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Germany - An Emmericher in the Europa League

Robin Gosens kickte 2012 noch in der Fußball-Landesliga für den VfL Rhede. Mittlerweile spielt der 23-Jährige in der italienischen Serie A - und fordert heute mit Atalanta Bergamo den BVB im Europapokal heraus (19 Uhr). Von Jessica Balleer und Ralph Durry

Blond, klein und selbst für einen Fußballer in der C-Jugend auffallend schmächtig. Die ehemaligen Vereinskameraden beim VfL Rhede erinnern sich noch gut daran, wie Robin Gosens damals aussah. Vor allem sein Ex-Trainer Dirk Juch. Er hatte den jungen Kicker entdeckt und aus dem kleinen Stadtteil Elten nach Rhede geholt. "Robin war ein talentierter Linksfuß. Er war sehr agil und hatte einen guten Schuss", sagt Juch. Er trainierte Gosens nicht nur, sondern besorgte auch einen Fahrdienst, der den ehrgeizigen Jungen zu Hause abholte und zum Trainingsplatz brachte. Dass Gosens besonders war, fiel auch Mitspielern auf. "Man hat gesehen, dass er für mehr als die Landesliga bestimmt war", sagt David Heuer, ehemaliger Vereinskamerad.

Within seven years, Robin Gosens (23) actually made the leap into professional football. The boy from Emmerich on the Lower Rhine no longer plays national league. In the Italian Serie A, he compares himself with Atalanta Bergamo with stars in Italy's highest league. And today (19 clock) Gosens returns to North Rhine-Westphalia: With Bergamo he will challenge Borussia Dortmund in the second round of the Europa League. Ironically, BVB, who did not want Gosens four years ago.

As an 18-year-old Gosens completed a trial in Dortmund. Looking back, he describes it as a "fiasco". "I could not keep up at all and a short time later I was back on the field for Rhede," says Gosen. And he left a lasting impression. In an A-junior friendly in Kleve - he was still acting as an attacking midfielder - shot Gosens two goals and gave a goal. A scout by Vitesse Arnheim then offered him a place in the A-youth, a season later even a professional contract. Gosens remembers well: "The scout said, 'I was actually here for another player, but you got me excited, do not you want to come over for a rehearsal?'"

The then 18-year-old had actually already applied to the police. "I could have taken this career then, because I had already passed the test so far," says the Atalanta player. But Gosens chose Arnhem. He became the left-back - and his strange career picked up speed.

The Emmericher commuted for almost a year between the Wesel vocational college, where he graduated from high school, and the Arnheim training ground back and forth. Arnhem awarded the talent several times, followed in 2015 by the change to Heracles Almelo, where he became a regular player. Last summer, Bergamo then paid 900,000 euros transfer fee and brought Gosens in Serie A. "If I'm here on the training ground, I have to pinch sometimes," says the Italian Legionnaire.

"For me it's all like a dream that I'm experiencing right now, I can still remember exactly how I stood at the VfL Rhede in the morning, was still out the night before and had been drinking beer with the boys without end. And now I play against clubs like Naples, against real world stars

Today he meets a well-occupied Dortmund Elf - probably with Marco Reus and Michy Batshuayi. Because BVB coach Peter Stöger takes the Italian outsider seriously: "Atalanta is a team that has made it difficult for the big ones in Italy, so we are warned," says Stoeger on the table eighth Serie A. Against defensive set teams BVB did not have much time. On "" Gosens makes a challenge: "We are not the favorite, but we can definitely make it difficult for Dortmund, if we get a point away from home, we are a power at home." Nine games played Gosens this season (556 minutes). He has not scored a goal, but has given a goal.

As far as the Bundesliga clubs are concerned, his name says nothing so far: "If my name falls in Germany, nine out of ten experts are not on the screen at all, but the Bundesliga is definitely the goal, a dream. "

Gosens is never lifted off. At least that's what David Heuer says. And he has to know, after all he's still friendly with the 23-year-old. The contact with the old players and acquaintances care Gosens. "When Robin was still playing for Almelo, we often went there," says Heuer. If BVB are in the return leg in Bergamo, Heuer will also be in the stadium. They are always proud of the Lower Rhine, when they talk about the former buddy from their own ranks.

Youth coach Juch emphasizes that the 23-year-old comes from a good home. "Robin is a fine boy who knows where he's from." Now the game against Dortmund, "and a boy from Elten plays with," muses Juch, "he has not got it gifted."

Gosens' contract in Bergamo runs until 2020. At the latest then he wants to fulfill his dream of the Bundesliga - and annoy BVB before.

For More Info RP-Online

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