Felix Passlack grew up supporting Schalke, made his first-team breakthrough at Borussia Dortmund alongside Christian Pulisic and recently played his first senior game for BVB in 1127 days.
bundesliga.com trains the spotlight on the Dortmund academy product aiming to break into the side at the second time of asking.
Club: Borussia Dortmund
Position: Right wing / right-back
Country: Germany (1 U21 cap)
Born and raised in Bottrop, Passlack is a child of the Ruhr region and he grew up supporting Schalke, who are based in nearby Gelsenkirchen. Nevertheless, that did not stop him joining the Dortmund youth academy when he was 14 in 2012, and he quickly made progress through the various age categories, representing Germany at every level from U16 to U21 and winning youth league titles with BVB in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
After captaining the U17 side and registering 17 goals and 17 assists in 22 league outings in 2015/16, he was promoted to the senior squad alongside Pulisic in January 2016, accompanying the first team on their winter training camp in Dubai. His did not have to wait long for his Bundesliga debut, starting on the right wing in place of Henrikh Mkhitaryan in a 2-0 win away to Darmstadt on Matchday 24 that same season.
That was the first of three league appearances that season, while in 2016/17 he would make another 10, while also inking his name in the record books as the youngest ever German scorer in the UEFA Champions League when he found the target in an 8-4 group stage thrashing of Legia Warsaw in November 2016 at the age of 18 years, 177 days.
However, although Passlack can play in a number of positions in midfield and as a full-back on either flank, regular game time proved hard to come by after that and he subsequently had loan spells at Hoffenheim (2017/18), Norwich City (2018/19) and Fortuna Sittard (2019/20). He found his feet at the latter, scoring twice in 25 outings in the Dutch top flight as a first-team regular. He returned to Dortmund in summer 2020 and made his first competitive appearance for the club in 1127 days when he came off the bench in the 3-0 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach on Matchday 1 of the new season.
Plays a bit like: Raphael Guerreiro
What the Portugal international is on the left for Dortmund, Passlack offers on the opposite flank. Able to play a more defensive role at right-back or more attacking on the right wing, Passlack’s versatility and tenacious style give head coach Lucien Favre plenty of options.
Did you know?
Passlack won the U17 Fritz Walter gold medal in 2015, the prize awarded to the most gifted youngsters in Germany. That same year, Bayer Leverkusen’s Jonathan Tah won gold in the U19 category, while his Leverkusen teammate Florian Wirtz is the latest to receive the U17 award in 2020.
What they’re saying:
“Felix did really well. We’re happy to have him with us.” – Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc after Matchday 1 of the 2020/21 season
“Felix played superbly, he had a really good game. I’m delighted for him.” – Lucien Favre after Passlack’s appearance against Gladbach
“I’ve matured as a person after going through this difficult time. It might sound funny, but it’s something I consider very important.” – Passlack on his struggles for playing time on loan at Norwich