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Holger Badstuber

There are overrated players and there are underrated players. I think there are more overrated than underrated players. I’m not going to talk about overrated players though because in a way, that’s rather a personal opinion. Underrated players though are rarely mentioned in the medias when their teams win. Those underrated players aren’t the men who score, they aren’t the men who play the crucial passes either. The underrated players are those who organize the game, who work and run, who would die on the pitch for their team, who can choke the attacks of the opponent off with one single action. The underrated players are among the indispensable players of a squad.
Holger Badstuber is one of those underrated players.

Holger Badstuber combines all skills I have written down above. He has been among the best players of Bayern Munich in the first leg of the current season and the omens are favourable to see an even better Badstuber in the second leg of the season.

Holger Badstuber

The 22 year old central defender (central back and left back) has completed 25 matches for Bayern in 2011/20112 so far and played 2458 minutes in all competitions. Actually, Badstuber has been a very reliable player for Jupp Heynckes and his team mates because there haven’t been many mistakes. Not one single mistake resulted in a goal against but there have been some misplaced passes in the important build up play. Luckily he could often adjust them immediately by himself. Altogether his passing accuracy is amazing. The 1.89m tall man played 1,301 passes of which 92.75% reached his team mates! Of course he did play many square passes but on an average half of his passes were forward passes he played to the playmaker. He also played some great changeovers that shouldn’t be forgotten. Altogether, Badstuber crossed 18 times.

He hasn’t scored any goal but he gave 1 assist in those 25 matches. He have his assist in the 5:0 win against Hamburg when his header resulted in Olic’ goal (a header as well) for the final score. The German national player has only shot 3 times on target though. That’s quite poor if you consider that he has a very strong left foot. But I think he just doesn’t have Heynckes’ permission to go forward and try to score because Badstuber is often one of the two last men who are standing on the half-way line when Bayern is in possession. Again Badstuber is perhaps a bit underrated even if it’s only his shooting abilities that are underrated. The defender’s crosses, corners and free kicks are pretty good though and he scored his only goal (in 73 matches) for Bayern Munich so far with a beautiful free kick against Mönchengladbach in his first season.

Great passing accuracy: 92.75%

The 189cm hulk has been quite strong in his duels. He has had 368 duels in the Bundesliga and the Champions League of which he won 67.7%. It is a very good rate but it could be better. One reason for the 33% (232) lost duels (on the ground) is his speed. It is said Badstuber was one of the fastest players in Bayern’s amateur team but he lacks explosiveness on the first meters, which are the most important meters as central defender. He takes too small steps when he’s running and he could actually be way faster if he’d take bigger steps. He still has to improve this even though he has already become faster compared to last season.
He has had 136 aerial duels of which he won 68.4% which is pretty good, I guess.
Badstuber is also a very fair defender. He has committed only 22 fouls in 25 matches but when he straddled, he sometimes used dangerous sliding tackles what I honestly liked. You must show who’s the boss on the pitch. And that’s always the glorious Bayern! Badstuber has also conceded 15 fouls but I don’t think all those fouls on him had been whistled in a harder league such as the Premier League because sometimes Badstuber fell a bit too dramatically and quickly.

Even though he’s rarely mentioned in the medias, Holger Badstuber’s performances actually have been rewarded with a Kicker (best German football magazine, I love it!) average mark of 2.92. He is the 16th best player of the Bundesliga according to the Kicker. In the Champions League the Kicker gave him an average mark of 3.38 in 4 games. It spoils nothing to say though that Holger Badstuber is one of the two best German defenders and among the 15 best central backs in the world at the moment.

But who is this 83kg heavy fair head?

Having fun with Frooooonck 😀

Badstuber was born on 13th of March 1989. His father was one of the best youth coaches in Germany and logically the 5 year old Holger early joined the local football club TSV Rotand at the age of 12 he joined VFB Stuttgart that was only 75km away from his home. In the beginning he played as central midfielder and his left foot was already known at that time.

In 2002 (one year after his arrival at the Neckar, in Stuttgart) he went to Bayern because his father knew Hermann Gerland where he immediately played as central back. in 2007 he first played for the Bayern amateurs and was considered as one of the most gifted defenders in Germany. First he had to play as defensive midfielder again before he recalled on the central position of the back four. He played 55 games for the Bayern amateurs, scored 7 times and gave 1 assist.

