2020’s Fritz Walter gold Medals were awarded to 1. FC Köln’s Noah Katterbach (U19), Bayer Leverkusen’s Florian Wirtz (U17), while Lena Oberdorf from VfL Wolfsburg took the female award. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the awards will not be presented at one ceremony this year, but rather at separate, individual events beginning in mid September.
The silver medals were awarded to Kevin Ehlers (SG Dynamo Dresden, U19), Torben Rhein (FC Bayern Munich, U17) and Gia Corley (FC Bayern Munich, female). Frank Jäkel (RB Leipzig/KV Oostende, U19), Luca Netz (Hertha BSC, U17) and Carlotta Wamser (SGS Essen, female) took bronze medals.
“We want to return German football to the best in the world. These award winners have the potential to help us do that,” said Joti Chatzialexiou, sporting leader of national teams. “We recognise talents who, through their performances, have made a special impact at voting level and at their own club, and whose future we see in a very positive light. Above all, we place great importance on the character and personality of the winners. Ambition and team spirit as well as behaviour on and off the pitch are great values of the Fritz Walter award. These values are more relevant today than ever. I think it is very important that the winners see their award as an incentive, and their goal has to be to continue developing, with the aim of reaching the first team, like Lena Oberdorf has already achieved. We will support them the best we possibly can.
The prize money awarded for the Fritz Walter medals is 20,000 Euros for gold, 15,000 Euros for silver and 10,000 Euros for bronze, with the money being shared between the winner’s amateur clubs. Among previous winners are Sara Däbritz (2014), Melanie Leupolz (2013) and Pauline Bremer (2015) as well as Kai Havertz (2018), Matthias Ginter (2013), Timo Werner (2013) and Leon Goretzka (2012).
Lena Oberdorf was the winner of this year’s award for the female category. Despite her young age, Oberdorf has already made 13 appearances for the Germany national team, scoring two goals. She became the youngest ever player to player for Germany at the Womens World Cup when she played at last year’s competition in France, taking the record from Birgit Prinz. Oberdorf has represented Germany at all youth levels (40 caps, 17 goals) and joined VfL Wolfsburg from SGS Essen in the summer.
U19 gold winner Noah Katterbach made his Bundesliga debut in the 19/20 season and went on to make 18 appearances as 1. FC Köln avoided relegation. The full back has played for the national team at each youth level since the U16s and has 22 caps to date, scoring two goals. Katterbach is expected to take part in the U19 European Championship qualification games in October.
Florian Wirtz, winner of the U17 medal, also made his Bundesliga debut last season, becoming the competitions third-youngest debutant. In total, Wirtz made seven appearances and scored one goal, making him the youngest-ever goalscorer since the league was founded in 1963. From the U15 level, Wirtz has represented each youth national team, with a total of nine caps to his name. Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, Wirtz and the U17 national team could not take part in the U17 EUROS.