The Bundesliga has long been home to the brightest young stars in world football. The biggest Austrian talent since David Alaba and key to Hertha Berlin’s attack - as well as boasting a name you’ll find easy to remember – bundesliga.com shines the light on Hertha wonderkid Valentino Lazaro...
Club: Hertha Berlin
Position: Attacking midfield
Country: Austria (11 caps, no goals – yet!)
The modern attacking midfielder doesn’t just set up on the left, right or through the middle, he can do it all. And so can Lazaro. His versatility paves the way for his talents to shine. Operating anywhere behind the striker, the young midfielder’s lightning feet both in speed of sprint and dribbling make him a must-watch player. A set-piece specialist, too, both of his assists against RB Leipzig came from dead-ball situations. During his best period so far, he contributed to five of Hertha’s seven goals between December and March, with four assists and his first Bundesliga goal coming in the space of six matches. His idol is Ronaldinho, both on and off the pitch. Ask Lazaro anything about the now retired Brazilian and he will take no time to tell you what you want to know.
Watch: Lazaro's first Bundesliga goal!
Plays a bit like: Willian
Lazaro’s size, speed, position likens him to the Brazilian forward currently plying his trade with Chelsea in the English Premier League. The product of the Corinthians youth academy is a consistent goal threat, both when shooting from range and in the box having raced past his marker with pure speed. His quick feet and dribbling talent are like that of Lazaro’s, with Brazilian flair a vital part of the Hertha star's game.
Did you know?
Lazaro became Red Bull Salzburg’s youngest ever player at 16 years, seven months and 10 days old making his debut in 2012 against Admira Mödling and made his 100th professional appearance for the Austrian side at just 19. In any league, playing a century of games as a teenager is an incredible feat.
What they’re saying
Lazaro: “Street football is how it started with me. We would just go down the street, ring everyone’s doorbell and everyone came out. Then it was just playing until the lights went out. If I have the ball in a small space, that individual skill is vital.”
Hertha sporting director Michael Preetz: "From the moment he arrived, Valentino has shown why we brought him in. He has huge potential and he's a good fit for our team, which is why we're counting on him in the long term."