Get to know Ausgburg's free-scoring winger, who has taken to the Bundesliga like a duck to water since arriving and has starred at UEFA Euro 2020 with Switzerland.
bundesliga.com takes a closer look at the winger that made an immediate splash in Germany's top-tier…
Country: Switzerland (15 caps/two goals)
While he was born in Switzerland, Ruben's father Victor hails from the Dominican Republic, which makes him the Bundesliga's first-ever player with links to the Caribbean island nation. Vargas started his career with hometown club FC Adligenswil before joining FC Luzern, working his way up the youth ranks to the first team over the best part of a decade. After notching eight goals and eight assists during an impressive 2018/19, the highly rated young winger earned himself a potentially career-changing move to the Bundesliga.
And he took to the German top flight like a duck to water. In just his second game, he put Augsburg ahead at home to Union Berlin as they picked up their first point of the campaign. He went one better at Werder Bremen the following weekend, grabbing a brace as the 10-man Fuggerstädter were narrowly beaten at the Weser Stadion. Vargas ended his first Bundesliga season with six goals and two assists in 33 league appearances.
Watch: Vargas scored his first Bundesliga brace against Bremen
Another six goals and a further three assists followed from 30 outings in 2020/21, which saw Vargas named in Switzerland's squad for UEFA Euro 2020. He's featured in three of their four matches so far, including his country's shock win over world champions France. Vargas stepped up to score their seventh penalty in an 8-7 victory in the shootout, sending Switzerland into the quarter-finals of the competition to celebrate his 15th international cap in style.
Plays a bit like: Xherdan Shaqiri
A diminutive winger with pace, panache and a low centre of gravity, Vargas shares unmistakable traits with fellow Switzerland international Xherdan Shaqiri, although he is rather less robust than the former Bayern Munich man, who now plays for Liverpool. Describing himself to bundesliga.com as "very cheeky" on the pitch, especially in the final third, Vargas admits that he still has to bulk up physically in order to put extra pressure on defenders.
Did you know?
Vargas hails from the same town as his Augsburg teammate Stephan Lichtsteiner, whom he considers both a friend and mentor. The pair grew up in Adligenswil, a community of around 5,000 inhabitants on the outskirts of Lucerne.
"I've known Stephan since I was a kid," Vargas explained. "He's probably the most famous athlete from my hometown. He also went to the same school as I did. I had pictures of him on my wall! I knew it was possible to be successful after watching him move from Luzern to Serie A. The fact that we now play together in the same team is a dream."
What they're saying
"Football moves so quickly, and I'm glad I started off well by scoring goals. I'm grateful for every minute I get on the pitch. We want to stay in the Bundesliga, that's the primary goal. If there is room to do even better, that would be great." – Ruben Vargas.
"In Ruben Vargas, we've got hold of a big Swiss talent who had been attracting interest from a lot of other European clubs. He has developed really well at Luzern and now he's ready for the next step. We're convinced he'll be a great addition to our squad." – Augsburg sporting director Stefan Reuter.
"I'm happy for him, it's great that he managed to score his first goal in the Bundesliga." – Stephan Lichtsteiner after Vargas netted against Union Berlin on Matchday 2.
"He's carrying our attack at the moment, playing with incredibly high speed. But he still has a lot to learn!" – former Augsburg coach Martin Schmidt.
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