Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Nadiem Amiri is back starring for the club. - © Getty Images
Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Nadiem Amiri is back starring for the club. - © Getty Images

Nadiem Amiri: Who is the Germany international starring for Bayer Leverkusen?


Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Nadiem Amiri has a handful of Germany caps to his name, but what else is there to know about the midfielder?

Stats correct as of 16 July, 2023

Nadiem Amiri
Age: 26 (born 27 October, 1996)
Club: Bayer Leverkusen
Position: Attacking midfielder/winger
Country: Germany (five caps)

Key stats

Born in Ludwigshafen on the river Rhine to parents who had fled Afghanistan in the 1980s, Amiri made his first steps in the game with Kaiserslautern, but it was Hoffenheim’s academy whom he graduated from having joined the Sinsheimers at U17 level in 2012 – at the age of 15. Amiri raced through the age groups at the Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena, making his first-team debut under Markus Gisdol in February 2015 at 18 years, three months and 12 days of age.

Subsequently trusted by Gisdol’s successors Huub Steven and Julian Nagelsmann, the then 22-year-old Amiri had racked up a barely fathomable 106 Bundesliga appearancesplundering 11 goals – before making his switch to Leverkusen in the summer of 2019. Four seasons on - which included a 13-game loan spell with Genoa in Italy's Serie A - Amiri has more than 200 top flight games under his belt, as well as 19 goals.

Hector Bellerin (r.) could barely watch after Amiri (l.) fired Germany to European U21 glory in 2017. - imago/Sven Simon

At international level, Amiri helped the Germany U21s to UEFA European Championship glory in 2017, starting seven games and chipping in with a goal against Denmark on the way to helping his country lift their second title at that level. Serge Gnabry, Joshua Kimmich, Timo Werner and Niklas Süle were among the Bundesliga players in that squad, and Amiri eventually concluded his youth national team career with 11 goals in 48 appearances. A senior international debut came in a 2-2 draw with Argentina on 9 October, 2019 and he now has a total of five Germany caps to his name.

Plays a bit like: Kai Havertz

Leverkusen Germany internationals whose first positions are at attacking midfield and second on the opposite flank to their favoured foot, the parallels between Amiri and Havertz are striking. Both love carrying the ball forward at pace – although Amiri has a greater propensity to shoot from range - and each is constantly looking at ways to pierce opposition defences with laser-like through balls for their teammates to profit from.

Did you know?

Amiri may be one of German football’s fastest-rising stars, but he hasn’t forgotten his roots. The youngster has been involved in various refugee projects with his clubs, working with the Red Cross and local volunteers to provide support for those who experienced a similar ordeal to his parents 30 years ago.

Watch: Nadiem Amiri's roots

Havertz (l.) and Amiri (r.) have already combined for six goals in all competition for Leverkusen this term. - 2019 DFL

"It's very hard to be forced to leave your family at a young age and go to a foreign country where you don't speak the language," he told previously. "But my parents were determined to make something of their lives. To do that you need willpower and heart. You have to be ready to work and learn the language. You can't just wait for a solution to pop up out of thin air."

What they’re saying

"Nadiem is a special player, because he has come through the TSG academy and calmly matured into a young professional of exceptional talent, and he's still getting better" – Amiri’s former Hoffenheim coach Nagelsmann

"I'm a bit of a street footballer. I play with a lot of heart and try to do my best to help the team. My winning mentality definitely comes from the street. When it comes to football, skin colour and religion don't matter. Everyone gets together and we all enjoy it." – Amiri on his journey into the professional game