In this Bernd Leno biography, we’ll take a look at the career of one of the greatest German goalkeepers of the past decade:
One of the best German goalkeepers of the past decade has undoubtedly been Arsenal’s Bernd Leno. Born in Bietigheim-Bissingen in southwest part of Germany, Bernd Leno started his career at the brilliant Stuttgart academy but he rapidly climbed the ladders of success and soon was one of the most talked about teenagers in football as he became a regular Bundesliga starter for Bayer Leverkusen before he was even 20.
During his time at Stuttgart Leno learned from one of the best (Jens Lehmann) and soon after his move to Bayer Leverkusen in 2011 became well-known for his shot-stopping ability. A modern goalkeeper who is well-versed in the sweeper keeper style of goalkeeping as well as having cat-like reflexes and being capable of producing incredible saves, Leno is the perfect keeper for any team that wishes to play attacking football which has prompted us to take an extensive look at Bernd Leno lifestory and his career in this
Bernd Leno biography
In this brief Bernd Leno bio, we take a closer look at how the German keeper became a teenage sensation in Bundesliga, starting from his days at Stuttgart in the late 2000s to his time at Bayer Leverkusen and now Arsenal:
So let’s start Bernd Leno bio with general information about his physical attributes and his position on the pitch:
Full Name: Bernd Leno
Nickname: Penalty Killer
Height: 1.9 m (6 ft 3 in)
Eye Color: Blonde
Hair Color: Blue
Weight: 80 kg
Professional Debut: 2009
Jersey Number: 1
Date of Birth: 4 March 1992
Birth Place: Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany
Born in Bietigheim-Bissingen in the Southwest German state of Baden-Württemberg,
Bernd Leno date of birth
is 4 March 1992. His father Viktor Leno is of Russian descent which makes Bernd half-Russian as well. However, his Mom, Rosa Leno, is only German.
Growing up in the relatively small town of Bietigheim-Bissingen, which is near the city of Stuttgart, much of
Bernd Leno childhood
was spent playing football with his brother and friends. By his account, his whole family loved football and encouraged him to take it seriously as early as the age of 6. Born in 1992, Bernd Leno would grow up seeing some of the greatest German footballers and goalkeepers, including the great Oliver Kahn and Jens Lehmann, never knowing that he was about to leave his own impression on German football.
From the ages of 6 until he was 11 years old, Bernd played for the local club SV Germania Bietigheim. Interestingly though, he mainly played as a midfielder and was apparently really good for someone at his age level. He then decided to travel to the nearby city of Stuttgart and trial at their prestigious academy, once again as a midfielder, and he was amongst the handful that were eventually selected from hundreds of youngsters.
We will now take a look at Bernd Leno career as a goalkeeper in the different teams that he played throughout his career in this section of Bernd Leno biography, starting with his time in the Stuttgart’s reserve team:
Now let’s take a look at Bernd Leno’s club career as well as his time with the German national team:
After passing a trial at Stuttgart in 2003, Bernd started playing for the club at youth levels once again as a midfielder but as he has claimed before, one day their keeper didn’t show up and he asked the coach to start in goal. He surprised everyone by how good he was between the posts and never left the position again.
Leno went through the academy stages until he was 17 at which point he got promoted to Stuttgart II (reserves) to gain experience for the first team. During this time, Arsenal’s legendary formergoalkeeper
, Jens Lehmann was playing for Stuttgart and was at the end of his career. Leno has credited much of his playing style and knowledge about goalkeeping to Jens Lehmann with whom he trained with and even took lessons atStuttgart
. This was also the period when Bernd would get his first taste of silverware as he was able to win the U17 Bundesliga title with Stuttgart during the 2008-09 season and get a call up to Germany’s U17 team.
At the time, it was thought that Bernd will eventually take Lehmann’s place at Stuttgart but the youngster decided to leave Stuttgart to join Bayer Leverkusen in 2011. The transfer was a 5-month loan deal with Bayer having the option to make the move permanent.
Only days after joining Bayer Leverkusen, Bernd Leno made his Bundesliga debut for the club against Werder Bremen. He then went on to become one of only 3 goalkeepers inBundesliga
history to keep a clean sheet in their first 3 Bundesliga matches. shortly after that, Leno who was 19 at the time, went on to become the youngest ever goalkeeper to ever play a Champions League match, when he played against Chelsea in the group stages of the tournament on 13 September 2011.
Only a couple of months after his impressive start atBayer Leverkusen
, the club decided to make his deal permanent and signed him on until 2017 and so Bernd Leno became a first-choice keeper of a Bundesliga team as ateenager
, which is a feat not many people can boast about.
Unfortunately for Leno though, his career mostly coincided with one of the best goalkeepers in the history of football, Manuel Neuer, who was all but assured to have the starting position for Germany all throughout his career. Between Neuer and ter Stegen, another impressive German shot-stopper who played for Barcelona, meant that Bernd Leno would rarely get recognition of how good he was at Germany.
