Marko Marin has completed his transfer to ACF Fiorentina – and is now targeting a unique hat-trick.
Despite struggling with injury over the last two seasons, the Germany winger has won the UEFA Europa League twice, first with Chelsea FC then last May for Sevilla FC, on loan from the London club. Having made a temporary switch to Fiorentina, Marin is entering the competition once again with a group place assured.
"I would love to repeat those European successes here at Fiorentina," the 25-year-old Marin said as he was unveiled to the press in Florence. "This is a team who play great football and I look forward to making a contribution."
Born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Marin moved to Germany aged two and started his career with VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach before heading to Werder Bremen and establishing himself as one of the Bundesliga's most promising wingers. Marin was part of the Germany side that won the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championship alongside many of those that lifted the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, and in fact was one of the first of that generation to make his senior debut in May 2008.
Capped 16 times by Germany between 2008 and 2010, Marin went to Chelsea in 2012 after scoring eight goals in 87 Bundesliga matches for Werder. However, injuries limited him to six Premier League outings during his first campaign in England and to 18 Liga games last term while on loan at Sevilla.
An unused substitute when Chelsea beat SL Benfica 2-1 in the 2013 UEFA Europa League final in Amsterdam, Marin came on during the second half when Sevilla defeated the same Portuguese opponents on penalties in Turin in May. The attacker, though, had already been forced off by injury by the time of the shoot-out.
Unsurprisingly, an injury-free season is Marin's No1 objective. "
The most important thing for me is to avoid more injuries," Marin explained. "In the last couple of years I have struggled fitness-wise and now my biggest wish is to be able to play on a regular basis. I have chosen Florence because this team is very attractive in football terms. [Vincenzo] Montella is a very good coach and Fiorentina play great football.
"I talked to [former Fiorentina player] Stevan Jovetić and he advised me to come here," Marin continued. "He loves this town and this club. I also asked him if I could have his old No8 shirt and he said he was very happy about that."
In Florence, Marin will find his fellow countryman Mario Gomez, who is also trying to bounce back from an injury-riddled campaign. "I have not seen much of him in the last couple of years," Gomez said. "But I remember Marin playing with me in the national team. He has great pace and his dribbling can be lethal. He can really help us."
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