RB Leipzig's Timo Werner reached an historic milestone when he returned to his hometown club VfB Stuttgart. - © © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA / Sebastian Widmann
RB Leipzig's Timo Werner reached an historic milestone when he returned to his hometown club VfB Stuttgart. - © © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA / Sebastian Widmann
Bundesliga

RB Leipzig's Timo Werner makes Bundesliga history, back where it all began at Stuttgart

When Timo Werner took to the pitch for RB Leipzig at VfB Stuttgart, the career of one of the most talented young players in world football went full circle.

It may surprise many, in view of Werner's precocity, that he broke a Bundesliga record by becoming the youngest player to make 150 Bundesliga appearances, and he did it back where it all began.

Werner, who turned 22 only on Tuesday, joined Stuttgart as a six-year-old. He wrote his name in their history books by becoming the Swabian club’s youngest ever debutant and goalscorer, featuring in a 1-1 draw with Botev Plovdiv in a UEFA Europa League qualifier when he was just 17 and scoring his first goal just a few months later in the 1-1 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga.

Watch: Timo Werner's path from idolising Mario Gomez to replacing his hero for Germany.

Such was Werner's quality, he was an ever-present in the 2013/14 season and became the youngest player to score a brace in the Bundesliga in a 3-1 win at Freiburg four months shy of his 18th birthday. He had already made 50 Bundesliga outings before he turned 19.

A century of outings down the line, Werner has now eclipsed Karl-Heinz Köbel as the youngest Bundesliga player in history to reach 150 top-flight outings: 95 for Stuttgart and 55 for Leipzig.

Born and raised in Bad Cannstatt, just a stone's through from Stuttgart's Mercedes-Benz Arena, Werner was introduced to the game by his father, who used to play as a right winger for 07 Ludwigsburg and Stuttgarter Kickers.

"When I was little, he would pass me the ball and I would take shots at goal," recalled Werner. "First he would play it to my right foot, and we'd work on my technique with that, and then to my left." As a result, the ambidextrous attacker is a threat no matter where and how he receives the ball – something he underlined from a very early age.

- © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA / Koepsel

"Manchester United and Liverpool were the teams I watched quite a lot in England," Werner told FourFourTwo magazine. "They were the two that I'm a little bit a fan of, because they have so much history. When Alex Ferguson was the coach, United won everything and were outstanding."

Sir Alex Ferguson had already won the English league twice, and was closing in on his third when Werner was born. He had lifted the FA Cup twice, with a third on the way, and the UEFA European Cup Winners' Cup was also already in his cabinet when Werner saw the light of day, in the shadows of the very Mercedes-Benz Arena where he returned this weekend.

Watch: How does Werner cope with quick-fire questions in '60 Seconds Under Pressure'?

- © gettyimages / Matthias Hangst

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