Since returning to boyhood club Borussia Dortmund in 2012, the outrageously talented Marco Reus has only continued to improve, establishing himself as a regular for Germany and becoming one of the most sought after players in the world game.
Despite now being a global household name, bundesliga.com has done some digging to find ten facts you may not already know about the Germany international...
Born in Dortmund on 31 May 1989, Reus' first club was local outfit Post SV Dortmund, whom he joined as a boy. His former coach, Andrea Schürmann, recalls how Reus spent almost every available moment kicking a ball. "He always loved playing, either here or at home. He was good on the ball and more than held his own in the team."
A tough choice
Reus joined the Dortmund youth academy in 1996, but was told his slight physique would hinder him turning professional, and he moved to Rot-Weiß Ahlen to play regular football. "It was very painful for me to leave‚" he told The Guardian in 2013. "When you spend your whole youth career at one club, you want to make the next step – especially when you support that team."
Forever a Foal
He was signed by Borussia Mönchengladbach in the summer of 2009 and went on to shape the immediate future of the club. He bagged the decisive goal that helped the Foals avoid relegation in 2011 and then scored 18 times in 2011/12 to secure a fourth-placed finish and entry to the UEFA Champions League qualifying stage.
His sensational form in 2011/12 was rewarded with a call-up to the Germany squad by head coach Joachim Löw. Having pulled out of four previous squads because of injury or illness, he finally debuted for Die Nationalmannschaft in October 2011 against Turkey, and made the final 23-man squad for UEFA EURO 2012, scoring in the quarter-final victory over Greece.
True to his roots
Often part of the mass of 80,000 supporters crammed into the SIGNAL IDUNA PARK as a kid, Reus drove home to Dortmund every weekend while at Gladbach and endeared himself further to many German football fans by choosing his hometown club over FC Bayern München. "Players don't come and go as often as they do at Bayern. It was the best place for me, and I was coming home."
World Cup heartache
Reus scored eight league goals and provided five assists in the second half of the 2013/14 season, but his dream of playing at the 2014 FIFA World Cup was shattered by an ankle injury suffered against Armenia. Germany went on to win a fourth World Cup without him.
Emblazoned on his left forearm he has 'Marco - 31.05.1989’, with a few more dotted across his arms. "I like tattoos a lot and I have a good tattoo artist. There'll probably be some more in the future. It might even become an obsession."
'I copied everything about him'
Reus' role model as a kid was Tomas Rosicky. The Czech international was one of BVB's foremost figures in the early 2000s, winning the Bundesliga title and playing close to 200 league games. "He had great technique and was so intelligent and mature even though he was still young at Dortmund. I copied everything about him - right down to his sweatbands."
They may only have played together for one season at Dortmund (2012/13), but Reus and Mario Götze became extremely close friends at BVB and subsequently when together on international duty. After Reus missed the 2014 World Cup with injury, final matchwinner Götze dedicated the triumph to his absent best buddy.
Congratulation to the whole Team! Your Dream has Come true! And Thanks to my bro for your gesture:) Believe ✌️ pic.twitter.com/Cgb6xeDq8T— Marco Reus (@woodyinho) July 14, 2014
He's in fashion
One of Reus' main pursuits outside of football is his very own fashion label 'MRXI' (Marco Reus, no. 11), the proceeds of which he donates to charity. He even models the clothes himself: this tee shirt bears an emoji that he used as a goal celebration in 2014.