But that didn’t stop Bernd from wowing fans and critics alike in Bundesliga. During his first season, Leno registered 11 clean sheets and was one of the best keepers in the league. as a teenager being that impressive was almost unheard of and promised great future for Leno. He continued his great performances in Bayer Leverkusen throughout his time with the club, having his best year in the 2015-16 season where he registered 16 clean sheets and was only second behind Manuel Neuer (20) who won the Golden Glove.
There were a couple of uninspiring seasons too where both Leno and Leverkusen failed to meet their own standards but overall, he proved what a great keeper which turned a lot of heads and got some big clubs interested in him.
On 19 June 2018, Bernd Leno finally got his big move and joined Arsenal for a transfer fee of£22.5 million
. Leno joined an Arsenal that was very much in transition as their longtime manager, Arsene Wenger who managed the club for 22 years. his replacement, Unai Emery, identified Bernd Leno as one of the first targets for his rebuild as he was looking to move the aged Petr Cech on. Leno initially started as a second-choice keeper but soon after his debut for the club in the Europa League was promoted to be Arsenal’s first-choice keeper in front of the experienced Petr Cech.
In his first season atArsenal
, the club went on to reach the Europa League final but ended up losing the final to their London-rivals Chelsea 4-1. Despite being one of the Premier League’s best shot stoppers Leno by having an amazing 75% save ratio, Arsenal’s defense failed to support him and they ended up conceding a lot of goals on individual mistakes. Leno himself was somewhat responsible for those mistakes as well and he ended up registering only 7 clean sheets throughout his debut season.
His second season at Arsenal was not much better since the whole team’s performances ended up going down, although Leno personally was one of the best Arsenal players throughout the season saving the team many points and being nominated for Arsenal Player of the Season award. This time around he was second only to Hugo Lloris in terms of percentage of shots saved (77.6%). Although he picked up a serious injury after the return of the Premier League following the global pandemic and was unable to accompany the team in the final 8 games as well as the FA Cup matches.
Arsenal went on to win the FA Cup with Emiliano Martinez as their goalkeeper. The Argentinian keeper wowed everyone with his performances and made people question Leno’s place as the first choice keeper. But in the summer of 2020, Martinez joined Aston Villa and Leno returned to his starting spot once again.
With Mikel Arteta at the helm who joined the Gunenrs as coach in the prior season, Arsenal went on to have their worst Premier League season, finishing 8th for a second consecutive season. Leno registered 11 clean sheets, his best at Arsenal, but his save percentage dropped considerable (69%). Arsenal followed that with another disappointing season start in the summer of 2021. Leno has lost his place as the first-choice keeper following the first 3 consecutive losses of the season, as the new boy Aaron Ramsdale has seemingly taken Leno's place.
Bernd Leno nationality
and the Bissingen-born keeper has represented Germany at almost any level starting from Germany’s U17 team in 2008. After winning the U17 Bundesliga with Stuttgart, Leno went on to feature for Germany in the U17 European Championship which would be his first taste of international silverware.
Leno would go on to represent U18, U19 Germany teams but would mostly feature for the U21 team between 2012 and 2015 since there were so many talented keepers like Neuer, ter Stegen and Weidenfeller in front of him in the senior side.
But he finally got called up to the senior side in 2015 and was regularly featured as the third-choice keeper during the Euro 2016 qualification phase. He got to be in the squad for the actual Euro 2016 which was his first major tournament with Germany, although he failed to make any appearances and Germany was knocked out in the quarter-finals.
The following summer, Leno got to go to the 2017 Confederations Cup with Germany and even got to play a game in the group stages. Germany ended up winning the competition with the trophy being Leno’s first major trophy at senior level.
He has since made a handful of appearances for the senior side, when there has been injuries to the main two goalkeepers, Neuer and ter Stegen.
Like many goalkeepers of his era, especially German goalkeepers, Bernd Leno is what is called a sweeper-keeper, although not as aggressively as someone likeManuel Neuer
or Ederson. He has cited Iker Casillas and Jens Lehman as his idols and role models and like both of those legendary goalkeepers, Leno is a great shot-stopper, possibly one of the best in Europe.
Although there could be weakness to some areas of his game, there is no doubt that when it comes to stopping shots from close or long range, there are a few keepers better than Bernd Leno, as the German could sometimes pull off some unbelievable double or triple saves from close range. Having been tutored by ‘Mad Jens’ himself, Bernd Leno has mastered the German way of goalkeeping and could even become a better keeper in the future.
Despite being Germany’s third-best keeper for the most of his career, Bernd Leno is still considered to be one of Europe’s top goalkeepers. The German has received quite a lot of praise for his shot-stopping ability as well as his footwork and the way he usually plays the role of a sweeper keeper wherever he plays at.
