Clubs: Rot Weiss Ahlen, VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach, Borussia Dortmund
• Had ten years on Dortmund's books as a schoolboy before leaving to join third-tier Rot Weiss Ahlen in 2006. Helped the club secure promotion to the 2. Bundesliga in his first term before making his mark the following season, with 27 appearances and four goals, while still aged 19.
• Signed a four-year deal with Mönchengladbach and proved a bargain buy at just €1m, finishing as their top scorer in each of his first two seasons to help the club avoid relegation − in the second instance after a play-off against VfL Bochum 1848 in which he scored the decisive goal.
• Though he announced his summer transfer to Dortmund during the 2011/12 winter break, he maintained his level of performance in the second half of the campaign, finishing with a career-best total of 18 goals as Mönchengladbach qualified for the UEFA Champions League.
• Made his debut for Germany as a late substitute in a UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against Turkey on 7 October 2011 and travelled to the finals as a squad player, scoring in a 4-2 last-eight triumph over Greece in Gdansk.
• Instrumental in Dortmund reaching the 2013 UEFA Champions League final, scoring four goals – against Manchester City FC, AFC Ajax, Real Madrid CF and Málaga CF – and providing two assists.
UEFA Champions League: runner-up 2013
UEFA.com users' Team of the Year: 2013
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