Western Sydney Wanderers have officially confirmed the arrival of attacking midfielder Alexander Baumjohann, a move which is set to excited Hyundai A-League fans.
Boasting a stellar CV — which includes stints at some of the German Bundesliga’s biggest and best clubs — the former German youth international, now 31, will join up with Markus Babbel’s men with the new season fast approaching.
Not only did Baumjohann ply his trade with the likes of Schalke, Bayern Munich and Borussia Monchengladbach, the creative maestro also has a fascinating backstory which includes attending the same high school as three of Germany’s key 2014 FIFA World Cup cogs and his career also intersected with the rise of one of the Caltex Socceroos’ key attackers.
Here’s five things you might not know about the Wanderers’ new German import…
SPECIAL FOOTBALL UPBRINGING
Before reaching his teens, Baumjohann was enrolled at Gesamtschule Berger Feld, a secondary school in Gelsenkirchen with a history of developing professional footballers.
A number of the school’s alumni have gone on to forge successful careers in football, including Arsenal and German World Cup winner Mesut Özil, Bayern Munich keeper Manuel Neuer, playmaker Julian Draxler and Liverpool defender Joël Matip.
BAUMJOHANN’S WONDER GOAL
During his time with Borussia Monchengladbach, Baumjohann scored one of the best goals of the season against Werder Bremen in 2008.
Winning the ball inside his own half, Baumjohann went on a 70-meter mazy dribble beating three defenders, before rifling in a shot past keeper Tim Wiese.
BAYERN COME CALLING
Regarded as one of the brightest talents in German football, Baumjohann was signed by Bayern Munich ahead of the 2009/10 Bundesliga season on the recommendation of Jupp Heynckes.
"His talent makes Alex a 'Bayern player',” Heynckes said at the time.
He made just three appearances for the Bavarians before moving to Schalke after just six months.
REPLACED BY AN AUSSIE IN BERLIN
Baumjohann spent three seasons with Hertha Berlin after the club won promotion to the Bundesliga for the 2014/15 season.
In and out of the first team during his time at the club, he left Bertha at midway through 2017, with the club bringing in Caltex Socceroos winger Mathew Leckie at the same time from FC Ingolstadt.
SAMBA TIME IN BRAZIL
With a Brazilian wife – Tatiane – it was perhaps no surprise Baumjohann tried to resurrect his career in the South American nation in 2017.
He joined FC Coritiba, playing out of the same venue where the Caltex Socceroos played Spain at the 2014 FIFA World Cup™.
Ex-teammate at Schalke – Brazilian Rafinha – began his career at Coritiba and also convinced Baumjohann to make the move to South America.
This article was originally published at: www.a-league.com.au/news/wanderers-new-boys-world-cup-links-and-aussie-connection