In January 2011 Julian Draxler become one of the youngest Bundesliga debutants in history at the age of 17 years and 117 days. A product of the Schalke youth academy, it was immediately apparent that he had the potential to become an exceptional player and just a few months after taking his league bow, the teenager scored the opening goal in his side’s 5-0 cup final victory over MSV Duisburg in Berlin.

Tall, fast and with a keen eye for goal, Draxler soon became a crowd favourite in Schalke, where he has developed into a cornerstone of the Royal Blues’ team.

Draxler also boasts exceptional talent in one-on-one situations from his regular position as a left-sided attacking midfielder, and won the Fritz Walter Medal as the best German player of his age category in 2011. He made his senior international debut shortly before UEFA EURO 2012, although he failed to make the squad for the tournament in Ukraine and Poland. The 20-year-old hinted at his ability to perform at the highest level in his five appearances during 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ qualifying and will be hoping to make his international breakthrough in South America this summer.