Tom Rothe will never forget his top-flight debut in the Black-and-Yellow of Dortmund. - © IMAGO/Dennis Ewert/RHR-FOTO/IMAGO/RHR-Foto
Tom Rothe will never forget his top-flight debut in the Black-and-Yellow of Dortmund. - © IMAGO/Dennis Ewert/RHR-FOTO/IMAGO/RHR-Foto

Tom Rothe: MD30's Man of the Matchday and Borussia Dortmund's rising star


Borussia Dortmund full-back Tom Rothe enjoyed a dream Bundesliga debut in front of the adoring fans at the Signal Iduna Park. But who is the latest BVB youngster to step into the limelight?

Tom Rothe

Age: 17
Club: Borussia Dortmund
Position: Left full-back / wing back
Country: Germany (Under-19, 3 caps)

Key stats

With BVB seeking Matchday 30 solutions following a lengthy injury list, coach Marco Rose put his faith in the 17-year-old Rothe in a crucial home game against Wolfsburg. Having arrived at Dortmund following a move from St. Pauli back in July 2021, the 6'2" full-back was enjoying a solid campaign with the club's U19s before taking his place with the seniors for a Bundesliga debut to remember.

Having scored three goals and weighed in with ten assists in 27 appearances across all competitions this term, the versatile defender was ready for the big time. Just 24 minutes into Dortmund's home encounter against the Wolves, Rothe met a Julian Brandt corner kick with a terrific glancing header that flew in for the team's opening goal of what would end up in a comprehensive 6-1 victory. At 17 years and 169 days, it made Rothe the youngest-ever goalscoring debutant in the Bundesliga.

The goal also made the exciting teen only the third 17-year-old to score on his Bundesliga debut, with Peter Knäbel of Bochum and Dortmund's Ralf Augustin also managing the incredible feat. Not only that, but he became the fourth youngest scorer in Bundesliga history, with only Youssoufa Moukoko, Florian Wirtz and Nuri Sahin younger than Rothe at the time they netted.

Watch: Rothe hits the big time in huge BVB win

Plays a bit like: Andres Brehme

Although Rothe certainly has a height advantage on the German legend, the young full-back is already showing plenty of the attributes that helped the former Kaiserslautern and Bayern Munich, among others, legend to reach the pinnacle of the world game. Among Brehme's immense collection of talents were his versatility, in-game intelligence and stamina, along with an ability to get into attacking positions and score important goals, traits that Rothe has also been displaying in his young career thus far.

Did you know?

Rothe is only the eighth-youngest player to feature for Dortmund in the Bundesliga, but he is the youngest defender to do so. A Germany Under-19 international with three caps to his name at that level, Rothe became Dortmund's 17th different goalscorer in 2021/22 when he netted his debut goal against Wolfsburg.

Watch: Reus shares the love for Tom Rothe

What they're saying

"I’m so happy that the coach put his trust in me to play from the start today. And I think it went pretty well. It took a couple of seconds before I realised [my goal] was definitely in. But I was unbelievably happy. I’d never have thought it would go like that after just 20 minutes. I had goosebumps." - Rothe on his goalscoring debut

"That's how young players are born. He’s played his way into the limelight. It was a very, very good game from him. It's normal to be nervous. We all started out as youngsters, so we were all delighted that he scored and that we ultimately won the game." - BVB captain, Marco Reus, on Rothe's first senior game for the Black-and-Yellows.

"He's been in our sights for quite a while. Due to our injury situation, it was time to give the kid his chance today. He settled into the game straight away and wasn't overawed. His confidence grew with the goal. He played a very solid game today." - Dortmund coach Marco Rose offers further praise for Rothe.