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Old 08-02-2011, 08:49   #80
Sonny.Bill.Williams's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Cape Town,South Africa

Julian Draxler ..WUNDERKIND

-Age 17
-1.83 m

The 17-year-old midfielder pushes Schalke into German Cup semi-finals with goal in 119th minute. Fourth youngest Bundesliga debutant of all time.

Schalke appeared destined for penalties in their bid for the semi-finals of the 2010-11 German Cup with a 2-2 scoreline when Julian Draxler was subbed in for Peer Kluge in the 116th minute. But the 17-year-old Draxler would have none of it as the German U18 international blasted home a shot from a good 26 yards in the 119th minute to give Schalke a 3-2 victory – turning Draxler into an overnight hero.

Julian Draxler was born on September 20, 1993 in Gladbeck, Germany. As a 6 year old, Draxler began his football playing in 2000 at BV Rentfort. In the following season he switched to the SSV Buer 07/28 club. And then as an 8 year old in 2001, Draxler moved to FC Schalke 04 and started in their U9 teams before moving up through the youth ranks at the Royal Blues. Draxler, who still attends the Heisenberg Gymnasium school, idolized as a child until age 12 German midfielder Michael Ballack and his current idols are Zinedine Zidane and Rivaldo. Draxler’s younger brother Patrick had played before this season with BV Rentfort and then moved to SC Hassel.

After helping Schalke to the U15 West German title, the offensive midfielder Julian Draxler has played all 12 games this season for Schalke’s U19 team in the A-Juniors Bundesliga West, scoring seven goals. He was also called into the German U18 national team by Horst Hrubesch and Draxler has earned seven caps and scored a goal against Israel

Winter Training Camp, Bundesliga Debut, Professional Contract
Schalke coach Felix Magath rewarded Draxler’s U19 showings with an invitation to the professional side’s winter training camp in Belek, Turkey. Draxler then made his Bundesliga debut on January 15, 2011 against Hamburg, getting subbed in for Ivan Rakitic in the 83rd minute. At 17 years, 117 days, Draxler became the youngest Schalke Bundesliga player of all time, surpassing Rüdiger Abramczik (17 years, 174 days) in the 1973-74 season. And Draxler was the fourth youngest player in Bundesliga history, behind only Nuri Sahin (16 years, 335 days), Jürgen Fridl (17 years, 26 days) and Ibrahim Tanko (17 years, 61 days).

Three days later – on January 18, 2011 – Schalke signed Draxler to a professional contract until June 30, 2014. The contract will not officially take effect until September 20, 2011 when he turns 18 years old.

First Bundesliga Start, German Cup Heroics
Draxler’s whirlwind month continued on January 22, 2011 when Magath inserted the youngster into the starting lineup against Hannover – ahead of 13 million euro acquisition Jose Manuel Jurado and Brazilian Edu. And Draxler even set up – though not granted an assist – the game-winning 1-0 goal by Raul in the 33rd minute before getting subbed out for Christian Pander in the 58th minute.

On January 25, 2011, Schalke were hosting Nuremberg for a spot in the German Cup semifinals. Schalke fell behind 1-0 on Julian Schieber’s goal after four minutes but equalized through Mario Gavranovic 10 minutes later. Schieber made it 2-1 after 32 minutes. Schalke once again knotted the game 2-2 on Ivan Rakitic’s score in the 58th minute.

The game went into extra time and appeared destined to remain scoreless and go to penalties when Magath decided to bring on Draxler for Peer Kluge in the 116th minute. Three minutes later, Draxler collected a ball from Jefferson Farfan right of center, dribbled to his left and then unleashed a left-foot shot from 23 yards to the far left corner for the winner in the 119th minute of a 3-2 a.e.t. victory.

After the final whistle, Draxler could only hold his head in his hands and then dropped to his knees. He would eventually be carried over to the fan curve on the shoulders of teammate Kyriakos Papadopoulos.

Focus On Football, Schooling Over, Praise From Löw

Magath recognizes the talent of Draxler, whose value was listed as 400,000 euro on on January 27, 2011, and the coach has convinced the youngster’s parents to allow him to give up school to focus on becoming a professional footballer. “I was able to convince his parents that Julian will play in the top leagues for the next 20 years. He doesn’t need a (academic high school diploma). Julian is a huge talent and has a long career in front of him,” Magath told the Bild daily on January 26, 2011.

Draxler also received some praise from German national team coach Joachim Löw, who said in Bild on January 26, 2011: “He has already proven his potential in the league. That was an unconcerned performance.”

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