Player profile: Pedro Geromel, the hidden treasure

Since 2009 Pedro Geromel has held the fort back in central defense for the Billy Goats of Cologne.  Perhaps under-recognized by many fans, Geromel’s place as one of the top Bundesliga defenders is known by hard-core German football followers.   Many rank him among the top four, besides the likes of Subotic, Hummels and Hoewedes

In the summer of 2008 then Cologne sporting-director Michael Meier smiles from ear to ear. He can announce that the club from the cathedral city has bought a new central defender that he thinks will help them stay in the Bundesliga. Born on September 21, 1985, the Brazilian defender Geromel comes from the Portuguese club Vitória Guimarares. This move is a surprise for many football experts, considering that Geromel has to give up the Champions League matches that his former club will play, while he is stuck at newly promoted side that may have to fight for their survival.  Geromel is also coming off a year in which he was voted the best player in the Portuguese SuperLiga in an online poll.

Geromel was a widely unknown quantity for most German football fans back then, but his good passing game, and cool and collected manner in one-on-ones make him quickly one of the favorites of the FC Cologne fans. The strength of the 6’3″ defender in the air  has impressed football experts. Besides being amongst the best going backwards, Geromel is also able to create danger going forward. His precise passing game often starts off attacks that end up in goals, and his strength in the air has produced four goals in 81 games.

This season
The current campaign has seen the Brazilian take further strides towards becoming one of the best defenders in the league. So far this season the central back has won 64.2% of his one-on-ones, and been the Cologne player with the second most touches of the ball behind former Portuguese international Petit.  He has also started 20 games for the Billy Goats, second only on the club to captain Lukas Podolski.

The play of Geromel, along with the acquisition of goalkeeper Michael Rensing, has been an important factor in Cologne’s turnaround since the winter break.  Coach Frank Schaefer’s Billy Goats have captured 14 points in the 8 2011 league matches, pulling themselves up to the eleventh spot in the table.  This is big improvement over their Hinrunde performance, where the team only captured 15 points in 17 matches. Currently out with a thigh injury that caused his absence in the Billy Goats’ last two matches, it is hoped that the Sao Paulo native will return to action by the end of March.

Geromel’s contract runs until the end of the 2013-2014 season, but it is uncertain whether the Brazilian will stay at Cologne that long if his high level of play continues.  In June, 2010 TribalFootball reported that Serie A clubs Juventus and Lazio had an eye on Geromel, and in July, Stefan Coerts of wrote that Real Madrid have shown interest in the defender and are tracking him for a potential signing.   Certainly other big clubs are tracking the Brazilian too.

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Niklas Wildhagen

Niklas is a 33-year-old football writer and podcaster who has been following the Bundesliga and German football since the early 90s. You can follow him on Twitter, @normusings, and listen to his opinions on @TalkingFussball.


  1. I want him at bayern..he’s more technical n fearless than d bayern central defenders…he should be a big team player…the big teams lack talents.

  2. As long as Geromel stays at Köln I’m afraid he will be ignored by the Brazilian NT, for which he definitely deserves a shot, especially if Breno is being given one.

  3. thank you so much. We are always trying to find interesting stories and angles that aren’t covered by the mainstream media.

    Personally, I have always had a weak spot for Cologne and Gladbach, even tho the two of them hate each others guts. Great teams, and I hope to see them in the league for a long time.(might get tough for Gladbach tho)

    cheers, Niklas

  4. yes, and you delivered! haha thank you. even though u know im a leverkusen fan, i really find joy when koeln isnt overlooked and some of its players praised, because it has the potential to be a strong side.

  5. I agree. Clemens has been very good all year. Cologne have a good future ahead if they manage to keep this team together. Geromel in particular has been phenomenal this season. He is definitely amongst the best defenders in the league, and he deserves more recognition for that.

    well, I told you that you would like my next piece about Cologne better then the last one;-) Thx for the comments.


  6. ive always said that hes one of the best out there. and he doesnt dissapoint.

    he needs more recognition. thank you for this!

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