He took part in the biggest match in club football: the UEFA Champions League final in 2013 - and he is a World Cup winner! Kevin Großkreutz achieved everything that many fans in the yellow wall dream of. Throughout it all, he remained one of them: a massive Borussia Dortmund fan. The Dortmund native has ended his playing career at 32 years of age. He will, however, always be a fan.
''As a young player, Kevin Großkreutz was an important part of our title-winning teams. He always used his special talents for the good of the team,'' said the BVB chief executive officer Hans-Joachim Watzke in response to the news, adding: ''Of course he made mistakes in his career, but ultimately, Kevin Großkreutz has achieved great things in football - two German title wins, the domestic league and cup double and participation in the 2014 World Cup triumph. When Kevin says that he's a real Borusse, he's not just paying lip service. It's simply the truth! Borussia Dortmund would like to say a heartfelt thank you to a deserving player for everything that he has given to our club.''
236 of his 489 appearances in senior football came in a Borussia Dortmund jersey. During his time at BVB, he played a total of 176 games in the Bundesliga (23 goals, 28 assists), 36 games in Europe (two goals, four assists) and 21 in the DFB Cup (two goals, five assists).
But even more impressive than these numbers is the fact that Kevin Großkreutz, like few other players this century, is living proof that nothing is impossible with heart and passion. He grew up in the working class area of Eving, had his first BVB season ticket at seven years of age, played for FC Kemminghausen, Merkur 08 and then finally Borussia before opting for a spell at RW Ahlen - like Marco Reus - in order to bulk up his still slight physique. After seven years at Ahlen, he moved back to BVB in 2009, becoming a regular starter for the team that won the Bundesliga in 2011 and the domestic double in 2012. In the 2012/13 season, Großkreutz had an important role to play in the Black & Yellows' march to the Champions League final at Wembley.
He has been celebrated, he has lived his dream; at his club, which he has loved since childhood. He has fallen, and he has risen again. He has matured, and is now married with two children. He knows the meaning of home.