Rene Adler was something of a sensation when he made his Bundesliga debut for Bayer Leverkusen against Schalke 04 in 2007. Standing in for the injured Hans-Jörg Butt, Adler played the game of his life, pulling off a string of saves and helping his side to a surprise 1-0 win over the Royal Blues.
Success and setbacks
Further heroics that season put the agile keeper in the frame for the Germany squad and he went on to make his national team debut on 11 October 2008, keeping goal superbly in a dramatic 2-1 win over Russia in Moscow's Luzhniki stadium, one of the most memorable debuts for a German international in living memory.
Following the retirement of Jens Lehmann in 2008 and the unexpected death of Robert Enke in 2009, Adler emerged as first choice for the Germany team in the lead-up to the FIFA World Cup in 2010 until an unfortunate rib injury forced him out of the tournament and his place was given to Manuel Neuer.
More injury misfortune was to follow, when a knee problem caused him to miss the entire 2011/12 season. Having lost his place to the talented Bernd Leno, Adler decided to move on from Leverkusen, the club he had joined as a 14-year-old, when his contract expired in 2012, negotiating a deal with Hamburger SV.
Rising from the ashes
Moving north offered Adler a chance to resurrect his career, an opportunity he grabbed with both hands as he once again went on to establish himself as one of Germany's most talented goalkeepers. The Red Shorts shot stopper made 124 saves during the 2012/13 campaign - a figure only bettered by Fabian Giefer (127) and Ron-Robert Zieler (141) - regularly sparing the blushes of his team.
Like HSV, Adler had to endure a rollercoaster season, which includes highs of keeping eight clean sheets and lows of conceding nine goals in one match against FC Bayern Munich. However, his performances were rewarded when Joachim Löw reintroduced him to the international set-up. Now fit again and arguably back to his best, the player dubbed the "future Germany No. 1" as long ago as the year 2000 is proving himself again between the HSV posts and could be on course for a place in Germany's 2014 World Cup squad.