Although already a household name worldwide, bundesliga.com searched high and wide to dig up some lesser-known facts about the 24-year-old...
Born in Ludwigshafen on 6 November 1990, World Cup winner Andre joined a famous list of names to have emerged from the small town on the Rhine, such as philosopher Ernst Bloch and former German chancellor Helmut Kohl (l.). Earmarked for a different path, Andre remembers always "kicking the ball against the side of my house", and represented local club Ludwigshafener SC between 1996 and 2006. Indeed, his youth team which "had a great influence" on Schürrle receives a small percentage of each transfer fee involving the German star to reinvest into youth football in the community.
After leaving Ludwigshafen at the age of 16, Schürrle joined 1. FSV Mainz 05 in summer 2006. Back as a youngster, the aspiring wing wizard idolised Michael Ballack and Raul (r.), describing the latter as "one of the greatest players of all time" in an interview with German football magazine 11Freunde. He remembers Thomas Tuchel encouraging him to read an interview with the Spanish legend, in which the then-Mainz coach had underlined advice in highlighter pen which Schürrle could apply to his own game. "It definitely worked," he recalled.
The world's most famous air-guitarist?
Indeed it did, as Schürrle scored 14 goals en route to Mainz's U-19 title in the 2008/09 season. Der Karnevalverein's youngsters beat a Borussia Dortmund side containing Mario Götze in the final. Schürrle then went on to form one-third of Mainz's famous 'Bruchweg Boys', who would, with Adam Szalai and Lewis Holtby, celebrate goals by pretending to be a rockband. Schürrle played the guitar, Szalai the drums and Holtby was the lead singer as the mock boyband burst onto the domestic stage by beating FC Bayern München 2-1 at the Allianz Arena in September 2010 to go top of the Bundesliga.
An impressive record of 15 goals in 33 appearances in the 2010/11 season as Mainz finished fifth encouraged Bayer 04 Leverkusen to shell out for Schürrle's scintillating wing play. The move brought with it a chance to feature alongside another hero, Ballack. "Michael was completely open with me from the first day," remembers Schürrle. "He gave me lots of tips and helped me through those tough times. I can't praise him highly enough." Between 2011 and 2013, Schürrle cemented his reputation as one of the continent's biggest talents. In 65 games over two seasons, he scored 18 goals and created a further 13 as for die Werkself twice qualified for Europe.
A nervy start
A further reason which encouraged Bayer 04 to swoop for Schürrle was his burgeoning presence on the international scene - although back then he wasn't as well-known a face as he is now. "I remember standing in the corner and hoping someone would approach me," he told 11Freunde of his first call-up in 2010. "Obviously, it was just what I had always wanted, but when I got there, I was completely nervous. It was like going into a parallel world and the minutes I spent waiting in the hotel lobby seemed to last for days. Then Bastian Schweinsteiger came up to me and just treated me as if I'd been there for years."
That shy 20-year-old is a far cry from the urbane Schürrle of today, who is fluent in English after spending two years in London with Chelsea FC before joining the Wolves. The German international made 65 appearances for the Blues in all competitions, scoring 14 goals in the process including a hat-trick against local rivals Fulham FC. While residing in the English capital, Schürrle continued his method of relaxation which he told 11Freunde about in 2012. "I like going into cafes," he explained. "I find them very calm and I can switch off for two or three hours. Music is also important to relax. I love Hip-Hop and R'n'B."
A talented triumvirate
International duty did, however, rekindle Schürrle's friendship with Bayern's Götze and begin one with Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus. The attacking trio are regularly seen together on social media (as below), and Götze was one of the first to encourage Schürrle to move back to the Bundesliga when Wolfsburg made an offer in January 2015. "We spoke to each other about the situation in the decisive days," explained the Bayern star to Sport Bild. "I’m delighted that he’s back in the Bundesliga. He made a good decision and we can now face each other on the pitch once again."
Bundesliga born and bred
His friendship with Götze may have been one reason for Schürrle's return to Germany, but another, more important concern was undeniably the strength of the Bundesliga. "I wasn't planning to leave Chelsea prior to Christmas," he wrote in Der Engelhorn Sports Blog. "But as soon as there was interest [from Wolfsburg], then I wanted to go back to the Bundesliga." He struck his maiden goal in Wolfsburg colours, the third in a 3-1 victory over VfB Stuttgart on Matchday 27 of the 2014/15 campaign. "It was a special moment," he told kicker afterwards. Schürrle went on to play a key role as Wolfsburg lifted their maiden DFB Cup in May 2015, mere months after his arrival.
Undeniably, the Wolves' interest in signing Schürrle was piqued after his displays at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The then-23-year-old netted three goals in Germany's march to the title, including a brace in the and a brilliant opener in a tight second-round match against Algeria. However, it was his perfect assist for old friend Götze to score the winner in the 113th minute of in Rio de Janeiro's Maracana Stadium which will live longest in the memory. "I've watched the goal against Argentina at least a thousand times on my own," he told 11Freunde in September.
A winter's tale
Along with listening to hip-hop and R'n'B, off the field, the attacking midfielder enjoys both watching and playing winter sports. In March, he posted a picture on Instagram of himself preparing to bobsleigh in Winterberg, a major winter sports resort in North-Rhine Westphalia, with the caption "an awesome experience here". His girlfriend, Montana Yorke, meanwhile, has shared pictures of the pair taking in some ice hockey games at the Eisarena in Wolfsburg. Local club, EHC Wolfsburg Grizzly Adams, play in the German professional Ice Hockey League.