Happy Birthday, Willi! Thirty years ago today, our very own Vilmos ‘Willi’ Tamás Orbán was born in Kaiserslautern. The defender has been at RB Leipzig since 2015, and has featured in 261 games for the club, as well as picking up 35 caps with Hungary (also 77 games for 1. FC Kaiserslautern). He’s been a reliable and consistent figure at the heart of the RBL defence for several years, including this season.
I’m good to go until 12th November now!
A regular starter
Orbán has started every game so far this season and has only been subbed out on one occasion: in the second round of the DFB-Pokal against Hamburger SV with Leipzig leading 2-0 at the break (4-0 win). Afterwards, Orbán had this to say about his substitution: “The coach has given me a break now – that should be enough until 12th November.”
Following an injury to fellow countryman Péter Gulácsi, our number 4 has taken over wearing the captain’s armband in his stead. Only Yussuf Poulsen – our record appearance maker in the Bundesliga – and Emil Forsberg have featured in more competitive matches for RBL than Orbán has.
In top form again
He hasn’t only impressed with his leadership skills, but also with his performances. Orbán ranks highest in various defensive categories in the Bundesliga this season. Only two defenders win more challenges than the Hungarian (4 players overall) while just five defensive players have a better passing success rate. Only two defensive players have won more aerial duels than Orbán.
Bundesliga, most challenges won:
- 1. Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund) – 202
- 2. Kouadio Kone (Borussia Mönchengladbach) – 156
- 3. Ozan Kabak (TSG Hoffenheim) – 151
- 4. Jonas Hector (1. FC Köln) – 149
- 5. Willi Orbán (RB Leipzig) and Dayot Upamecano (FC Bayern München) – both 144
Bundesliga, most successful passes (%):
- 1. Nico Elvedi (Borussia Mönchengladbach) – 95,2
- 2. Matthijs de Ligt (FC Bayern München) – 94,25
- 3. Jonathan Tah (Bayer 04 Leverkusen) – 92,7
- 4. Malick Thiaw (since moved from FC Schalke 04 to AC Milan) – 92,66
- 5. Dayot Upamecano (FC Bayern München) – 92,4
- 6. Willi Orbán (RB Leipzig) – 92,03
Bundesliga, most aerial duels won:
- 1. Philipp Hofmann (VfL Bochum) – 68
- 2. Michael Gregoritsch (SC Freiburg) – 64
- 3. Niclas Füllkrug (SV Werder Bremen) – 62
- 4. Marc Oliver Kempf (Hertha BSC) – 61
- 5. Ozan Kabak (TSG Hoffenheim) – 60
- 6. Willi Orbán (RB Leipzig) – 54
Defence wins you titles.
A key part of our DFB-Pokal win
Orbán is also once again amongst the Bundesliga defenders to have taken the most shots (12) and scored the most goals (3). He has scored 25 goals for Leipzig in his career, and ranks amongst the top 10 highest scoring players in club history.
However, Orbán’s most important goal contribution has been one assist in particular. In the DFB-Pokal final against SC Freiburg in May 2022, it was Orbán who redirected a header to Christopher Nkunku in the final minutes of normal time, allowing the Frenchman to score the equaliser and send the game to extra-time. What happened after that is history…
Plenty more to come
With the score still level after extra-time, the match went to penalties to find a winner. Nkunku and Orbán scored their penalties, while Freiburg’s Christian Günter missed his. Leipzig were able to lift their first major trophy in club history, with a 4-2 shootout win. The cup win will also rank amongst the biggest honours Orbán has won in his RBL career, which includes winning promotion to the Bundesliga, finishing runners-up twice and reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League. He also took part in EURO 2020 with Hungary.
Just last year, Orbán signed an early contract extension with the Bulls, and will be at the club until 2025. Ahead of this season, he told us: “I hope that we become a real force at home and remain one of the league’s top defensive sides as well. Like they say: defence wins you titles.”