With five goals in nine appearances for Bayern Munich in 2018, Sandro Wagner has played more than just a bit-part role in the record champions' unprecedented sixth successive title triumph.
"I've scored a few goals and brought a few funny remarks into the dressing room," said the Germany international with a smile he could justifiably extend from one ear to the other after netting the fourth and final goal in Bayern's title-clinching 4-1 win at Augsburg on Saturday. "It's much nicer this time, since I've made a contribution to it."
Watch: Wagner - 'I'm the best German striker'
In case you didn't know it, Wagner has won the title once before with Bayern - albeit having made only four brief appearances at the start of the 2007/08 campaign. Six unsuccessful years of soul-searching at Werder Bremen, Kaiserslautern and Hertha Berlin followed, but - thanks to goal-laden spells with Darmstadt and Hoffenheim - the Munich man earned a second shot at the big time.
"I'm delighted to be back home," Wagner said, having returned to boyhood club Bayern during the 2017/18 winter break. "I had a few years when things didn't work out so well so I'm fully capable of putting things into perspective, but I'm so grateful for the way things are right now. I'm more mature and can enjoy it more. It feels good."
Wagner has every reason to cheer. He is a two-time Bundesliga winner, playing - not warming the bench as many expected - for the most successful club in Bundesliga history, and averaging a goal every 92 minutes at that. The 30-year-old knows that he's not about to usurp Robert Lewandowski as Bayern's first-choice striker, but appreciates that the best teams are so much more than the sum of their parts.
"The lads on the bench are just as delighted," Wagner said after only his third 90-minute outing in a Bayern shirt. "They give us a boost in the dressing room. The spirit we currently have here, and which Jupp Heynckes embodies on a daily basis, is incredible. I've never seen anything like it. It's just fantastic."