I was born in Memmingen in the Allgäu region, deep down in the south of Germany. There, I played for SC Ronsberg already as a kindergarten child and, who knows: Perhaps later on, like many talents from that region, I would have emerged in the 120 kilometers distant Munich or the 145 kilometers distant Stuttgart. But it came quite differently, and that was due to the professional career of my father Jürgen. He is a professor of data technology and was appointed to the Dortmund Technical University in 1998 when I was six years old.
In Dortmund, I played for Hombrucher SV for three years, before I went on to Borussia as a nine year old – like my two year older brother Fabian the year before. Looking back, I can say that at Borussia, my talent came to the right sponsors, and my development was steadily upward. So, I could recommend for the various youth national teams from the U15. In 2009, I won the European Championship with the German Under 17 selection and in the same year I received the Fritz Walter medal in gold, for the best player of my age class. This award was given to me again in 2010.