Jonas Hector has enjoyed a remarkable rise to prominence with club and country
Jonas Hector has enjoyed a remarkable rise to prominence with club and country

From his own sofa to EURO semi-final: the rise and rise of Germany's Jonas Hector

Six years ago, he was playing amateur football. In 2014, he watched Germany win the World Cup from his sofa. On Thursday, Jonas Hector will be on the pitch trying to earn his nation a place in the final of UEFA EURO 2016.

It is only a five-hour drive from Cologne to Paris where Hector would step out as part of Joachim Löw's line-up on 10 July should Germany see off France in Thursday's semi-final at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille.

Yet, any thought the 1. FC Köln left-back might have had of being there to see the Nationalmannschaft add a European title to the world crown he was watching them claim while in his living room two years ago would only have been as a fan in the Stade de France stands.

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Even after joining Köln in 2012, Hector struggled to make his way into the professional ranks, and it was only when then-coach Holger Stanislawski put his faith in him ahead of the 2013/14 campaign that the defender's Hollywood rise to stardom began.