Hard work is the foundation of all sporting success. Marcel Schmelzer has experienced this through the Dortmund way, going into his eighth season with the Black and Yellows. After a year of setbacks, the left-back wants to return to a BVB in the cluster of teams at the top of the league.
In 2008, Marcel Schmelzer was still playing for the second team. Even there, he was mostly on the bench. When he learned from his former coach Theo Schneider during the summer break that he was to train with the first team, Schmelzer, who was spending some free time with his parents in Magdeburg, grabbed his things together and returned to Dortmund, where he had to stay on an air mattress in his vacant apartment.
Subsequently, the blond-haired Schmelzer struggled gradually to approach the professional team. When his buddy and former idol Dede got injured, he was able to prove himself for the first time. "Do not try to copy Dede. You are Schmelle!", urged his former coach and advocate Jürgen Klopp. "Play with an emphasis on defending initially. You can be attacking later on."Through faith in his own strengths and skills, the native of Magdeburg developed to become the most consistent German left-back in recent years.
He was always all about hard work and maximum yards covered. Schmelzer is one of those who always wants to win, and shows it especially in the important, big games. In the legendary match against Malaga he was the one who drove the team in a seemingly hopeless situation forward. Nuri Sahin recalls: "When I looked Schmelle in the eyes through his face mask, which he wore for his broken nose, I knew: We can do it. I saw how much he wanted it, and how firmly he believed - and I believed it too. From that moment all I was thinking was hoof the ball up the pitch into the penalty area!"
In November 2010 Schmelzer made his debut in the national team in the 0-0 draw against Sweden. Yet he never got the confidence he needed for his game, the confidence he felt in Dortmund. During Euro 2012, he was not used, and withdrawn from the final squad before the 2014 World Cup after 16 full internationals and no longer relied upon.
Since his early childhood, football was the most important leisure activity for Schmelzer. "If I could not play football outside with my brother, we retreated into the apartment and played one against one. Of course, some neighbors complained, "he recalls," In order to keep the noise within limits, we placed duvets on the floor as an insulating material. Actually, we played football every day. "
From 2001 in the U14 he played for 1. FC Magdeburg. Four years later, he left his home and took the plunge for the Ruhr area. "That was a very big step for me," said Schmelzer, remembering the year 2005. But the youth center in Dortmund, where other young BVB players were housed, made everything much easier: "I thought it would be more difficult, than it actually was: to come out here alone, not knowing anyone and to make a big jump football-wise. Meanwhile, Dortmund has become my second home." He extended his contract until early June 2017, and he married his girlfriend Jenny, with whom he does a great deal for neglected stray dogs from Italy.