Home to the Foals, Borussia Mönchengladbach have developed plenty of talented thoroughbreds in their hard-working youth academy down through the years, players who have garnered titles and accolades across the continent.
In our latest take on the exceptional footballing schools throughout Germany, we have carefully selected some of the greatest stars to have graced Gladbach's hallowed fields and hereby offer you our Borussia Mönchengladbach Academy XI ...
Mönchengladbach born and raised, the current Barcelona custodian cut his footballing teeth at the renowned Borussia youth academy. Soon after becoming a UEFA European Under-17 Championship winner with Germany, the talented shot stopper made his Bundesliga debut as an 18-year-old, helping the Foals maintain their top-flight status at the end of 2010/11. In his last season with the North Rhine-Westphalia-based side, the 25-year-old - a recent FIFA Confederations Cup winner - kept nine clean sheets in 34 top-flight games. Suitably impressed, Barça made their move and Ter Stegen went on to win a Liga, UEFA Champions League and Copa del Rey treble in his first season with the Spanish giants with whom he has since established himself as first choice.
For the true definition of a versatile defender, see Tony Jantschke. The player who joined the Foals at 16 broke into the first team in 2008 and would go on to show his efficiency firstly in defensive midfield and then at centre-back and left-back, before eventually slotting into his more accustomed role on the right. Jantschke overcame serious injury problems in the early part of his career to develop into a permanent feature at the BORUSSIA-PARK, scoring five goals in 184 Bundesliga games in eight seasons.
A central defender with an impressively varied career, Compper spent the early stages of his youth at Stuttgart before completing his development at Gladbach. Now 32, the Tübingen native moved to Hoffenheim in the winter of 2008 due to a lack of first-team appearances with the Foals and after winning Bundesliga promotion with the Sinsheimers, became the first player to appear for Germany while at the club. Following a spell in Serie A with Fiorentina, Compper repeated the Bundesliga promotion feat at Leipzig, where he has been these past four seasons.
Coming through the youth ranks at the club, Jansen enjoyed a roller-coaster career since a 6-0 debut defeat to Hertha Berlin in 1993. Relegated with the Foals in 2007, the largely left-sided player was rescued by a Bayern Munich side he won a Bundesliga and DFB Cup double with the following year. A switch to Hamburg followed and a fifth-place finish with the Red Shorts in his first season. Jansen was twice a semi-finalist in the UEFA Cup and then the UEFA Europa League, while on the international front he won 45 caps, picking up silver at UEFA EURO 2008 and a bronze medal at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He surprised many by retiring from the game at 29.
Marin was a teammate of Jansen at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, with the attacking midfielder/winger playing twice at the tournament. Life for the Bosnia and Herzegovina-born player has been something of an adventure ever since joining Gladbach’s youth ranks in 2005. A move to an exciting Werder Bremen team containing Mesut Özil and Aaron Hunt came later, before a switch to Chelsea seemed to derail his career somewhat. Although a back-to-back Europa League winner with Chelsea and Sevilla, the 28-year-old failed to settle at either club, meaning further loan spells at Fiorentina, Anderlecht and Trabsonzpor. Marin currently plays for Olympiacos.
Gladbach promoted the promising Kassel-born Malli to their second team in 2010 and the future Turkey international impressed enough there to earn a move to Mainz and a Bundesliga debut a year later. The skillful midfielder quickly bedded in and would go on to rack up 29 goals in 129 appearances for the 05ers, even managing a hat-trick against Hoffenheim as the club finished sixth in 2016, earning Europa League qualification. A run of seven goals in 13 games in all competitions the following season brought interest from Wolfsburg, who snapped up the former Germany Under-21 international during the 2016/2017 winter break. A UEFA European Under-17 champion with Germany, Malli later switched allegiances and played for Turkey at EURO 2016.
Watch: Yunus Mali scores a brace in Wolfsburg's recent win against Freiburg ...
Part of the Germany UEFA European Under-21 Championship winning team of 2017, the ultra-talented Dahoud joined the Mönchengladbach junior ranks in 2010, developing into a midfielder of some repute. First given a feel at senior level in the Europa League, Dahoud debuted in the Bundesliga against future employers Borussia Dortmund in April 2015 and registered his first German top-flight goal the following season. BVB would bank on Dahoud’s undoubted talent with a move for the Syria-born star at the start of this season. The 21-year-old’s development has since benefited with games against Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur in Dortmund’s UEFA Champions League campaign.
Watch: Dahoud showed his potential with this cracker for Gladbach in 2015!
The son of a German mother and British father, Holtby spent three years at Gladbach’s youth academy between the ages of 11 and 14. As a skilled midfielder with great vision at first professional club Alemannia Aachen, the scouts were commonly present when Holtby was in action. It was Schalke who acted first, and after a Bundesliga debut in 2009, the player was loaned to Bochum. He subsequently struck up a stirring partnership with Andre Schürrle and Adam Szalai at Thomas Tuchel’s fifth-place finishers Mainz in 2010/11, even earning his senior international debut for Germany with Schürrle that same season. A spell in England with Tottenham and Fulham preceded his move to Hamburg, where he is currently in his fourth campaign.
Joining Gladbach at eight, Younes was schooled into an enterprising midfielder that would go on to lift the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup with Germany. Excelling at the Foals in 2012/13, earning a Bundesliga debut, scoring a first goal against Dortmund and gaining experience in European competition, the Düsseldorf native’s following season was somewhat hampered by injury. A desire for more playing time brought a loan move to Kaiserslautern before a deal was agreed with Dutch giants Ajax. The 2016/17 campaign in Holland proved a hit with Younes, whose five goals en route to a Europa League final meeting with Manchester United included a dramatic extra-time clincher against Schalke. A first call up to Joachim Löw’s Germany preceded Confederations Cup glory.
Although born in Kavala, Greece, Mitroglou was raised in Germany and began to attract plenty of excitement among interested onlookers when earning his place in Gladbach’s youth team. Olympiacos gambled on the striker’s talents but it was at his second spell with the Greek giants – following stints at Panionios, Atromitos and Fulham – that Mitroglou took off on the big stage. Sixteen goals in 24 top-flight appearances preceded a transfer to Benfica in Portugal where he became a crowd favourite. Netting 52 goals in 86 appearances in all competitions for the Lisbon-based team helped to earn two Primeira Liga titles and a domestic league and cup double in 2015/16. Currently at Marseille, Mitroglou has scored 16 goals in 58 senior appearances for Greece.
His insatiable appetite for football recently brought Heynckes out of retirement to take charge of Bayern for a third spell but the 72-year-old is just as fondly remembered at Gladbach, where he holds legendary status. Heynckes kick-started an immensely successful playing career at hometown club Mönchengladbach in 1964. A goalscoring machine, the current Munich coach won four Bundesliga titles and a UEFA Cup with Gladbach during the team’s glory years. A three-year stint in Hannover either side of 11 seasons with the Foals helped Heynckes to chalk up 220 goals in 369 Bundesliga appearances. As a coach, he won three Bundesliga titles and the UEFA Champions League at Bayern, repeating the latter feat while in charge of Real Madrid in 1997/98.