There aren’t enough of them, especially in the ever polarizing age of social media, but every few years there appears a player who is loved and adored by all (most) football viewers. Ronaldinho, Philip Lahm and Andrea Pirlo are all players of the same generation who got respect even from rival fans.
Marco Reus falls into this category. Be it the sympathy as a result of his recurrent injury issues or the fact that he is an incredible footballer so easy on they eye and ever intriguing to watch, the wide world of football loves BVB’s number 11. Unfortunately though you are forced to only watch him a few times during the course of a season, a sad fact that has followed him since 2014 and perhaps putting a gloss over what otherwise would have been a glorious career.
With less than a week left to the 2014 World Cup, Reus suffered an ankle injury during a friendly against Armenia, an injury that not only kept him away from the World Cup but also prevented him from being part of a historic moment in which his best friend scored the winner for Die Mannschaft to help them to their first world cup in 24 years.
Amidst such trying and desperate situations Reus always managed to remain positive.
Former Borussia Dortmund player and manager Matthias Sammer expressed his admiration for Reus’s never say never mentality:
“If you take Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, who’ve had few injuries & played football for a decade at almost God-given levels, that’s wonderful & has my respect. But I think those situations that Marco Reus went through are lessons for life. He’s a true role model for many.”
Even before his fame, Marco Reus’s football journey hasn’t been plain sailing. He was sold by his hometown club, Borussia Dortmund at age of 17 because he was labelled as ‘too skinny’. It meant that the youngster will have to make it elsewhere. That elsewhere was lower division side Rot Weiss Ahlen , which he joined in 2005. It was there that Reus joined the first team and started his professional career. He spent a total of four years with the club, while polishing his ability and building his confidence.
‘Playing in the first team makes you more confident. You will start trying things you haven’t before’ said Reus remembering his time in the 2. Bundesliga.
After 4 years the time came to join first division side Borussia Moncehngladbach. In his first season at Gladbach Reus only missed a single league game, a stark contrast to what has become a norm nowadays. It did not take long for him to become a fan favorite.
His manager at Gladbach Lucien Favre said ‘His match intelligence is incredible’ about the player who was shining under him. So did the Sporting Director Max Ebrel, who labelled him ‘A brilliant footballer with an incredible turn of pace. But what impressed us all was his willingness to track back’
During the 2011/12 season, with a total of 18 goals, Reus helped BMG finish in 4th place. After that his former club came calling and he returned to Dortmund after seven years away, meanwhile shrugging off Bayern Munich’s interest.
Jurgen Klopp said that Reus’s time away from his home town club was like ‘a seminar’ and that his return was a welcome news for everyone in Dortmund. It didn’t take long before Reus impressed in the Yellow jersey, something you can tell fits him like a glove from the moment he put it on. He had an amazing first campaign in which BVB reached the Champions League final. His understanding with Robert Lewandowski and especially Mario Gotze was mesmerizing.
In his second season Reus was voted Bundesliga’s player of the year. Despite not being able to lift the Bundesliga trophy, Reus managed to win the DFB Pokal in 2016. He was in and out of the team for much of the time since 2014, but he is always on top of his game whenever he came back from injury as if he was never away. That is what makes him such a special player.
There is always a palpable self belief in the Black and Yellows whenever Reus is in the starting line up. Even when the team isn’t on top of its game or not playing well, having a talented player like Reus always gives Dortmund a chance.
Reus is known for scoring decisive goals, from where his nick name ‘Mr 1-0’ emanated. Besides his impressive finishing and ability to stay cool in front of goal, Reus’s best quality is his incredible dribbling. He can carve defenses open as he charges with the ball at his feet. With his vision and good passing he also manages to put the ball on a plate for the striker. He is good from set pieces and can play with both feet. Reus is the ideal winger. Versatile, talented, hard worker and passionate.
When Marco Reus scored against RB Leipzig to put BVB back on level terms last Saturday , it was his 150th career goal. It was also his third goal in his last three Bundesliga games and meant that he has scored against every current Bundesliga club, which of course includes his current club, Borussia Dortmund.
Klopp once said that Reus has ‘talent coming out of his ears’. Is 2018 the year Reus finally shows his talent in the biggest stage? Will he be able to remain fit for the World Cup? The prospect of fielding Reus on one wing and the incredible Leroy Sane on the other makes Germany an instant favorite, and that is without mentioning the quality and depth they have in central midfield.
Reus: “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about the World Cup and I didn’t want to be there.” The 28-year-old will be hoping that lightning wouldn’t hit twice and he gets to travel to Russia come June. What a fairy tale it will be to see him wear his national colors then!