Never a regular player, now irreplaceable: Benno Schmitz (26) is going through a miraculous change at 1. FC Köln and is becoming a kind of cult player.
Cologne – Never a regular player, now irreplaceable: Benno Schmitz (26) is going through a miraculous change at 1. FC Cologne and rises to an art “cult player” on.
closed Schmitz moved from RB Leipzig to 1. FC Köln in the summer of 2018, he was not a clear regular player. He shuttled between the bench, the starting eleven or even the grandstand. Only Steffen Baumgart (49) seems to have found the perfect access to the right-back with his art, the speech and the right training methods.
There are scenes like the 50th minute in the game against Greuther Fürth, which symbolize the development of Benno Schmitz: The right-back starts perfectly in the alley, receives the pass from Florian Kainz (28) and serves striker Sebastian Andersson (30), so that this only has to be pushed in 1: 1.
The turning point in the game for 1.FC Cologne. But not the turning point for Benno Schmitz. Because the native Bavarian has been floating on cloud nine for weeks. The template against Fürth was already the third in this young season.
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The specialist magazine Kicker This season leads the 26-year-old to eighth place among the top-rated players with an average of currently 2.58. In seven Bundesliga games to date, Schmitz has started six times from the start, with his Dutch opponent Kingsley Ehizibue (26) only being given preference once. Even the rather reserved Schmitz did not expect this development.
“Of course it is nice for me that I can play a few good games. For me it is important that I am fit and get into the rhythm,” says Schmitz modestly.
Schmitz already has more Bundesliga minutes on the clock (476) than in the previous season (412).
Fresher, bolder, with more pull forward and impressive flank runs. When it comes to flanks, Schmitz is fourth in the league.
It has already been dangerous 27 times after his crosses. Of course, the development of Schmitz did not go unnoticed by the fans of 1. FC Köln.
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The “reward” for his achievements is a new nickname that Schmitz got. Schmitz is the “Cologne Cafu” and is celebrated by fans and, above all, on social media.
To put it into perspective: Cafu (51) was one of the best full-backs of all time and was two-time world champions with Brazil.
Schmitz is not yet world champion, but at least when it comes to contract extensions, 1. FC Köln should hurry up. Because the Schmitz contract expires in 2022. And other clubs could also use a “Cologne Cafu”.