Marco Reus has been lighting up the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund for 10 years and counting…
He has won three Supercups and two DFB Cups along the way, and was a UEFA Champions League runner-up to Bayern Munich in 2013.
This season Reus ceded the captain's armband to Emre Can, but he remains an influential figure on and off the field.
bundesliga.com retraces the steps of a living Dortmund legend...
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1) Humble beginnings
Born in Dortmund on 31 May 1989, Reus' first club was local outfit Post SV Dortmund, whom he joined as a four-year-old boy. His former coach, Andrea Schürmann, recalls how Reus spent almost every available moment kicking a ball. "He always loved playing, either here or at home. He was good on the ball and more than held his own in the team."
2) Starting early
Having registered with his first club at such an early age, the future Germany international quickly became football obsessed. "At home I used tangerines and apples as footballs, so that helped my parents make up their mind for me to join a team."
Reus joined the Dortmund youth academy in 1996, but was eventually told his slight physique would hinder him turning professional. That led him to leave for Rot-Weiß Ahlen to play regular football. "It was very painful for me to leave‚" he told The Guardian in 2013. "When you spend your whole youth career at one club, you want to make the next step - especially when you support that team."
Watch: Reus visits boyhood club Post SV Dortmund
3) A Gladbach saviour
He was signed by Borussia Mönchengladbach in the summer of 2009 and went on to shape the immediate future of the club. He bagged the decisive goal that helped the Foals avoid relegation in 2011 and then scored 18 times - still a personal record for him in a single season - in 2011/12. That secured a fourth-placed finish and entry to the UEFA Champions League qualifying stage for the Foals.
4) Major tournament heartache
Reus' international career started well as he took part and scored at UEFA Euro 2012 on Germany's route to the semi-finals. With the 2014 FIFA World Cup approaching, the wily attacker was in red-hot form. He netted eight league goals and provided five assists in the second half of the 2013/14 season, but his dreams were shattered just days before the tournament when he suffered an ankle injury in a friendly against Armenia. Germany went on to win a fourth World Cup without him.
History repeated itself ahead of Euro 2016, with a late-season injury ruling Reus out of another international tournament. The attacking all-rounder instead played his second major tournament at the 2018 World Cup, starting two of Germany’s three group matches and scoring against Sweden in their only win in Russia. The Dortmund star skipped UEFA Euro 2020 by choice, but returned to help his country become the first team to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup - a tournament he was also forced to watch on TV due to an ankle injury.
5) Mario Götze's support
While Reus missed out on World Cup glory, best friend Mario Götze lived every young football fan's dream by scoring the winning goal in the 2014 final against Argentina. He dedicated the win to his absent mate by carrying a shirt with Reus' name on the back around the pitch during the celebrations.
6) Captain and idol for BVB youngsters
Reus was named Dortmund’s club captain for the first time by Lucien Favre ahead of the 2018/19 season. He became the standard for BVB's rising young squad to follow, especially his former teammate Jadon Sancho. "I look up to Marco Reus because he's a very big player - I look up to him like an idol," said the England and Manchester United winger. "It's good to have him on the pitch talking to me and giving me advice, because when he tells me things I listen.”
Former Dortmund coach Marco Rose was another key figure who praised the influence of the former club skipper. "He's our captain and he plays and acts like one," Rose said in October 2021. "He is an outstanding footballer who puts the team first."
7) A charity man
Dortmund's star often keeps himself out of the limelight off the pitch, but he is someone who always gives back to those less fortunate than himself. He has been doing it for some years now, with regular visits to children in Dortmund hospitals as part of the "ELTERNTREFF" ('ParentMeet') scheme. Reus supports children suffering with leukaemia and tumours, and also donates part of the profit from his clothing line "MRXI" to charity. In March 2020, meanwhile, he and his wife donated 500,000 euros to help small businesses based in Dortmund to cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
8) Part of the 150 club
Reus had an impressive record before he returned to Dortmund, getting on the scoresheet 41 times in 109 games for the Foals. By August 2018, he'd got the 100th Bundesliga goal of his career - rounding off the scoring in a 4-1 success against RB Leipzig.
On the opening day of the 2021/22 campaign Reus hit another big milestone when he netted in the 5-2 win over Eintracht Frankfurt. He was only the fifth player in club history to reach the figure of 100 Bundesliga goals in a Dortmund shirt.
Reus, however, is known for being a team player as well as a cool finisher. It was fitting, then, that he recorded his 100th assist for BVB in October 2021. By setting up a winner for Julian Brandt in the 2-1 victory over Augsburg, he became the only player to get at least 100 goals and 100 assists for Dortmund in the Bundesliga.
More was to come on Matchday 25 of the 2022/23 season when he netted twice in a 6-1 thrashing of Cologne to become the club's all-time leading goalscorer in the Bundesliga era with 161 goals, overtaking former sporting director Michael Zorc - and scoring his 150th Bundesliga goal in total, aged 33.
Watch: All 150 of Reus' Bundesliga goals so far!
9) A FIFA cover star
The way Reus plays the game - racing through gaps and unlocking defences with his vision and sharp footwork - makes him a popular figure around the world. That was something that was further highlighted in 2016, when he was made the cover star of the FIFA 17 computer game. The Dortmund attacker was chosen after coming out on top of a public vote ahead of the likes of James Rodriguez and Eden Hazard.
10) He could have been a pilot
Reus has often been flying high as a footballer, reaching the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League final and winning both the 2016/17 and and 2020/21 DFB Cup with Dortmund. It could have worked out very differently, though, for the man named Germany's Footballer of the Year in 2012 and 2019.
"I've been fascinated by flying since my early childhood," he told Bild in 2012. "Back then I always wanted to become a pilot. I loved flying as a child and still do today."
Reus explained that the idea of seeing so much of the world and experiencing a lot of different cultures was part of the attraction, although he also found the mechanics of the job interesting too. Still though, he wasn't disappointed with his ultimate career choice.
"I have the best job in the world," he said.