When Marco Reus announced during the 2011/12 winter break that he would join Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season, there was a sense of him having come full circle.
Rapid upward curve
Born in Dortmund on 31 May 1989, Reus played in BVB's youth team before being released in 2006 and joining Rot-Weiss Ahlen. The forward helped the club gain promotion to Bundesliga 2 at the end of the 2007/08 campaign, and his pace and dribbling ability attracted the attention of Borussia Mönchengladbach.
After joining the Foals in the summer of 2009, Reus maintained his rapid upward curve and swiftly became a key player. His scoring record improved year on year and he ended 2011/12 with an incredible 18 goals and eight assists, having played an instrumental part in Gladbach's phenomenal season which culminated in them reaching the UEFA Champions League qualification rounds.
Germany coach Joachim Löw was finally able to hand him his first international cap (after Reus had pulled out four times previously due to injury or illness) on 7 October 2011 against Turkey and he was one of the national team's success stories in their run to the last four of UEFA EURO 2012 in Poland/Ukraine. In his first season back at his boyhood club, he netted 14 goals and provided eight assists as Dortmund finished second league. He also helped the club to a first UEFA Champions League final since 1997.
Wold Cup heartache
In the 2013-14 season, he shook off a number of injuries to end the season as Dortmund's, and Germany's best player, and was set to play a starring role at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Fate conspired against him, however, and he was heartbreakingly denied the chance to appear in a World Cup after sustaining an ankle injury in a pre-tournament friendly against Armenia. Joachim Löw's side went to win the tournament without him.
Reus always sticks to the same routine before every match. He insists on having music in the changing room and always pulls on his right sock, shin pad and boot first. Conversely, he always enters the pitch with his left foot first. If he had not become a footballer he would more than likely be flying high nonetheless - his alternative career choice would have been as a pilot.