Neven Subotic has been a fixture in the Dortmund defence since joining in 2008
Neven Subotic has been a fixture in the Dortmund defence since joining in 2008

Subotic at home in Dortmund

Neven Subotic was born on 10 December 1988 in Banja Luka, then part of Yugoslavia, now the administrative capital of Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The upheavals in his homeland led to a fairly peripatetic existence while he was growing up. Subotic got his first taste of German culture in the Black Forest town of Schömberg in 1994 - and of football as a seven-year-old, a couple of years later, with local club TSV Schwarzenberg.

In 1999 his family moved to Salt Lake City, Utah in the United States before settling in Florida two years later. It was here that Subotic was spotted by a member of the US national team's coaching staff and invited to train with the U-17 squad. The opportunity led to a place on the University of South Florida team and a couple of years later he found himself back in Germany after being snapped up by 1. FSV Mainz 05.

Mainz coach Jürgen Klopp clearly knew what he had in the rangy and athletic centre back and did not hesitate to take him along when he moved on to Borussia Dortmund in 2008. The rest, as they say, is history. Subotic went from strength to strength, forming a formidable central defensive partnership with the equally youthful Mats Hummels, which would be the bedrock of Dortmund's back-to-back Bundesliga title-winning campaigns in 2010/11 and 2011/12.

The Borussia faithful have even designated him his own parking space in the city centre, on the spot where he first got out of his car to celebrate spontaneously the first of those titles with the fans in May 2011. Subotic took his senior international bow for Serbia in 2009 and made one starting appearance at the FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa, turning in an impressive shift in the 1-0 group stage victory over Germany.

His efforts and achievements on the field are more than matched by his endeavours off the field. He has showed what a big heart he has by establishing a foundation in his own name in 2013. Among the projects already up and running is '100 percent water,' helping fund the construction of wells to give more people access to fresh water in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region.

To find out more about Subotic's charity work, don't miss this week's edition of the Bundesliga Preview Show