Sebastian Rode was not new to the Bundesliga when he was promoted with Eintracht Frankfurt in 2012, but having passed up the chance to remain in the top flight following the Eagles' relegation the previous year, showed his commitment to helping them bounce straight back.

Indeed, commitment has already taken Rode a long way, but his path still seems to be opening up in front of him.

Obstacles


Such commitment must have come from his mother. When she tried to sign her four-year-old Sebastian up for a local football team, only to discover they did not cater for players so young, she decided to create a team for him. Commitment and dedication were also required to recover from torn cruciate knee ligaments when Rode was just starting to make inroads into a career as a professional footballer.

It was a setback, but not a tragedy, and after a seven-month break, Rode broke into the first team of Kickers Offenbach in Germany's third division before earning himself a move to Eintracht Frankfurt where he "fulfilled a childhood dream of playing in the Bundesliga."

Dreams


Realising that dream initially had to be put on ice for four months, though, since Rode picked up the next serious injury of his career - knee cartilage damage - during pre-season. On his personal website, he thanked Frankfurt for their patience and support, and vowed to pay them back, which he did in 2011 when, following relegation to Bundesliga 2, he turned down several offers from clubs in the Bundesliga to stay with the Eagles.

Rode says it is important to have aims in life, and one of those is to represent his country. "It is an honour to be able to play for your country," said a man who has already featured at Under-18, Under-19, Under-20 and Under-21 level for Germany, making the next step seem a logical one.

"Even if you can't always reach your aims, you must always give it your best shot," is Rode's philosophy, and he is putting that into practice with Frankfurt, at the highest level of German football. Given his commitment and dedication, there is one more step Rode could soon be taking.