Does he really still exist, the pro, who doesn’t fit the profile of modern football?
Not everything was better in the good old days like some elders think but sure it was different. Nowadays football is a business. If it’s good or bad, that is just a fact. However with the business side of it players change teams like employees change companies and fans doesn’t really care that much and maybe rightly so.
But on the other hand it is kind of sad that it is a rarity to find a player, who really identifies with his club. There are most notably Ryan Giggs, Frank Lampard and John Terry. Steven Gerrard is a different kind of breed as he joined Liverpool FC at the age of nine.
On top of that: How many players have been lifelong supporters of their current club? The young gunner Carl Jenkinson, who fulfilled his dream and his now set as a first stringer at Arsenal is maybe one. Former Italian international Francesco Totti, who is a striker at AS Roma, might be another one.
Kevin Großkreutz of Borussia Dortmund is another one too, a reported transfer target for Liverpool earlier in the year.
His resume might be special because he transferred directly from the stands to the field. When he was just four years old he started cheering to his idols from Dortmund’s Sudtribune, a terrace with capacity for 25.000 people and nicknamed the “Yellow Wall”. But I took him 18 more years to finally join Dortmund as a pro.
In an interview with German football magazine 11 Freunde Großkreutz said: “Dad, granddad and great-granddad have been BVB-fans. I as well will stay that way forever.”
“Kevin was a little crazy already as a child,“ his father said. “If he didn’t got a new BVB-jersey for Christmas but a bike he was really disappointed.”
After he signed a contract with Borussia Dortmund Kevin Großkreutz became a cornerstone of Dortmund’s success winning back-to-back championships an being runners-up in last years Champions League.
This season as a side effect of the much improved offensive midfield he quickly emerged as an allround talent. Großkreutz plays now as a defender and shined in several game on the right side and will most likely do the same tomorrow when Arsenal face Borussia Dortmund in their Champions League return match.
“He has a perfect feeling for the contra pressing of [Jurgen] Klopp and creates majorities in the middle of the field,” the German newspaper Suddeutsche hails to Großkreutz’s performance this season.
But what if Dortmund management really feels Großkreutz wouldn’t fit anymore. If this highly unlikely scenario occurs the 25-year-old is keen to transfer to England or Scotland.
“My dream is, maybe some day, to transfer to England. Or Celtic Glasgow,” he said.
But who will take a player, who only has one side in mind to play for? A lifelong supporter of Dortmund doesn’t fit everyone’s profile. Großkreutz’s father said bluntly, that Kevin would rather get paid one million and play for Dortmund then play for VfL Wolfsburg with a seven million pay cheque.
11 Freunde asks: What is the market value of someone who doesn’t want to leave? “Maybe there is no market […].”
What do you think? Do you want a player on your team who is a lifelong supporter of a rival?