Berlin (IANS) In private life, they are friends. On the pitch, in the jerseys of Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich, they are ambitious rivals.
This Saturday evening, Germany's most talented youngsters Florian Wirtz and Jamal Musiala will attract the attention of millions of football fans.
Battling it out over this season's league title, both of them have slipped into the role of carrying the hope for the struggling Germany on its way to the 2024 UEFA Euro.
With Bayern's reported interest in signing Wirtz, desires seem to grow around Bavarian fans to see them play together in Bayern someday, reports Xinhua.
Having recovered from a cruciate ligament rupture last spring, Wirtz is Leverkusen's beating heart, covering over 12 kilometers per game, and owns a record-setting 34.5 sprints on average.
Pundits such as Lothar Matthaeus and Stefan Effenberg have demanded Germany's coach Julian Nagelsmann to appoint both to the team's starting eleven for long.
Both players are said to be "talents of the century" after making their first-tier debut at the age of 17. While Musiala has played 28 UEFA Champions League games and 105 league games, the Leverkusen midfielder is on his way to catch up.
26 appearances in European competitions and 97 league games decorate his record, though he slipped into the German jersey around 100 days later than his friend.
Both deliver a remarkable number of deadly passes, open spaces, goals and assists, with Wirtz mostly over the left flank while Musiala favors the right wing.
While Wirtz seems to enjoy a slight advantage when it comes to a leading role, Musiala sometimes seems stuck in Bayern in recent months.
"He is one of our conducting leaders," Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes said.
Winning the league title and playing in the UEFA Champions League will increase Leverkusen's chances to keep Wirtz.
While Wirtz is allowed to develop slowly accompanied by his family, according to Rolfes, Musiala is waiting for a possible contract extension in Munich as his current one is valid until 2026.
Both might take it as a good piece of advice, as Matthaeus suggests, "to rather develop in a leading team than go for the big money in a foreign club."