Bayern Munich defender Josip Stanišić fought hard to break into the first team roster in Bavaria and his journey was not always easy.
Still, the 23-year-old recognizes the achievement of actually getting to this point in his career and wants to continue to grind away at establishing himself.
“For me, it’s the fulfilment of a childhood dream. I’ve been a Bayern fan ever since I can remember - my father’s influence on me (smiles). The fact that I’ve made it here is a huge thing and certainly wasn’t always necessarily foreseeable,” Stanišić said in a recent interview with FCBayern.com. “The dream is always alive, of course. In my youth, there were a few times when I thought about going to FC Bayern. At first, however, I stayed at TSV 1860 because I thought I had more of a chance of making it there. Then, in the U-15s, I was lagging behind a bit physically, and when it was clear that I wasn’t going to stay at 1860, I went to Fürstenfeldbruck because my best mate played there. I just wanted to play football, but I never stopped believing in it.”
The Croatia international understands that his pathway might not have been easy, but it was fulfilling in the end.
“In the U-17s we played against Unterhaching with Fürstenfeldbruck, and I scored a goal and delivered an assist in a 2-2 draw. After that, I was invited to try out for Bayern - I was overjoyed. After two or three months of training with the team, the transfer worked out,” Stanišić said. “One special moment was of course the third division championship with the reserves. Nobody expected that and it was something very special. All that experience in the third division helped me a lot in my development.”
Stanišić now has an interesting season in front of him. The club is stacked on the backline and there has been some chatter that the 23-year-old could get loaned away in an effort to get more playing time.
Whatever happens, Stanišić knows this is all just another small part of his story.