Did you know that Marcel Sabitzer had a trial at Bayern Munich when he was fourteen? In case you missed it, we covered the news here. The gist of it is that Bayern offered Sabitzer a trial as a youth player, but his father decided to make him move elsewhere to establish himself first.
That should’ve been the end of the story, but no! We’re still getting more juicy details. According to Werner Kern, Bayern’s former head of youth football, Sabitzer’s trial at the Sabener Strasse was nothing short of a disaster. The story (from TZ) makes for entertaining reading with hindsight:
“He trained as badly as I have ever experienced”, said Kern. “That was a disappointment — even his agent apologized to me at the time.” However, the bad play was clearly not due to his abilities as a footballer, it seems that the youngster had already made up his mind at the time. Kern knows it too.
“His performance was not due to his ability. We have nothing to reproach ourselves for. After all, we scouted him. But if someone presents himself like that, you can’t take him.”
Imagine yourself in Sabitzer’s shoes for a moment. You find yourself at your dream club, the team you’ve supported since you were a kid, and you have the quality required to ace the trial. But you tank it on purpose just so you can take the long way round and get signed on as a professional over a decade later. What a power move. Bayern’s former youth football head agrees.
“I have followed Marcel’s path closely,” said Kern. “He has become a first-class Bundesliga player, has also matured into a leading figure in the national team. A great development! He got the best out of it for himself. Years later, what belongs together has now come together.”
What a story. Now let’s just hope he doesn’t pull a stunt like that in front of Nagelsmann. It might not be as funny the second time ...