Marcel Sabitzer’s transfer from RB Leipzig to Bayern Munich has been lauded as one of the most shrewd moves all summer.
Did you know, however, that the Austrian star had the chance to move to Bayern Munich at the age of 14, but opted to take a different pathway for his career according to his father, Herfried.
“When Marcel was 14 years old, we were at the Bayern Academy,” the elder Sabitzer told Tz. “Marcel decided against moving to Munich. He wanted to develop step by step, first of all to become a professional at an Austrian Bundesliga club.”
Sabitzer instead choosing to join Admira Wacker Mödling’s academy in 2009. Just a year later, he turned professional with the club and eventually moved to Rapid Vienna in 2013. As his reputation grew, Schalke 04 came calling, but were rejected as well.
“We sat down with Horst Heldt and then sports director Gerhard Zuber in Vienna,” Herfried recalls. “I advised Marcel to assert himself at a top club in Austria before going abroad. When we told Schalke about our decision, they thought: ‘That doesn’t exist!’ But we had a clear career plan.”