Munich - Eintracht Frankfurt defender Sebastian Jung may have missed the train to Bochum, where Germany’s under-21s were in action, but he got the plane for his first international call-up in November 2012 as his performances finally earned the recognition his peers say they deserved.
Frankfurt coach Armin Veh and club president Heribert Bruchhagen had long since been singing the praises of the young full-back, earmarking him as a future international long before the club were promoted back to the top flight, and that call came when he least expected it.
“It was a huge surprise,” he said. “Getting called up to the national team is something very special.” Jung responded to the call, which came in the form of a text message from Germany’s assistant coach Hans-Dieter Flick after he initially ignored a call from an unknown number on his mobile phone. “Once I got the message, I called straight back,” he said.
The first Eintracht player to be called into the Germany national team in 13 years has a lot to thank the Bundesliga club for. The lobby he has received from Veh and Bruchhagen certainly helped focus more attention on a player who first signed terms for the club at the age of eight. Yet not even realising the dream of almost every young boy by playing for a professional team saw Jung lose his focus. He knew how many youngsters fell by the wayside, and so he prepared himself with two parallel lives: while concentrating on making the grade for Eintracht, he ensured he would have a future if he didn’t make it - as a baker.
Stories of a schoolboy racing off to training soon after leaving the school gates are common, but rarely do you hear about the boy who woke up at the crack of dawn to fill the ovens before even the newspapers had been delivered. Jung doesn’t have to get up so early any more, and those newspapers are carrying his name after he missed the train, but caught the plane to fulfil “a lifelong dream” in savouring life as a Germany international. And once his career eventually does reach the end of the line, he can always make his bread in another way.