Created on 07-07-2009 at 00:00 AM
Just imagine for a moment you were yourself a professional footballer. And then move on from there, and imagine you were relaxing on the sofa at home after training one day, and you received a phone call from your agent. The advisor reveals that a new club has made enquiries for you – and then, after a short pause, says this: “Uli Hoeneß will call you in a moment.”
That’s more or less what happened to Alexander Baumjohann last November. A week or so earlier, he and his Borussia Monchengladbach team-mates had battled back to draw 2-2 and take a point off Bayern. A few days before that, FCB consultant Paul Breitner had watched Borussia lose 3-1 to Schalke 04. Baumjohann provided an assist in both matches.
When Hoeneß did call the Waltrop-born player, the Munich official received a speedy answer. “I didn’t have to think about it for long. I quickly decided it was a step I wanted to take,” recalls Baumjohann, who switched from the Lower Rhine town of Mönchengladbach to the southern metropolis of Munich on a free transfer this summer. “I’m proud to be wearing Bayern colours now.”
The 22-year-old is clearly not lacking in confidence, evidenced by the fact he opted for the move despite numerous examples of talented youngsters doing the same thing but failing to make the grade. “A lot of players haven’t cut it here,” acknowledges Baumjohann, “but lots of players have succeeded. I’m just looking at myself. I know what I can do, and I’m convinced I can make the breakthrough, otherwise I’d never have taken this step.”
Favoured role as playmaker
Baumjohann knows he will need patience before breaking into the team. “It might take a little while. But I’ll get my chance at some point, and I’m certain I’ll take it when it comes.” He favours a playmaking role behind the forward line, “but I’ll play wherever the coach asks me to. In Gladbach I also turned out on the flank in midfield.”