Clubs: 1. FC Nürnberg, Borussia Dortmund
• Joined VfL Bochum 1848's youth sector at 15 but switched to 1. FC Nürnberg midway through the 2008/09 season and helped the club win promotion to the Bundesliga.
• A German youth international at assorted age groups, he made 22 appearances for Nürnberg in his debut Bundesliga campaign, scoring one goal – in a 1-1 draw with regional rivals FC Bayern München on 20 February 2010.
• Helped Nürnberg rise ten places up the Bundesliga table in 2010/11 (from 16th to 6th), scoring five goals in 25 league games and earning a move to champions Dortmund, where he was recruited to replace Real Madrid CF-bound schemer Nuri Şahin.
• Struggled in the first half of the campaign – his two UEFA Champions League outings both ended in defeat – but came on strong for Dortmund in the spring, notably scoring the club's extra-time winner in the semi-final of the German Cup against SpVgg Greuther Fürth; ended the season with winners' medals in the Bundesliga and the DFB-Pokal, playing the full 90 minutes of the Berlin showdown against Bayern.
• Graduated from Germany Under-21s to the senior squad, making his debut in the Nationalmannschaft's final UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier, at home to Belgium on 11 October 2011, when he came on as a late substitute for Philipp Lahm.
• Scored his first UEFA Champions League goal, the equaliser from the penalty spot, in the Schwarzgelben's 2-1 defeat by FC Bayern München in the 2013 final at Wembley.
UEFA Champions League: runner-up 2013
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