Although Bernd Leno has been regularly criticized for the way he handles crosses and aerial balls in general which has been a weakness in his game for quite some time. It’s also been pointed out that he is not quick enough to restart the game with his throws after he’s had a save. As he is only 29, which is young for a keeper, he might be able to get rid of all these problems in the future and become even a greater goalkeeper.
As a goalkeeper Bernd Leno doesn’t score, so he does not have a goal celebration.
Bernd Leno leads a quiet life outside football. he is an avid gamer though and likes to play FIFA or first-person shooter games like Call of Duty with his teammates. He has even a dedicated eSports team who compete in eSports tournaments, mainly playing FIFA.
As far as
Bernd Leno religion
, Leno is believed to be a Roman Catholic. He even got to meet Pope Francis as part of an event before the Euro 2016, where the whole DFB staff, players like Bernd Leno included, got to meet the Pope at the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City.
Our Bernd Leno biography wouldn’t be a complete without mentioning his personal life. So continue reading on as we take a look at
Bernd Leno life story
, relationships and philanthropy in this Bernd Leno bio.
Bernd Leno has been dating Sophie Christin since 2015 and the couple finally married last year on 11 August. Sophie is of German and Czech descent and is actually 5 years younger than Bernd and until recently, she was studying as a marketing student.
As of yet, the couple have no children and aren’t expecting one but they seem extremely happy, with both sharing a lot of their couple photos on their Instagram.
Apart from a number of charities that Arsenal players are usually involved with through the club, like the funds that were raised for the NHS Foundation after the global pandemic, Leno has also donated to several charities personally. Earlier this year Leno auctioned his glove and jersey on the charity auction website, United Charity, which would donate all the proceeds to various causes.
Bernd Leno does not seem to have had any legal issues as of us writing this article.
It’s time to review some statistics in this section of Bernd Leno biography, both for the clubs he played at and theGerman national team
Bernd Leno biography
isn’t complete without his general statistics in the clubs that he played, starting with his days at Stuttgart where he joined as a 12-year-old and then proceeded to climb the academy ranks to reach the first team and the reserve team. He proceeded to make 57 appearances for the Stuttgart reserve team (Stuttgart II) between 2009 and 2011. However, Leno never officially made his debut for Stuttgart as he was sent out on loan to Bayer Leverkusen at the start of the 2011-12 season.
At Bayer Leverkusen, Bernd Leno immediately became the first choice keeper at only 19 years of age and went on to feature in majority of the games for all of the 7 seasons he stayed at the club, rarely missing more than 3 games a season. during this time, Leno represented Die Wekself 304 times and in fact became their 11th of all-time appearance maker.
He then got his big move to the Premier League and joined Arsenal. Despite Petr Cech still being at Arsenal, Leno immediately became their first-choice keeper and went on to hold that position despite fierce competition in the past 3 seasons. As of writing this article Bernd Leno has made 120 appearances for Arsenal.
Bernd Leno made his debut for Germany’s senior side on May 2016 during a friendly match against Slovakia. Prior to that he had made 28 appearances for Germany’s youth teams at various levels and he has since made 9 appearances for Germany’s senior side.
Bernd Leno is still a footballer and hasn’t gone into management yet.
In the final section of Bernd Leno biography, we take a brief look at his achievements, either team or individual achievements, starting from his time at Stuttgart:
Before he wa even a teenager, Bernd Leno joined Stuttgart in 2003. He was first a midfielder but turned goalkeeper very early in his youth career and went on to become one of the best keepers in his age group which led to him being called up by the Germany’s U17 team in 2008. In the same season Leno would win his first piece of silverware with Stuttgart’s youth team as they won the U17 Bundesliga. This prompted his promotion to the reserve teams.
After 2 seasons with the reserves and training with his idol Jens Lehmann in Stuttgart, Leno joined the Bundesliga club, Bayer Leverkusen, where he immediately became a starter despite his age (19). He soon became one of the best keepers in the league, consistently producing great performances in his 6 seasons with the club. Leno never won any silverware or accolades while being at Leverkusen but his best year at the club was the 2015-16 season where he was Bundesliga’s 2nd best keeper.
His move to Arsenal in 2018 saw the German win his first piece of silverware in his second season with the club as the club won the FA Cup in 2020, although Leno wasn’t very involved in the competition due to injury. He was voted Arsenal’s 2nd best player of the season that year and followed the FA Cup victory with a victory over Liverpool in the Community Shield, his second silverware at the club level.
With the German national team, Leno has been involved in several tournaments at youth and senior levels. His first silverware with Germany was in the 2009 U17 European Championship and at senior level the shot stopper has helped Die Mannschaft win the 2017 Confederations Cup.
And with that we come to the end of this
Bernd Leno biography
, one of the best German goalkeepers of the past decade. we hope that you enjoyed reading our summarized account of Leno’s life and for more articles like this just check out the links below!