The 25-year-old, a winner in 2012, was presented with the gong after being chosen as the year’s outstanding talent from a jury of 22 football writers that included former coach-turned-columnist Hans Meyer and Hamburger SV legend Uwe Seeler.
"For my team-mates"
“Marco is someone that everybody wants to watch. He’s unbelievably quick on his feet, has such a talent for the game and he scores goals. In the second half of last season he put in some brilliant performances, both in the Bundesliga and in the UEFA Champions League,” said Meyer, once a coach of 1. FC Nürnberg and Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Reus meanwhile, who this week returned to training following an ankle injury that ruled him out of Germany’s 2014 FIFA World Cup campaign, was quick to pay tribute to his BVB colleagues. “This prize isn’t just for me, it’s for my team-mates as well. Without them I couldn’t have achieved what I did,” the Dortmund-born star commented. “As an individual, there’s only so much you can do. Over the course of a season you need your team-mates, and so this is recognition for them as well.”
Wolfgang Niersbach, President of the German FA, also voiced his pleasure at the result, even if he was disappointed not to have seen Reus in action in Brazil. “I’m delighted for Marco, but on the other hand I’m also a bit sad because we missed him at the World Cup. [Former German World Cup winner and current Bayer 04 Leverkusen sporting director] Rudi Völler said he would be the star of the tournament; I hope he can lift himself up for the next major event.”
Back in June, Reus ruefully reflected on his after an injury sustained in a pre-World Cup friendly against Armenia cruelly denied him the opportunity to appear on football’s biggest stage, while the rest of the country lamented the absence of arguably the Bundesliga’s standout player last season.
The former Rot-Weiß Ahlen youngster scored 16 goals and assisted a further 14 in the Bundesliga as BVB finished second, with eight of his strikes coming in the final nine games of the campaign. He also helped the club reach the last eight of the UEFA Champions League, netting twice against Real Madrid CF in a 2-0 second leg victory at Signal Iduna Park. He is expected to make his first-team return in September.
11 Freunde also recognised FC Augsburg duo Markus Weinzierl and Andreas Rettig for coach and sporting director of the year respectively, while new Leverkusen signing Hakan Calhanoglu was voted best young player. Thomas Hitzlsperger, a former Bundesliga winner with VfB Stuttgart in 2007 and who publicly came out as gay earlier this year, was named sportsperson of the year.