Cologne – The last person you want to see lining up a free-kick from anywhere between 20 and 45 metres is Hakan Calhanoglu, unless you are a Bayer 04 Leverkusen fan.
The Turkish attacking midfielder has made a name for himself with his set-piece prowess, but there is more to die Werkself's number ten than just that, as bundesliga.com reveals with ten things about Hakan Calhanoglu.
Born in Mannheim, Germany, in February 1994, the attacking midfielder nevertheless opted to represent his parents' homeland Turkey at international level, making his full senior debut in September 2013.
From Karlsruhe to Hamburg and back
He played for hometown club Waldhof Mannheim for eight years before being spotted by Karlsruher SC, who signed him as a 15-year-old. He breakthrough for them came at the age of 18, albeit once he had already completed a transfer to Hamburger SV, who loaned him back to KSC for the season.
With 17 goals in 36 third division appearances, HSV got him back in 2013 already with a reputation to live up to, and he did not disappoint in the Bundesliga either, scoring 11 goals in what was a struggling Hamburg side, who only just avoided relegation via a play-off.
Hit the ground running in Hamburg
UEFA Champions League football followed in July 2014 when he signed for Bayer 04 Leverkusen. It wasn't long before he notched his first goal for the club, and he went on to score another seven in 33 league appearances in his first season for die Werkself
Hakan Calhanoglu's free-kicks have already earned the labels "stunning" and "outrageous", and it is hardly surprising his name is regularly mentioned in a list of the top set-piece specialists in the world. He scored more direct free-kicks than any other player in the Bundesliga in both the 2013/14 and 2014/15 campaigns.
Beating Manuel Neuer
One of his personal favourites came in May 2015, when he curled a dead ball past FC Bayern München custodian Manuel Neuer. "If you can put one past the best goalkeeper there is then it makes it all the sweeter. It's important for me because it gives me the belief that I have a chance of scoring past any goalkeeper, so it's extra special for me," he said.
There is more to Calhanoglu's game than just free-kicks, though. He has also shown his strength in the tackle, making him an ideal player for Roger Schmidt's pressing style – he uses his boot also to get stuck in and not just for the fancy free-kicks.
Ten is Calhanoglu's lucky number, and it is no coincidence that Leverkusen gave him that numbered shirt. "I wore 32 in my first season with Karlsruhe and didn't score, then when I got the number ten, I scored 17 and set up 15. It's an important number for me; it gives me a great feeling."
New Year honour
Calhanoglu has risen through the ranks for his country, starting off at under-16 level and including the under-17s, under-19s and under-20s, with whom he scored one of his most stunning free-kicks in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup on home soil, before being capped at under-21 and senior level, with three goals to his name already in only nine senior caps.