Julian Brandt's humility at such a young age is credit to his upbringing, which has also helped him to become of the most talented players in the Bundesliga at just 22. - © © imago
Julian Brandt's humility at such a young age is credit to his upbringing, which has also helped him to become of the most talented players in the Bundesliga at just 22. - © © imago

Bayer Leverkusen's Julian Brandt: The Bundesliga's humble wonderkid


He may already be one of the most promising talents in the Bundesliga, but Bayer Leverkusen's Julian Brandt is also one of the most humble players in the league. From buying his parents a house to treating everyone on the same level, Brandt is a player and person far beyond his years.

"We used to live in a terraced house in Bremen," Brandt told German publication Bild. "That was a little too small for us five, but we loved it. When I earned enough money as a young professional, I bought my family a bigger house five minutes away. That was a matter of the heart for me. It will never happen that my parents or brothers have to pay bills - I could never allow that."

From the first moment he could give his family a better life, 22-year-old Brandt had no other motive on his mind. After all, his family is what has brought him to this point in life. His father, who is also his agent, is a key figure both personally and professionally.

"Our family relationship is very intimate - very special," Brandt explained. "My mother, father, us three boys. That was a big reason why I wanted my father to be my agent. He has done a great job in the last few years. We've never had a fight with each other."

Julian Brandt (l.) is a key part of Bayer Leverkusen's frightening attack, including Lucas Alario (r.), Leon Bailey, Kai Havertz and Kevin Volland. - © imago

Brandt has explained in the past that the most important thing he was taught by his father was to be down-to-earth, and it's easy to see how the way the young German was brought up by his parents has influenced who he is as a person. "I try to be humble myself, and would recommend it to others," Brandt said.

When asked to explain some of his strengths to Deutsche Welle in 2017, he explained that "I don't like answering questions like that at all. I don't like talking about my strengths. I don't know why, but I'd rather talk about my weaknesses. I have the feeling, when I talk about my strengths, that I'm praising myself and I don't feel comfortable doing that."

Watch: Brandt's Top Three Bundesliga Goals!

Despite having 19 Germany caps and 132 Bundesliga appearances to his name - as well as one international goal and 27 more in the German top flight for Leverkusen - stardom is not something Brandt has longed for, nor something he is exploiting now.

After all, Brandt wasn't born on the pitch - although it feels like he must have been considering how well he plays. The Bremen-born forward's upbringing off the pitch is what has created such a refreshingly humble professional on it, and it reflects in his views on footballer's wages.

"In the end, money is just a number in an account that definitely doesn't make you a better person," Brandt told Bild. "Everyone, including a footballer, has the right to treat themselves to something: a car, a smart watch. You can treat yourself as long as you behave normally with other people. You should say ‘hello’, 'good day', and not be snobby."

For Brandt, luxury is as simple as being able to go out with his teammates for dinner. Living alone in Leverkusen, the youngster hasn't yet learned to cook. So he spends his evenings with his teammates eating out - something he wouldn't be able to afford if it wasn't for football.

While being modest and reserved off the pitch, Brandt's ambitions on it are as high as anyone else. Having signed a new contract with Leverkusen earlier this year, his clear goal is to win his first career title at the club who gave him his first professional chance. And for Brandt, the main goal is winning the Bundesliga because, why not?

"Why shouldn't we be able to get a title?,” he asked. “We all know that it's hard to win, but why can't you win the trophy, or the Europa League? We're allowed to express different ambitions than just to reach an international competition.

"I think you should set yourself the biggest possible goals as a player and club. You don't have to run through Leverkusen and say, 'I'm going to be a champion, win the cup and the Europa League', but you can just say, 'I want that.'"

One of Germany's most ambitious talents, and also one of its most humble. Brandt is quickly becoming a role model for youngsters wanting to make their way into the professional game. Good manners and a smile can open any door, as the saying goes, and right now, every door is wide open for Brandt.

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