Jermaine Jones is renowned for his no-nonsense approach to the game and it is perhaps little wonder that the hardman is FC Schalke 04's midfield general, given that his father was an American soldier stationed in Germany.

Eintracht Frankfurt, Jones' home town club, were quick to recognise the youngster's raw talent and snapped him up as a 14-year-old. There he progressed through the club's academy system and, bar a brief spell at Bayer Leverkusen, spent a total of twelve years with the Eagles.

Change of scene

Summer 2007 was a major turning point in Jones' career as he secured a transfer to Bundesliga giants FC Schalke 04. It was not all plain sailing for Jones at the Royal Blues, however, as a hairline fracture in his left shinbone forced him to miss the entire 2009/10 Bundesliga campaign.

A six month loan spell at English club Blackburn Rovers in 2011 helped the midfield enforcer regain form and fitness before returning to Schalke in time for the 2011-12 season.

A prolonged spell in the starting line-up was all Jones needed to establish himself on the international scene too. Despite having made three friendly appearances for Germany, Jones opted to represent USA having been called up by former Bayern Munich striker Jürgen Klinsmann. He has since gone on to become just as integral to the Stars and Stripes team as he is for Schalke, impressing enough to be appointed USA captain in January 2012.