FC Barcelona is known for its excellent youth education. And Hoppe was also able to enjoy it – not on site in La Masia, but in the Barça Academy in Arizona. There, the Catalans see and develop US stars of the future.
Gates on the assembly line in the USA
Hoppe was only retrained to become a center forward in the U17 – and then hit the assembly line in the USA. For the U17s 24 times in 30 games, for the U19s there were even 29 hits in 23 games – an incredible rate.
Load jam in Germany
But also a quota that he couldn’t even come close to maintaining after his move to Schalke 04 in 2019. In the canceled A-Jugend-Bundesliga season, Hoppe only scored three times in 17 games. Nevertheless, he was promoted to the royal blue regional league team for the current season. There he was the joker in 15 games and scored a measly goal. And yet under Manuel Baum the leap to the professionals followed.
Third youngest three-pack
The new Schalke coach Christian Gross now fully relies on Hoppe on the nine. The US boy then impressively repaid his trust yesterday. At 19 years and 302 days, Hoppe became the third youngest three-packer in Bundesliga history in a 4-0 win against Hoffenheim. Only Erling Haaland (2nd) and Walter Bechthold (1st) were even younger.
First Schalke three-pack in six years
At the same time, Hoppe’s three-pack was also the first at S04 in around six years. In December 2014, today’s Bayern striker Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting met three times against VfB Stuttgart (4-0). Hoppe did the same to him – and swung himself up to Schalke savior and bearer of hope.
But there is also a catch: Hoppe’s contract with S04 expires at the end of the season. If the teenager continues to score in the Bundesliga, the interest of big clubs will automatically come. And Schalke then threatens to lose another home-grown product free of charge after Leon Goretzka, Max Meyer, Joel Matip, Sead Kolasinac and Co. But there is still a long way to go before then.