Mainz - For most newlyweds, marriage is usually followed by a trip to some place exotic, but that has not been the case for 1. FSV Mainz 05 attacking midfielder Yunus Malli.
Rather than soaking up the late summer rays after tying the knot with fiancee Hatice, the 23-year-old has instead had to settle for bathing in the glory of his first ever Bundesliga hat-trick in Friday’s 3-1 home win over TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
"Marriage has done him good," quipped Mainz head coach Martin Schmidt from inside the Coface Arena. "It’s done us good too. We’ve been working hard in training. It’s nice to a have goal guarantee like him in the side."
Indeed, Malli now has five goals to show for the first five matches of the current campaign. He is also only the third Mainz player to score a Bundesliga hat-trick after Adam Szalai and Mohamed Zidan, and is currently enjoying the longest scoring run of his professional career - three matches.
'The club are behind me'
It is not as if the Germany Under-21 international has been in hiding since joining Mainz from Borussia Mönchengladbach in summer 2011, but it was only last August that the once bit-part player managed to nail down a regular place in the starting line-up. Since then, he has missed just three of Mainz’s 39 Bundesliga matches.
"I’m feeling good, I’ve got a lot of freedom here and have an environment in which I can develop," Malli explained. "I sense the coach, the team and the club are behind me. I needed time and that’s what they gave me here. I’m really grateful for that."
Perseverance the key
For the Mainz hierarchy, Malli’s blossoming form is merely confirmation of the faith the 05ers have shown in him over the the last four years. "Those weren’t his last goals," said sporting director Christian Heidel. "That’s why we went out of our way to get him to sign a new deal [in the summer]."
Feeling the love on and off the pitch, this could be the start of a long and beautiful relationship for Malli.