Munich - Be it at Borussia Dortmund's Signal-Iduna-Park or back in his native Poland, is a firm fans' favourite on account of his sheer dedication as much as his undoubted skill on the ball. presents ten lesser-known facts on the attacking midfield dynamo's far-from-easy rise to the very top of the game, in the Bundesliga and beyond...

Born in the Polish village of Truskolasy, Blaszczykowski set off on the road to national stardom aged eight, joining local club Rakow along with his older brother Dawid. Jakub impressed all the right people, but in September of 1996 the ten-year-old Jakub's world imploded when he lost his mother to a family tragedy.

The Blaszczykowski brothers were placed in the care of their grandmother, with Jakub understandably taking some time out from his beloved sport. Two months later, though, backed by uncle and former Poland captain Jerzy Brzeczek, the youngster returned to Rakow's youth setup more determined than ever.

His lung-busting performances were the talk of the town and, in the summer of 2002, he joined up with the youth team of Polish top-flight outfit Gornik Zabrze. Things didn't quite work out, however, and Blaszczykowski soon returned to his home town, signing for fourth-tier club KS Czestochowa.

While still on the books at KS Czestochowa, the then 18-year-old talent got his first taste of international football, playing for Poland Under-19s. Blaszczykowski was really beginning to purr and after stealing the show at a trial with Wisla Krakow during the 2004/05 winter break, he went on to break into the first team in double-quick time.

Blaszczykowski left no stone unturned during his first season at Wisla, scoring on his debut, helping the team to the league title, making his debut for Poland's Under-21s and subsequently getting his hands on the award for the Ekstraklasa's best midfielder.

It wasn't long before then national team coach Pawel Janas came knocking, handing 'Kuba' his first cap in a friendly against Saudi Arabia in March 2006. The World Cup finals in Germany were beckoning, but Blaszczykowski was sidelined by a back injury just before the announcement of the squad to make the short journey west, and missed out on the chance to take part.

Blaszczykowski returned to action with a bang and, in February 2007, put pen to paper on a four-year deal with Borussia Dortmund. The Yellow-Black faithful had to wait until the summer to see their new man, but he promptly delivered a taste of things to come with a goal and an assist on his debut in a pre-season friendly against AS Roma.

Taking to the Bundesliga like a duck to water, Blaszczykowski picked up the Polish Player of the Year award in 2008, before repeating the trick two years later. New national team boss Franciszek Smuda needed no invitation, swiftly handing the Dortmund winger the captain's armband for a 2010 friendly against the Ivory Coast.

Blaszczykowski is great friends with his Dortmund team-mate and compatriot Lukasz Piszczek - so much so that BVB head coach Jürgen Klopp refers to them as "Lolek and Bolek," two Polish cartoon and comic book pals whose exploits kids of all ages in Germany are familiar with as well.

A devout Roman Catholic, Jakub dedicates every goal he scores to his mother who, he says, "is looking after me. I've had some difficulties in my life, but I've overcome them, and I feel that's because she's there somewhere helping me".