Bernd Leno ranks as one of Germany's very best goalkeepers after seven years between the posts for Bayer Leverkusen. - © © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA
Bernd Leno ranks as one of Germany's very best goalkeepers after seven years between the posts for Bayer Leverkusen. - © © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA
Bundesliga

Bernd Leno: 10 things on the Germany goalkeeper

It's seven years since former Bayer Leverkusen head coach Robin Dutt talked up goalkeeper Bernd Leno as being "in the same league as Petr Cech". As it turns out, he was right - literally.

bundesliga.com shines a light on the cat-like reflexes of the Germany international shot-stopper...

1) Stuttgart's one that got away

A product of VfB Stuttgart's vaunted football academy - fertile breeding ground that spawned the likes of FIFA World Cup winner Sami Khedira and RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner - Leno was promoted to the first team in 2011, aged just 19. Die Schwaben shipped him out, initially on a six-month loan, to Leverkusen at the start of the 2011/12 season, but - unlucky for them - he never came back.

Watch: Leno answers YOUR questions in the TagHeuer 60-second challenge

- © imago

2) Fast tracked to the top

Less than a week after making the switch to the BayArena, Leno was thrust into the Bundesliga spotlight against Werder Bremen. He became only the third goalkeeper in Bundesliga history to keep clean sheets in his first three top-flight games, and the youngest ever to play in the UEFA Champions League (19 years and 193 days) in a 2-0 defeat to English Premier League side Chelsea.

3) Alias Börnd Lino

Leno was such an unknown quantity when he made his Champions League bow back in September 2011, the majority of the Chelsea dressing room reportedly took to calling the young pup 'Börnd Lino'. Safe to say the Blues knew exactly who he was come full-time in the reverse fixture: a 2-1 defeat that saw Bayer pip the west London outfit to top spot in Group E.

- © gettyimages / Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts

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