VfB Stuttgart Youth and second team of the pros

D-Youth Season Champion and C-Youth champion in southern Germany. German B-Youth Champion. German A-youth champion. And a serious injury!

As an athlete you train your body, you eat healthily (most of the time) and you get to know the limits of your body. That was very important for me after my serious meniscus injury in 2004 which almost meant the end of my career.

Eventually you also need people who can help you to reach “the next level”. I found this to hold especially true in Rainer Adrion and Thomas Tuchel during my time at the VfB. I think I was very lucky with my coaches both at the beginning of my career and later. I’m glad my father taught me with the fundamental basics. The VfB Stuttgart is a great talent factory indeed. Armin Veh was the first to give me an opportunity to play at the Bundesliga, Christian Gross helped me a lot with my tactical development, Jogi Löw gave me confidence and included us all within the tactical development of the national team, Jose Mourinho definitely lifted me to the next level in professional soccer and Carlo Ancelotti combines both a world-class player and trainer. I can not list them all here but I have not forgotten!