"Excellent save" and "Kobel": if you are looking on the BVB homepage, it won't take long to find those two terms together. Already on 29 May 2016, there is talk for the first time of this talented young goalkeeper, who is frustrating the attackers of Borussia Dortmund's U19s in the final of the German U19 Championship against TSG Hoffenheim. In the end, the final score is 5-3 because BVB have an even more prominent player in its ranks in Felix Passlack than TSG did in Gregor Kobel, at the time 18 years young. And on 1 March 2019, the headlines read: "2-1 defeat in Augsburg: only Alcácer can beat Kobel". In that game, Kobel, who was on the books of FCA at the time, defended eight of the Dortmund attackers' nine shots on goal, earning himself a place in the "Team of the Day" in kicker.
Now Gregor Kobel is with BVB. "I was always looking to develop myself and I deliberately sought high-pressure situations. Especially in my position in goal, experience and handling pressure are very important factors, and they don't just happen overnight. The more high-pressure situations you come through, the more mature you become. But something different happened. Hoffenheim to Augsburg and on to Stuttgart, that was a logical development. The move to Dortmund was a big step, and now we can see how it goes," he said in the BORUSSIA members' magazine (January 2022 issue).
The son of a former top-tier professional ice hockey player, Kobel was born in Zurich on St Nicholas Day 1997 and was in the Grasshopper Club academy. In 2014, he moved to the youth development department of TSG Hoffenheim as a sixteen-year-old. After his first appearances with the first team under coach Julian Nagelsmann (usually in the DFB-Pokal), the deputy of regular goalkeeper Oliver Baumann was loaned to FC Augsburg in January 2019, where he played 16 of 17 possible games in the second half of the season. In the summer of 2019, he went out on loan again, this time to the second division team VfB Stuttgart. He was promoted to the Bundesliga with Stuttgart a year later. Now signed on a permanent basis, in the 2020/21 season, Kobel was the number one in goal for VfB. kicker named him as the fourth-best goalkeeper in their rankings.
In his first Bundesliga season with BVB (2021/22), the 6'4" goalkeeper thwarted 11 big chances! "Over time, you get a sense of how a striker thinks, whether you might wait a bit longer before reacting or try something. You have to make these decisions very quickly. You have to develop a feeling for that." Kobel has excellent control over the penalty area, but also has footballing qualities and has a controlled, yet offensive playing style. He has great reactions and, above all, is consistent in terms of his performances.
Kobel was part of the Swiss team at Euro 2021 and made his debut for the senior national team on 1 September 2021, a 2-1 victory against Greece.