Felix Götze, brother of former Bayern Munich man Mario, could make a name for himself with the record Bundesliga champions. - © © imago / DeFodi
Felix Götze, brother of former Bayern Munich man Mario, could make a name for himself with the record Bundesliga champions. - © © imago / DeFodi

Five young talents on the verge of Bayern Munich breakthrough

With pre-season already in full swing, but a number of stars enjoying an extended break following international exploits, there are likely to be plenty of chances for Bayern Munich's youngsters to impress in some high-profile friendlies over the coming weeks. bundesliga.com runs the rule over five of the most talented, who will be hoping to catch Carlo Ancelotti's eye...

"There shouldn't be any fear over Bayern's future," said Uli Hoeness in mid-May at the opening of Bayern Munich's state-of-the-art new youth academy in the shadow of the Allianz Arena.

The FC Bayern Campus, which has cost €70 million to build, is expected to open on 1 August with the aim of grooming the next generation of Lahms, Müllers and Schweinsteigers, taking youthful talents in as rough diamonds and polishing them into high-carat finished products for the first-team.

The record Bundesliga champions already have a solid platform on which to build.

Watch: Veteran Arjen Robben shows the youngsters how it's done.

Felix Götze

Their U19 team was beaten only in a penalty shoot-out by their Dortmund counterparts in the national championship final, while the U17 side has reached the last four of their league, taking on the best BVB, Bremen and the green-fingered Schalke, systematic purveyors of fledgling talent, have to offer.

"That shows we don't have to start from scratch," said Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, and they certainly don't with a clutch of ultra-talented youngsters almost ready to take flight and challenge for a regular place in Ancelotti's squad.

Fabian Benko

Born: 11 February, 1998 Position: Centre-back Birthplace: Memmingen

It is never easy to be "the brother of", but the younger sibling of Germany's 2014 FIFA World Cup hero may well make a name for himself in the game. It helps to calm expectations he is a centre-back rather than an attacking midfielder like Mario, but Felix also has the ability to distinguish himself from his world-renowned brother. Described as "a highly-talented player" by Hermann Gerland, the newly-installed FC Bayern Campus director and nurturer of such talents as Lahm, Kroos, Müller and Schweinsteiger, Götze recently signed a contract extension through to 2019 and was called up to the first-team squad twice last season by Ancelotti. The fact he stepped up to take Bayern's first penalty in the shoot-out against Dortmund in the U19 final suggests he also possesses that other essential ingredient required for success in the game: character.

Niklas Dorsch

Born: 5 June, 1998 Position: Attacking midfielder Birthplace: Munich

"We're convinced of his quality," said former Bayern boss Pep Guardiola, who invited Benko to take part in first-team pre-season and winter tours during his final campaign in Bavaria. That experience, which saw him make brief appearances against Inter Milan, AC Milan and Real Madrid, has proven a precious building block for Benko. He bypassed the club's Under-19s to move into the Regionalliga side for whom he played in all but two of their games last season. Part of Ancelotti's UEFA Champions League squad last season, expect to him to feature on the pitch throughout pre-season and into domestic competition next term.

Timothy Tillman

Born: 15 January, 1998 Position: Defensive midfielder Birthplace: Lichtenfels

"Niklas is a typical central midfielder," explained Germany's U17 joint-coach Marcel Lucassen. "He takes the ball with his back to goal and has the ability to turn and accelerate the game. It's a rare quality and one that is indispensable for central midfield." It is also a trait Dorsch shares with his idol, former Bayern star and recent UEFA Champions League winner Toni Kroos, and was enough to convince Guardiola the youngster should dip a talented toe into life in the first team. Twenty-four Regionalliga appearances last season gave the 19-year-old, who finished behind only Borussia Dortmund's Felix Passlack in the award for Germany's best U17 player in 2015, a healthy dose of experience, taking him to within a step of Ancelotti's squad.

Marco Friedl

Born: 4 January, 1999 Position: Forward Birthplace: Nuremberg

Like Dorsch, who initially started at Nuremberg, Tillmann took his first footballing steps outside of Bayern, though it was — again — only up the road at Greuther Fürth. Half-a-million euros may be just a drop in the ocean for Bayern in global terms, but for a 16-year-old, it is quite a testament to their belief in his talents. The son of a former US soldier father and German mother, Tillman featured heavily in the U19s' run to the national final, scoring five times in 22 outings, but missed the decisive spot-kick in the shoot-out loss to Dortmund. Though also named in Ancelotti's Champions League squad last season, he has yet to make a competitive first-team appearance, but did feature against Inter Milan last summer in the Champions Cup encounter. Tillmann is likely to feature again this summer in the high-profile friendlies the club have arranged.

Age: 16 March, 1998 Position: Left-back Birthplace: Tirol, Austria

A gifted Austrian left-back with the ability to whip a free-kick into the top corner…sound familiar? Like David Alaba, Friedl even arrived at Bayern in 2008, and has been babysat by his famous compatriot. "Sometimes Marco sleeps at my place, more often in the holiday," said Alaba. "He's like a little brother for me." The 19-year-old Friedl may even eventually end up taking over from Alaba as he picks up the tricks of the pro trade from his first-team friend, and frequently trained with Ancelotti's stars last season. "We work on free-kicks together from time to time after training. David has a different technique to me, but I can learn a lot from him just by watching,” said the teenager, who recently put pen to paper on a four-year contract. "We believe in him to break through at FC Bayern," said Gerland, who should know having nurtured a young Philipp Lahm through to the first team.

Click here for all the latest Bayern news!