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Mustafi's European tour to continue at Arsenal

A 2014 FIFA World Cup winner with Germany, despite never having played a league game in his home country, Shkodran Mustafi has signed for Arsenal; UEFA.com gives the back story.

Shkodran Mustafi shows his passion after scoring for Valencia
Shkodran Mustafi shows his passion after scoring for Valencia ©AFP/Getty Images

Born: 17/04/1992

• FIFA World Cup (2014)

• Born in Bebra, in the central German state of Hesse, the defender had a humble upbringing. His family originates from Gostivar, a small town in FYR Macedonia. "People there have to get by on €300 a month; you can spend about the same on petrol for your car here."

• Mustafi's grandfather came to Germany as a migrant worker with the rest of his family following him. Mustafi's father Kujtim then worked in construction. "The family kept their feet on the ground and never forgot their roots," says Sheriff Bekteshi, the player's cousin.

Mustafi in action for Sampdoria
Mustafi in action for Sampdoria©AFP/Getty Images

• After coming through the youth ranks at Hamburg and making his first professional appearances at Everton, Mustafi moved to Sampdoria in 2012. "I gained important experience at all of my clubs," he explained. "In England I learned professionalism and in Italy I developed more as a person – there's more to life than football."

• Mustafi made 51 league appearances for the team from Liguria before Valencia took him to Spain in 2014. Mustafi described the transfer as the "next step in his career", and he was a regular in Spain, making 63 Liga appearances for the club.

Mustafi with the World Cup in 2014
Mustafi with the World Cup in 2014©Getty Images

• Mustafi was called up to Joachim Löw's 2014 FIFA World Cup squad as a late replacement for the injured Marco Reus. He played in three games at the finals before a thigh injury confined him to the sidelines – though he mounted the winners' podium with the team at the end. "Being brought on in the opening game against Portugal and the moment that I held the cup in my hands are two things that I will never forget," he said.

• The defender was only the fourth German to make a World Cup finals appearance without having played in a single Bundesliga match after Helmut Haller, Albert Brülls and Robert Huth. "I never even realised," he noted. "It's an interesting statistic, but it was really no big deal for me."

• At UEFA EURO 2016, Mustafi headed his first goal for Germany in their opener against Ukraine. "Obviously it's great to score a goal, but I am more pleased with the result," he said. "Above all, I wanted to do my job in defence – that is why the coach picked me." Such a modest attitude should endear him to new boss Arsène Wenger.

EURO 2016 highlights: Germany 2-0 Ukraine