Two years later, when Jupp Heynckes managed the team for some games after the sacking of Jürgen Klinsmann, Badstuber already trained with the team and when van Gaal became new manager in July 2009, Badstuber was quick part of the starting line-up. In his first season he played 49 matches (33 in the Bundesliga, 12 in the Champions League!), mostly in as left back. In the end Badstuber was even called up by Joachim Löw for the World Cup 2010 what he really deserved. This has been his best season for Bayern so far but I’m sure the current season will be even better.

In his second season for Bayern he could only play 31 times (23 in the Bundesliga, 5 in the Champions League) because he had to pause 2 months because of a dangerous inflammation of the pubic joint. He wasn’t playing very well because of that injury and was criticized quite a lot.

Badstuber is on top!

When Jupp Heynckes took over, he helped Badstuber to gain self-assurance again and I’ve already described in the first part of this article how well he has developed. He has become one of the best defenders in the Bundesliga, his market value has increased to 13 million Euros and he has become to one of the important players in Bayern’s squad.

Every Bayern fan should thank Bayern’s youth academy for promoting and qualifying great players such as Holger Badstuber, Thomas Müller, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Toni Kroos who are among the best players in the world on their position. We can be proud of them!


Thank you A LOT for reading my article! 😀 Please leave me some comments and ratings (stars above the article)! 🙂


9 comments on “Holger Badstuber

  1. Dani
    December 28, 2011

    Hi 🙂 This article is really good, you’re right about the media always talking about the strikers and the midfielders who play the last pass. They forget about those who are really working and just blame them when times are running badly. You got all points totally clear and to the point that Holger has made a great development in these last two years. There are not so many people who know about him (unfortunatly) and wonderful people like you help to show that good defenders are as import for the game as the strikers are!

    Really good job! 🙂 (Übrigens, dein Englisch ist voll gut, ich bin aus Deutschland und lese gern deine deutschen Twittereinträge 🙂 )

  2. baybestia
    January 1, 2012

    Your data is wrong.

    Badstuber only had 282 duels, winning 67%.

    Mats hummels, i.e. 361 duels, winning 66%.

    Holger is a good player, but i would say hes rather overrated than underrated.

    for more data: have a look over here: http://www.bundesliga.de/de/liga/clubs/fc-bayern-muenchen/index.php

    • Sébastien
      January 1, 2012

      No, my data is right. I just forgot to write that I added the data from the Champions League as well. I totalized both data (from the Bundesliga and the Champions League) and used the average of both data in this blog. 🙂 For the data of the Bundesliga I actually used the site you put in the comment box and for the data of the CL I used the “FourFourTwo Stats Zone” app for iPhone. 🙂 My data is right, I don’t doubt that!

      Thank you a lot for your comment even tho I don’t agree when you say he was overrated. 😉

  3. baybestia
    January 1, 2012

    hi sébastian,

    just forgot to praise ur very good english.

    “Every Bayern fan should thank Bayern’s youth academy for promoting and qualifying great players such as Holger Badstuber, Thomas Müller, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Toni Kroos who are among the best players in the world on their position.”

    Well said, mate.

    But – as I said – Badstuber is overrated – nice guy of course – but, hes slow, not the best concerning clean tackles and he´s way to skinny.

    Good game opening but – his main task is to win the ball clean and fast.

    Hes a good defender in the Bundesliga, but hes just not good enough (yet?) for international class.

    • Sébastien
      January 1, 2012

      Wel, uhm, thanks. xD
      Yeah, I did write he was not the fastest but he has already improved his speed compared to last season. I just hope he can keep on improving it… He just needs to make bigger steps… I doubt tho if anybody will ever notice that. -.- And about the tackles. 😉 I love his tackles. He always shows who’s the boss on the pitch and you need some not that clean tackles for that. 😉 But as long as you play the ball everything’s alright. 😛
      Uhm sorry!? ,,Good game opening but – his main task is to win the ball clean and fast.” What the hell is that for an argument? Have you never watched a modern football game? Defenders must be able to open the game nowadays! Look at Pique from Barca! He’s kind of a modern libero, Badstuber could do that as well but he doesn’t. I don’t know why, probably because he lacks speed but well…
      He has often shown that he’s good enough for international class! Already in his first season he did a great match against Manchester United. 😉

  4. baybestia
    January 1, 2012

    are u serious?
    You mean the match when he got owned by antonio valencia a hunred times? 😀

    And winning 67percent of his duels might be good, but if 33% lost duels lead to goals because those are the important ones it is still not sayin anything.
    Just sayin.

