There was certainly something Sergio Ramos-esque about the way Matthias Ginter rose like a salmon and glanced an inch-perfect header into Mainz’s net on Saturday.
Real Madrid’s bearded, battle-scarred centre-back is a man famed for scoring big goals in the biggest of moments.
And he would have been proud of the way Ginter powered home with just seven minutes remaining at the Opel Arena, earning Borussia Monchengladbach a hard-fought three points after they flirted dangerously with defeat against the Bundesliga’s bottom side.
Ginter has always been a defender with vast potential.
Back in 2014, when he swapped Freiburg for Borussia Dortmund at the age of just 20, Jurgen Klopp tipped ‘a young, highly-talented player’ for a big future’ in yellow and black.
But it took a move to another Borussia for Ginter to finally establish himself as one of Europe’s most influential defenders.
Under Gladbach’s Klopp-lite coach Marco Rose, the 2014 World Cup winner has added a rugged, win-at-all-costs mentality and superb positional awareness to his ball-playing blueprint.
So much so that Arsenal allegedly came calling over the summer before signing Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille instead (Sky). As the man himself told BILD, however, there are still a few chapters remaining in his Gladbach story.
He never had any intention of leaving for the Emirates.
“Ginter has become a leader at the back, in a similar way to Ramos at Real,” Germany legend Lothar Matthaus told Sky, via the Bundesliga website, after two defensive powerhouses went head to head in Tuesday’s 2-2 Champions League draw.
“He doesn’t just give instructions to his teammates but leads them as well. That’s what Ginter is doing really well at the moment. He reminds me of Ramos.”
“He’s full of confidence nowadays, and has become a big personality. In the past, he wasn’t as vocal and tended to follow the pack. Now he’s taking on responsibility and making important decisions – defensively and in attack.”
That, as Gunners fans will tell you, sounds exactly like the sort of character Arsenal have been missing for the best part of a decade.
In other news, Another player could reportedly leave Celtic