• Feltscher plays right-back for Copa America Centenario hopefuls Venezuela.
  • The 25-year-old was a standout performer for Duisburg this season, despite their relegation.
  • Venezuela's best Copa America finish was fourth, in 2011.

No fewer than 12 Bundesliga stars are set to shine for their nations at the Copa America Centenario this summer, but those with a keen eye may have noticed that they will be joined by another Germany-based gem in the shape of MSV Duisburg's Rolf Feltscher.

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A right-back for this season's Bundesliga 2 strugglers and the Venezuela national team, runs the rule over the 25-year-old defender…

Multi-cultural background

Feltscher's full name - Rolf Günther Feltscher Martinez - gives a clue as to his heritage. He was born in the Swiss town of Bülach, half an hour north of Zurich, to a Swiss-German father and a mother of Venezuelan extraction.


Still only 25, Feltscher has already played in three countries and represented two internationally. A youth product of local club Grasshopper Club Zürich, Feltscher spent three years in Italy with Parma FC, Calcio Padova 1910 and Grosseto before returning to Switzerland with FC Lausanne-Sport. A move to Duisburg followed in 2014.

Change of allegiance

Feltscher represented Switzerland between U-17 and U-21 level, with his 27 caps and three goals for the latter leaving many to speculate that he would be the long-term successor to Juventus star Stephan Lichtsteiner. That all changed in 2011, when he turned out for Venezuela in their FIFA World Cup qualifying clash with Bolivia - a match they won 1-0 in their capital, San Cristobal.

Feltscher (l.) featured 64 times in three years with Grasshoppers, helping them qualify for the UEFA Europa League Play-off round in 2009/10.

Early promise

Feltscher has a happy habit of winning debuts. Grasshoppers handed him his maiden first-team start against FC St Gallen on the opening day of the 2007/08 Swiss Super League season when he was just 16 years, nine months and three days old. Feltscher played 90 minutes in a 2-0 win.

Drought ended

The defender had to wait just over eight years for his first senior professional goal, though. That came on Matchday 5 of the 2015/16 Bundesliga 2 season, when he converted Kevin Scheidhauer's deflected cross at the second time of asking to open the scoring in the Zebras' eventual 2-2 draw with SpVgg Greuther Fürth.

Despite his two goals and three assists, Feltscher (2nd r.) could not save Duisburg from the drop.

Productive campaign

Feltscher ended the campaign with an impressive attacking output. Duisburg - a founding member of the Bundesliga in 1963 - may have finished in the relegation play-off place some 35 points off promotion, but Feltscher nonetheless managed his most productive season to date, with two goals and three assists.

Mark the date…

Born on 6 October 1990, Feltscher shares a birthdate with Veneuzuela's former Major League Baseball star Freddy Garcia, who won the World Series with the Chicago White Sox in 2005. Footballers who share his birthday include six-time English Football League champion Bruce Grobbelaar, and Bjarne Goldbaek, who won the Bundesliga with 1. FC Kaiserslautern in the 1990/91 season.


Feltscher has come close to winning some silverware of his own. He featured 26 times for Duisburg in the 2014/15 season as the North Rhine-Westphalia club gained automatic promotion from the 3. Liga with a second-place finish, only three points behind champions DSC Arminia Bielefeld.

Feltscher - a comitted family man - has two brothers who are also professional football players.

In the blood

Feltscher comes from a footballing family. His elder brother Frank Feltscher is an attacking midfielder for AEL Limassol FC in the Cypriot Cyta Championship who has 13 caps and two goals for Venezuela. His younger step-brother Mattia Desole is an AC Milan academy graduate who now plays left-back for Swiss fourth-tier side FC Freienbach.

Social media

Feltscher is happy to engage with his fans, posting 230 times since joining the social networking site Instagram in June 2015. The right-back has 7,185 followers - a number likely to increase with an impressive Copa America Centenario campaign.

Stuart Telford