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They are icons in their clubs, in their hometowns. When you hear their names, you think of a team, an era, a generation: Hamburg’s Uwe Seeler; Eintracht Frankfurt’s Karl-Heinz Körbel, who holds the record for most Bundesliga appearances. Marco Reus could well become one of these names
“Marco could shape an era for Dortmund in the same way that Uwe Seeler did for Hamburg, or Steven Gerrard for Liverpool,” said Hans-Joachim Watzke of Marco Reus, as Dortmund were sitting at the bottom of the table and Reus was, somewhat surprisingly, on the verge of signing a new contract to June 2019. Reus himself talks of a “decision for life”, adding: “I didn’t make such a decision lightly.”
Reus was born in Dortmund and grew up there and played for local team Post und Telekom SV Dortmund, as well as for the Borussia Dortmund youth team. Reaching the final of the German football championship in 2006 as an under 17, the slight 16 year old made it to the squad but not the first eleven. After this, he took a different path. The attacker played in the Under-19 Bundesliga with Rot Weiss Ahlen and made the first team in the 2007/08 season – from the regional leagues via League 3 to the second Bundesliga. There, he made it as a regular and essential player. In summer 2009, Reus moved to Borussia Mönchengladbach, where he saw “the best opportunity” to “make long term developments”.
In summer 2012, Dortmund’s Sporting Director Michael Zorc skilfully saw how to use Reus’ deep-rootedness in Dortmund to get the German international back. During the transfer window, he pitted himself against Europe’s top clubs, who were also after the skilful player with a distinct knack for scoring.
When Reus penetrates the penalty area at high speed, the leather football is seemingly glued to his boot. Speed and excellent technique combine with his ability to sniff out a goal. Even his opponents have to begrudgingly recognise that the name Reus stands for having fun with football. According to Watzke: “He is a player who can make a real difference to a match – and a local Dortmund boy as well.” One who can play as brilliantly at the front as in midfield. Zorc said: “Marco is an important part of Borussia Dortmund’s future”.
An exceptional player, even: in his 179 Bundesliga appearances with Borussia Mönchengladbach and Dortmund, Marco Reus was involved in 132 goals (73 goals, 59 assists). Since his 2012 move back to Dortmund, Reus has scored 53 goals for them, allowing his team to win 1-0 on 23 occasions. The unusually fast and skilful dribbler is always there to salvage a victory from a draw for his team. In addition, he keeps his nerve when taking a penalty.
Marco Reus is a very friendly person, who says himself that he has “the best job in the world.” He doesn’t let setbacks such as injuries or defeats bother him: “obviously it’s not nice when you’re injured for a long time, but that’s part of football. It’s happened to me 2 or 3 times; I’ve missed the World Cup, and I’ve wished things were different. But you have to remember when it comes to these setbacks that things don’t always go to plan in normal life”.