This year’s gold Fritz Walter Medals have gone to Kai Havertz of Bayer Leverkusen and 1. FC Köln’s Noah Katterbach, while FFC Frankfurt’s Tanja Pawollek has won the top prize in the women’s game. The medals for the most prestigious individual awards in German youth football will be given on the afternoon on September 9th, the same day as Germany's friendly against Peru. Arne Maier (Hertha BSC), Oliver Batista Meier (FC Bayern) and Sophia Kleinherne (1. FFC Frankfurt) are the recipients of the silver medals, while the bronze medals have gone to Manuel Wintzheimer (Hamburger SV), Luca Unbehaun (Borussia Dortmund) and Lena Sophie Oberdorf (SGS Essen).
“The Fritz Walter Medal has established itself as the most prestigious individual award in German youth football,” said Joti Chatzialexiou, the DFB’s sports chief. “The winners have extraordinary quality, huge sporting ambition and also excel off the pitch thanks to their team spirit and behaviour. For us, it’s important that these talented players are motivated by the medal – their goal has to be constant development so they are able to play for the senior national team.”
The DFB will honour the work of the academies that helped to produce the medal winners, with all of the amateur teams receiving a portion of the following prize money: 20,000 euros for gold, 15,000 for silver and 10,000 for bronze. Anja Mittag (2005), Babett Peter (2007), Toni Kroos (2008) and Timo Werner (2013) are just some of the most successful winners from recent years.
Kai Haverts, who has been awarded the gold medal in the U19s age group, is the youngest player with more than 50 Bundesliga appearances. The attacking talent from Bayer Leverkusen has contested 30 games for Germany at various levels. Noah Katterbach, who has won gold for the U17s category, has played 14 games for a number of DFB youth teams and also scored two of Germany’s five goals in the qualification rounds for the U17s European Championship. Tanja Pawollek, who has been named the best female youth player, has already racked up 44 appearances (three goals) for 1. FFC Frankfurt in the Allianz Women’s Bundesliga. In August, the defender, who currently has 44 caps for her country at various youth levels, will play for the Germany U20s at the World Cup in France.