    Bayern munich has world class forwards, there are days when defense has to to nothing just stop the ball and play it to a midfielder.

    What i want to say is – the qualitity of duels is the arguement that counts.
    And lookin at this, i have my problems with sayin that badstuber already has international class.

    When exactly shows badstuber his skills?
    Against poor teams in the Bundesliga? Or against great forwards on international level.
    Remember the match against napoli?

    Conclusion of all: Good defender, talented, but overratet (yet).

    • Sébastien
      January 2, 2012

      He wasn’t shown up in both matches. Only in one.

      I don’t think there’s any defender in the world who wins more than 75% of his duels. That’s just impossible. Even someone like Vidic can’t win every duel against rather small and fast forwards. I think 67% of won duels is a good quote. Of course it could be better and I did write that.

      Do you ever watch Bundesliga, my dear? I don’t think so. Almost every club has strikers of international class. Even Freiburg has Papis Demba Cissé, someone who could succeed everywhere in my opinion. Hannover has Abdellaoue, Schalke has Huntelaar and Raoul, Dortmund’s got Barrios and Lewandowski, Bremen has Pizarro, HSV has Petric, Leverkusen’s got Kießling and Deryiok, Gladbach have Reus, Wolfsburg has Mandzukic and Köln has Podolski. I think these are enough good strikers against whom Badstuber has defended very well.

      And which match against Napoli to you mean? First leg or second leg? In the first leg he only had the own goal and it wasn’t his fault at all. Well, it was his own goal but he had to try to get that ball, there was a player from Napoli in the box if I remember correctly. And in the second game everybody was nervous because of the unfair Italians and since Badstuber is still quite unexperienced, he couldn’t control himself anymore.

  5. baybestia
    January 2, 2012

    Almost every time i watch bayern munich in television they smash their opponents at home…4:0 or 5:0…
    Even Drogba or Rooney would look like shit in a freiburg or koeln dress against bayern munich….cause they dont come to the alianz arena to win….theyre scared of robben, gomez, ribery, kroos (…) –> Defense has nothing really to work on..

    Again – World class offensive players = nothing really to work for badstuber & co in the Bundesliga in 8 of 10 cases. Easy duels…

    But even against so called small teams like hannover, which comes to my mind, badstuber was poor.
    No good game against werder bremen either (no chance against naldo, rosenberg i think)

    Dont get me wrong – i like 2 watch bayern munich games… but from a neutral point of view badstuber has not the best skills YET.
    He dont seems to be very athletic and strong, too many bad tackles from which the opponent could be suffering a serious injury easily.
    Not the fastest either – as you said.
    Sometimes a billygoat comes to my mind watching him playin..

    Your best central defender is daniel van buyten by far….yes he might be slow and sometimes has his problems but hes strong and causes trouble for every opponent, very dangerous in the front of goal – in complete contrary to holger badstuber – [except of his freekicks]… i think he (D.v.B.) was almost sorted out but he came back like Phoenix from the ashes.
    He was a beast at home against manchester city (2:0 to bayern munich)

    Conclusion: A good defender is much more in the limelight when he has nothin really to do in his area.

    international side:

    – smashed by antonio valencia in the old trafford
    – sorted out by joachim loew after one match in the world cup finals
    (playin right back)

    – silly yellow cards in this seasons CL

    – poor performance against manchester city (0:2 down against mancity)

    – Poor display against napoli (you sayin because the italians played unfair? come on are u serious :-D)

  6. ha
    November 3, 2012

    Great Article Sebastien. What really concerned me about German NT defence was they not able to defend against quick counter-attack. Becoz players like Badstuber lacked pace to stop it bascially. So by reading ur article it gave me hope that there will be improvement in the future especially in regards to Badstuber to gain great pace/speed. By the way Sebastien can kindly provide me the link where Badstuber was mentioned as the quickest runner in Bayer amatuer squad. thanks in Anticipation.

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