USA international Christian Pulisic says he owes he career to Borussia Dortmund, telling ESPN’s Raphael Honigstein "everything they promised came true".
Pulisic was just 16 when he crossed the Atlantic to join Dortmund from Pennsylvania Classics in February 2015, but was entrusted to make his Bundesliga debut within 12 months and has since made over 100 competitive appearances for the club.
"When I came here, just a little kid, I didn’t know what could possibly happen or what really this club was about," said Pulisic, whose Dortmund chapter will come to an end in the summer when he links up with English Premier League outfit Chelsea.
"They promised me that they would give me chances here and that I would come in and they would treat me right, and really give me my chances to become a professional if I worked hard at it. I had to work a lot to get to this point, but everything they promised kinda came true."
Watch: Christian Pulisic's top 3 Bundesliga goals
Dortmund showed faith and Pulisic put in the necessary ground work - a dedication to his craft that has paid tenfold. The Hershey-born midfielder ranks, among others, as the USA's youngest ever goalscorer, the youngest American to win a major European trophy (DFB Cup), and conceivably the best player his country has ever produced.
The 20-year-old has made climbing mount soccer stardom look easy, even if it was anything but.
"Nothing was easy to come over to Europe - to make this step, I’m really happy that I did it," explained Pulisic. "It just made me so much stronger, not only as a player but as a person too. I’m really thankful for that."
The 2018/19 campaign will be Pulisic's last in the Bundesliga, but his legacy will live on through the new wave of American talent blowing through Germany's top tier.
Chief among them is Weston McKennie. An international teammate and close friend of Pulisic, the Texan has been on the Schalke books since August 2016 and is currently enjoying his second full season of Bundesliga football.
"He’s helped out a lot," McKennie told ESPN of Pulisic. "Him coming over here at such a young age and accomplishing what he accomplished at that time: getting on the bench for Dortmund at 17, I think showed a lot of people in America that it’s possible and that Germany is a land of opportunity for Americans coming over."