He's the biggest Austrian talent to grace the Bundesliga since David Alaba, and boasts a name that you should find easy to remember... bundesliga.com shines the light on Hertha Berlin wonderkid Valentino Lazaro, who has emerged as one of the Old Lady's key figures.
Club: Hertha Berlin
Position: Attacking midfielder
Country: Austria (13 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 it has proven with Lazaro, whose 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. He's also shown on plenty of occasions that he can help out further back, notably as a right wing-back, while his set-piece delivery is second to none.
Last season, he had a hand in 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. He has also hit the ground running in 2018/19, teeing up captain Vedad Ibisevic for the only goal in a 1-0 win over Nuremberg.
Lazaro's idol is Ronaldinho, both on and off the pitch. Ask him anything about the Brazilian legend and he will take no time to tell you what you want to know.
Watch: Hertha's Lazaro stepping into the spotlight
Plays a bit like: Willian
Lazaro’s size, speed and position liken 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. He made his debut in 2012 against Admira Wacker Mödling and reached 100 professional appearances 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
"Street football is how I started. If I have the ball in a small space, that individual skill is vital. Positionally, nothing is fixed for me, I'm pushed back and forth a lot - but that worked well last season so there's no reason to change anything. The main goal in 2018/19 is a place in the top 10, but I think we have a team with European potential." - Lazaro
"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."
- Hertha sporting director Michael Preetz