WILLKOMMEN BEI RB LEIPZIG, MARIN PONGRACIC!: (Welcome To RB Leipzig, Marin Pongracic!)
Michael Ballack has made his second signing of the 18/19 summer transfer window with the signature of 20 year old Croatian U21 International Centre-Back Wonderkid Marin Pongracic for a discount fee of only 11 million Euros, from FC Red Bull Salzburg (one of our feeder clubs) on 24k Euros per week. With Atinc Nukan heading off to Bursaspor of the Turkish Super Lig. For around 700K Euros, Pongracic should be a very good replacement, already well exceeding the ability of Nukan, and possessing far more potential, in fact being tipped as one of the best up-and-coming Centre-Backs in world football, renowned for his versatility, passing range, vision and dominance in the air and on the ground with his strong and athletic 6”2” frame. Now, you know the drill RB Leipzig fans, lets get to know Marin Pongracic that little bit more.
Marin Pongracic was born on the 11th of September 1997 in Landshut, Germany. Pongracic spent his childhood growing up in Germany, but chose Croatia as his national team of allegiance, as he is of Croatian descent.
Pongracic was part of the mighty FC Bayern Munichs youth set-up for a few years up until 2013, when he joined FC Ingolstadt on a free transfer, but failed to make a single senior appearance for the 2.Bundesliga side, although in 2014 he was called up to the Croatian U17s national team to be part of a training camp.
In 2016, Pongracic joined 1860 Munich of the 2.Bundesliga on a free transfer. At 1860 Munich during the 16/17 season, Pongracic made 17 appearances in the Regionalliga Bayern for 1860 Munich II, scoring once, and he made 6 senior appearances in the 2.Bundesliga. In 2017, 1860 Munich sold Pongracic to our main feeder club FC Red Bull Salzburg of the Austrian Tipico-Bundesliga, for a fee of 1 million Euros.
During his time at FC Red Bull Salzburg, Pongracic made 16 senior appearances in the league, and also got capped by Croatias U21 national team, being capped twice.
THE LFC FAN: The reason in my opinion why the RB Leipzig board gave Ballack lower than usual expectations is simple, stability. With these lower expectations, it gives Ballack the time to mould a team to his liking, get them playing the way he wants them to play, all while not having to worry about huge expectations at the back of his mind. This will be a slow process, it wont be overnight, and the RB Leipzig board realise this.
SCOTT: It is a question of debate to why RB Leizpigs board gave Ballack quite low expectations, but its down to one thing in my mind, and that’s stability. With these lower expectations, it gives Ballack the chance to build a team to his liking, and engage his philosophies across the team, without having to worry to much about the expectations, which may have hindered his productivity. RB Leizpigs board see this rise to become the best as a slow process, and are ready to be patient with Ballack, knowing they have found the right man to lead them to the top, step by step.
JACK: It will indeed Jack, it will give Ballack an easier ride than first thought, but this is very positive, as it gives him the chance to mould the team to his liking, rather than buy two or three superstars and worry about the UCL constantly at the back of his mind.