Christopher Nkunku verlässt RB Leipzig als Bundesliga-Torschützenkönig und zweifacher DFB-Pokalsieger.

Christopher Nkunku and RB Leipzig: A story for the history books

70 goals in 172 games | RB Leipzig’s number 18 departs as Bundesliga top scorer and two-time DFB-Pokal winner | 55 goal involvements in one season | Player of the Season and several other individual awards

Christo says "Au revoir!"

Goodbyes are never easy, but they’re a part of football. Christo Nkunku not only left his mark on RBL, but also in our hearts. Not only did he light up the pitch, but he was open, light-hearted and pleasant off it.

Who could have imagined what was to come when a 21-year-old Nkunku moved abroad for the first time, joining from Paris Saint Germain in 2019?

July four years ago was to be the start of an incredible success story. Unfortunately, this story has now come to an end, yet it will remain forever. After 172 games for the club. Christo leaves behind a record of 70 goals and 56 assists, two DFB-Pokal trophies, as well as a number of personal records and accolades! During his time at the club, our number 18 also became a full France international.

Off the back of a Bundesliga top scorer award and a DFB-Pokal title, Christopher Nkunku’s journey with RB Leipzig has come to an end.

Merci beaucoup, Christo!

Four years at RB Leipzig: a record-breaking spell

Christo immediately got off to a good start with the Red Bulls, which is no mean feat for a young player in a new country. The forward recorded five goals and 16 assists in his first season, before contributing seven goals and eleven assists the following season.

Nkunku found another level in the 2021/22 season, scoring a total of 35 goals, and also recording a further 20 assists, unsurprisingly setting a new club record. No other RBL player had ever recorded so many goal involvements in a season before. His 55 involvements also ranked Christo among the top four in Europe's top 15 leagues.

Last season brought around some bad injury luck, but Christo was still able to impress and recorded 23 goals and seven assists - in just 36 competitive games!
 

Christopher Nkunku's time in numbers

  • Competitive appearances: 172 (119x Bundesliga, 29x Champions League, 6x Europa League, 17x DFB-Pokal, 1x Supercup) 
     
  • Goals: 70 (47x Bundesliga, 11x Champions League, 4x Europa League, 7x DFB-Pokal, 1x Supercup)
     
  • Match-winning goals: 19
     
  • Goals with at least one goal: 57 (including 41 wins and nine draws)
     
  • Braces: 11
     
  • Hat-tricks: 1 (15th September 2021 in the Champions League against Manchester City)
     
  • Assists: 56 (inc. four in one game in February 2020 in the 5-0 away win over Schalke) 
     
  • Goal involvements: 126 (inc. four in one game (two goals, two assists) on 25th September 2021 against Hertha BSC)
     
  • Bundesliga debut: 18th August 2019 against Hertha BSC 
     
  • DFB-Pokal debut: 11th August 2019 against VfL Osnabrück
     
  • Champions League debut: 17th September 2019 against Benfica 
     
Mit den Roten Bullen gewann Christopher Nkunku zweimal den DFB-Pokal.

It’s a Leipzig thing - Christo's Cup journey!

Christo also left his mark on the DFB-Pokal. In the club’s first-ever DFB-Pokal final win on 21st May 2022 against SC Freiburg , it was Nkunku who scored our only goal of the game in a 1-1 draw against SC Freiburg, before converting his penalty in the shootout.

Almost a year later, he lit up the night again. Against Eintracht Frankfurt Christo opened the scoring in the 71st minute before setting up Dominik Szoboszlai to make it 2-0 shortly before the end of the game.
 

Mit 16 Treffern holte sich unsere Nummer 18 die Bundesliga-Torjägerkanone.

Personal awards

While football is a team sport, there are plenty of individual awards, and Christo was the rightful winner of quite a few.

 

Bundesliga top scorer 2023

Nkunku went out with a bang on his final appearance the German top flight. On matchday 34 (4-2 win over Schalke 04), he was on the scoresheet twice, scoring his 16th goal of the season in the 94th minute, to secure the joint-top scorer award for the 2022/23 season (Werder Bremen’s Niclas Füllkrug also scored 16 times). It was also the first time that an RB Leipzig player won the award.

“Christo has had a fantastic development and has had an outstanding season. He only played two thirds of the total games and he was still the league’s top scorer. Admittedly it’s joint, but for me he is the top scorer,” said Max Eberl after the game.
 

Der französische Nationalspieler wurde 2022 für den Ballon d'Or nominiert.

Among the world’s best: Nomination for the Ballon d’Or

Following an incredible 2021/22 season, Nkunku was one of 30 players worldwide nominated for the Ballon d'Or, alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The legendary trophy has been the most prestigious individual award available in football since 1956.

Christo came 25th at the awards ceremony hosted by "France Football" on 17th October last year at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.
 

Im vergangenen Jahr wurde Christo zu "Deutschlands Fußballer des Jahres" gewählt.

The best in the country: Germany's Footballer of the Year 2022

There was no question that after 55 goal involvements across all competitions (including 35 in the Bundesliga) and fantastic performances week in, week out, the choice for Germany's Footballer of the Year 2022 had be our number 18.

Christo was also voted Player of the Month four times, including three consecutive months in a row, becoming the first player to do so. Therefore, there were no surprises when Christo claimed 134 votes to win the kicker magazine’s award, edging out the fantastic Robert Lewandowski (128 votes, then of Bayern Munich).

“I am very honoured and appreciative to receive such a meaningful award. First and foremost, I have to thank my team, the coaching staff and all the staff. Without their support, a season like this would not have been possible,” said Christo at the time.
 

Seine Bundesliga-Kollegen wählten ihn 2022 außerdem zum "Bundesliga-Spieler der Saison".

Recognition from fellow players: Bundesliga Player of the Season 2022

So incredible was Christo’s season that the awards kept coming. His Bundesliga rivals also recognised his talent and 167 Bundesliga players voted him number one in a "kicker" poll after the end of the season.

With almost half of all votes (42.5%) Christo was named the best outfield player in the Bundesliga, clear of Lewandowski (11.4%) and Florian Wirtz (Bayer 04 Leverkusen, 10.4 %).
 

Auch der "SPORT BILD-Award" zum "Aufsteiger der Saison" ging an den Ballzauberer.

In the spotlight on the red carpet: "Aufsteiger des Jahres"

Christo also claimed one of the prizes at the renowned "SPORT BILD-Awards". The editors of Europe's biggest sports magazine recognised Christo’s transition into a world start and presented him with the "Aufsteiger des Jahres" award on 22nd August 2022.

The ceremony was held in Hamburg in front of 700 recognised guests from the worlds of sport, business and media. It was the 20th edition of the gala that honoured outstanding achievements in eight different categories in sports.
 

Beim Videospiel "FIFA 22" ging Nkunku ebenfalls durch die Decke.

A physical and virtual star: FIFA 22 card record

Christo was also a hot commodity on the console. In the football video game FIFA 22, Nkunku equaled the record for the most FIFA Ultimate Team cards of all time in May 2022.

EA Sports awarded the striker a total of twelve FUT Cards for the global gaming mode as a result of his world-class performances, which saw him equal the record set by Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.
 

Summer in RBL!