Gregor Kobel has kept a clean sheet in one third (26) of his 75 appearances. The 1.95-metre-tall goalie thwarted 11 major opposition chances in his first Bundesliga season at BVB (2021/22); in his second year, it was 10. In 2022/23, he saved an impressive 74% of shots at goal. His previous best had been 68% (2020/21 in Stuttgart). He did not concede a goal in 11 of his 26 Bundesliga matches last season; only Freiburg's Mark Flekken (13) and Wolfsburg's Koen Casteels (12) kept more clean sheets.
"Over time, you get a sense of how a striker thinks, whether you might wait a bit longer before reacting or try something," revealed the keeper. He has excellent control over his penalty area, but also possesses footballing qualities and strives to build the play in a controlled but offensive manner. He has great reactions on the line and, above all, is consistent in terms of his performances. And: his development is on a consistently upward trajectory.
"Excellent save" and "Kobel": if you search on the BVB homepage, it won't take long to find those two terms together. The first talk of this talented young goalkeeper came back on 29 May 2016 when he frustrated the attackers of Borussia Dortmund's U19s in the final of the U19 German Championship against TSG Hoffenheim. In the end, the final finished 5-3 because BVB had an even more outstanding player in their ranks in Felix Passlack than TSG did in Gregor Kobel, who at the time 18 years young. And on 1 March 2019, the headline read: "2-1 defeat in Augsburg: only Alcácer can beat Kobel". Kobel, who was on the books of FCA at the time, kept out eight of the Dortmund attackers' nine shots on goal in that game, earning himself a place in the "Team of the Round" in kicker.
Kobel moved to Germany to join TSG Hoffenheim in 2014 at the tender age of 16 and joined BVB in 2021 following spells in Augsburg and Stuttgart. "I've always looked to keep developing, 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 everything else has happened organically. Hoffenheim - Augsburg - Stuttgart, that was a logical progression. The move to Dortmund was a big step, and now we'll see what happens next," Kobel told members' magazine Borussia (January 2022 edition).
The son of a former top-tier professional ice hockey player, Kobel was born in Zürich on St Nicholas Day 1997 and was in the Grasshopper Club academy. In 2014, he moved to the TSG Hoffenheim youth set-up as a 16-year-old. After his first appearances with the first team under coach Julian Nagelsmann (usually in the DFB-Pokal), the deputy to 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 helped Stuttgart gain promotion to the Bundesliga a year later. Now signed on a permanent basis, Kobel was the Swabians' No.1 goalie in the 2020/21 season. kicker named him as the fourth-best goalkeeper in their rankings.
Kobel was part of the Swiss squad for the 2021 European Championships and made his debut for the senior national team on 1 September 2021, in a 2-1 victory against Greece. He was also selected for the 2022 World Cup.