Serge Gnabry has revealed that he was initially banned from joining Bayern Munich as a 10-year-old by his dad.
Fresh from the greatest game of his young career 14 years on, the Germany winger caught the attention of Europe in midweek as he scored a blistering four goals as Bayern dismantled Tottenham 7-2 away from home in the Champions League.
Initially, though, the attacker had his dreams for playing for the Bundesliga giants quashed by his father.
“Oh man, I was very p*ssed off back then. I was angry and I cried. But my dad’s opinion was irreversible,” he told Bild.
“Only when I was 12 years old was I allowed to join VfB Stuttgart. In the end I have to admit that his decisions have not turned out to be the worst ones.”
From Stuttgart, his career took him to England with Arsenal, but he failed to make the grade at the Emirates Stadium or during a loan spell with West Brom.
“You could knock me over with a feather having worked with him at West Brom and seen him there to what he’s done is absolutely amazing,” ex-Baggies manager Tony Pulis told Sky Sports.
“We took him on loan and we couldn’t ever get him fit – I think we even took him off in an Under-21 game.”
As such, he returned to Germany with Werder Bremen, hitting the ground running in the Bundesliga by scoring 11 times in 27 games in his debut season.
Bayern were quick to spot his potential and swooped the following year, loaning him immediately out to Hoffenheim for 12 months.
Back at the Allianz Arena for the 2017-18 season, he was able to earn his spot in the starting XI as a replacement for the aging Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, and has continued to enhance his reputation this term.
In just eight appearances in all competitions, he has scored five goals and chipped in with a further four assists.
His next assignment is likely to be on Saturday against one of his former clubs, as early German pace-setters Bayern face Hoffenheim in Bundesliga action.