Luca Waldschmidt: 5 Things to Know About the Euro Under-21 Top Scorer

​Perhaps unexpectedly, one of the real breakout stars of UEFA Euro Under-21 Championships was SC Freiburg forward Luca Waldschmidt, who scored seven goals in just five games as Germany reached the final of the competition.  At 23, Waldschmidt is starting to come into his own and after his impressive showing at the Euros, he will surely capture the attention of bigger clubs looking to bolster their frontline.  Here’s a list of five things you should know about the German talent. After relatively underwhelming spells at Eintracht Frankfurt and Hamburg respectively, Waldschmidt was finally able to show his true colours when he completed a €5m move to SC Freiburg last summer.  He was nearly ever-present for the Breisgau-Brasilianer last season, scoring nine goals and making three assists in 30 ​Bundesliga appearances as SC Freiburg avoided relegation. Comparatively, he had only scored two goals in 50 appearances for Eintracht Frankfurt and Hamburg.   It was a remarkable rise for a player who only last year was part of the Hamburg squad that suffered relegation to the 2. Bundesliga for the first time in their history. Although he is preferred as a centre forward at SC Freiburg and Germany, Waldschmidt is able to play a variety of attacking positions.  In fact, during his spell at Hamburg, he was called upon to play in no less than five positions – perhaps a symptom of the high managerial turnover while he was there. In addition to playing centre forward, he was also deployed as a supporting striker, attacking midfielder and was also used on both wings.  Waldschmidt also played as a right winger during his breakout season with SC Freiburg and found success in that position. His versatility will only make him more attractive to prospective buyers.  Although he might be disappointed that he couldn’t quite break it, Waldschmidt managed to equal a long-standing record at the UEFA Euro Under-21 Championships. His seven goals were equal to that of Sweden’s Marcus Berg, who broke the record when he won the Golden Boot back in 2009.  While Berg’s career never really reached the heights that were initially promised, Waldschmidt will be hoping to replicate the career of others who have won the Golden Boot. That includes Andrea Pirlo, Klass Jan-Huntelaar, Álvaro Morata and Saúl Ñíguez. No pressure… ​Waldschmidt was incredibly prolific at youth level, scoring an insane 30 goals in 40 games for the Eintracht Frankfurt Under-17s, before going on to score 16 goals in 31 games for their under-19s.  Up until now, he’s been unable to achieve that kind of goals to game ratio, but here’s to hoping he’ll become more prolific as his game improves.  When you picture the lifestyle of a footballer, what comes to mind? Is it Joleon Lescott ‘accidentally’ tweeting a picture of a luxury car after a heavy loss? Is it Franck Ribery eating a golden steak on camera?  That’s not the way Waldschmidt likes it, the SC Freiburg forward prefers to ride a Vespa to training and decided to go vegan last summer. Good on him.  ​

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