It's a major acknowledgement for some outstanding displays: Nico Schulz has been rewarded for his performances in the second half of the season by the experts at "kicker", who have named him the best full-back in the Bundesliga. The magazine placed the TSG man ahead of Bayern Munich pair Joshua Kimmich and David Alaba and Germany internationals Jonas Hector und Marvin Plattenhardt in the ranking list.
"The Berlin native's contributions in the second half of the season were simply sensational. He was irreplaceable at left-back in Hoffenheim's 3-5-2. His incredible physique, great dynamism and speed made him one of the team's standout performers week-in, week-out. A player who keeps things tight at the back and makes an impact going forward," wrote "kicker".
Schulz, who was included in the "International class" category, was joined on the ranking list by two other TSG full-backs: Pavel Kaderabek, who finished the first half of the season in fifth position, was again included in the "Players of note" category and occupied sixth place, while Steven Zuber was included in the "Players in focus" category – that means that three of the best 18 full-backs in the league are at TSG.
Grillitsch in third position
TSG also had a representative in the defensive midfield position. Florian Grillitsch's strong displays in the second half of the campaign were acknowledged by "kicker", who ranked him in third place. "Florian Grillitsch struggled in the first half of the season, but after the winter break he beat off the competition from within the Hoffenheim squad for that central position. The 22-year-old beanpole won balls back, made himself an option for passes and showed himself to be the fulcrum and pivot of a strong TSG," said the magazine in justification of its "Players of note" rating.
In addition, Nadiem Amiri was included among the 15 best offensive midfielders in the Bundesliga. He made the "Players in focus" category for his position.