim Löw to the senior national team for the first time in March 2017 – the first Leipzig player ever to represent the country. It's perhaps surprising that call didn't come until just after his 21st birthday, but 11 goals from 28 caps has helped make up for lost time.
He featured in all three games at the 2018 World Cup in Russia just 12 months after winning the 2017 Confederations Cup, where he finished as the tournament's top scorer with three goals in four matches. Goals in the UEFA Nations League and Euro qualifiers, as well as nine in 16 UEFA Champions League and Europa League games for Leipzig, have helped seal Werner's place in the international spotlight.
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