Can you think of a striker with a 100 per cent scoring ratio at international level offhand? No? Well, here is one for your notebooks: Samed Yesil. The Germany striker has scored 15 goals in 15 games at junior international level and is his side's not-so-secret weapon at the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2011 in Mexico.
The 17-year-old continued his prolific form with two strikes in Germany's 6-1 opening victory over Ecuador on Monday. "I was very motivated and focused on the game," Yesil told FIFA.com on the balcony of the team hotel in Queretaro. "It was my aim to score a goal and I managed to do so. It felt good and I'm pleased we started the tournament so well. I hope we can win our second game too. I get stuck in where it hurts because I want to score goals. It doesn't matter if I get kicked or fouled. The important thing is I score."
Coach Steffen Freund describes Yesil as one of those rare players who can often prove the difference in matches. "If the coach says that, then who am I to disagree?" said the Bayer Leverkusen youngster with a laugh. It is not hard to work out why his colleagues have bestowed upon him the nickname 'Gerd'. They are, of course, referring to legendary Germany striker Gerd 'Der Bomber' Muller, who scored a staggering 68 goals in 62 internationals between 1966 and 1974, winning the 1974 FIFA World Cup™ and 1972 UEFA European Championship in the process.
"I always used to look up to him as a role model because he's the national team's record goalscorer. I've never met him personally, though," said Yesil, who is still 'Samed' to his team-mates on the field.
"Samed has an extraordinary goal ratio," said German FA sporting director Matthias Sammer before the start of Mexico 2011. "It was our aim to win our first match, unlike at the European Championship, where we lost [1-0 against the Netherlands]. We need to forget about that result and focus on our upcoming fixtures." Next up for the Germans is a clash with reigning African champions Burkina Faso on Thursday.
A goal a game
Although Germany began with the biggest victory of the tournament so far, the squad are determined to keep their feet on the ground. Two further group stage wins against the Africans and debutants Panama would comfortably see them into the knockout stages, an outcome the coaching and management staff wholly expect.
The Europeans have enjoyed plenty of support from the fans in Queretaro, with around 23,000 spectators providing a fantastic atmosphere at the Estadio Corregidora on Monday. "It was the first time we've played in front of a crowd like that. It's a dream come true to walk in and sing the national anthem," said the Leverkusen talent on his FIFA U-17 World Cup debut.
Yesil concluded the interview by revealing his ambitious footballing mission: "My aim is to score in every match." Judging by his incredible strike rate to date, opposing defenders will do well to take note.