The Hoffenheim player, who moved from 1860 München in the summer, was presented with the golden Fritz-Walter medal by the German Football Association (DFB) to recognise his as the most prolific player of his age. "Individual class and team success - Fritz Walter is a fantastic role model for all young, up-and-coming players. This medal is presented to honour the younger players, who we believe can follow in the foot steps of the legendary captain who won the 1954 World Cup whilst representing his country. Past winners of this award have gone on to achieve great things, whilst demonstrating their outstanding character. They are worthy winners of the Fritz-Walter medal", stated head of youth development, Matthias Sammer. This will be the sixth time the award has been presented to a youth player. Mlapa received the medal, as well as a certificate recognising him as the best player in the U-19 category, during the pre-match build-up to the match against Schalke 04, which Hoffenheim went on to win 2-0.
The 19-year old had impressed greatly at his former club, 1860 München, both on a playing and personal level. He is not the first Hoffenheim player to win the award either as both Manuel Gulde and Marco Terrazzino have received the medal in the past. "I'm over the moon having received this award. However, it also acts as an incentive for me to continue developing my game further", explained Peniel Mlapa. If the German-Togolese striker can continue on this path it is hard to imagine him not enjoying some sort of success with 1899 Hoffenheim in the future. With several big clubs in Europe keeping an eye on the front man, there will always be more opportunities for him to add to his awards collection.