No one told the winger of Germany Robin Gossens the label for receiving the trophy “star of the match” at the European Championship.
“Should I take this thing with me or what?” He asked after being honored for his performance in the 4-2 victory over defending champions Portugal on Saturday.
Gossens was still trying to come to terms with what had happened after helping Germany turn its odds on Euro 2020.
“It’s gigantic, you can’t put it into words,” said Gossens, who scored one goal and was involved in preparing two more in Saturday’s game. “If you look back on my career or the path I’ve taken, I think it’s just indescribable and will stay in my memory forever. This is definitely an evening I will never forget. ”
This was only his ninth appearance in Germany since his debut last year.
Gossens seemed to come out of nowhere to get there. He has never played for any of Germany’s youth teams, following the usual route of carefully managed and nurtured development for the country’s brightest football stars.
The 26-year-old defender took the windy path and left him late to shine at the Italian club Atalanta. He is the only player in the German team who has never played in the Bundesliga.
Born to a German mother and a Dutch father in the border town of Emmerich, Gossens played for local youth teams and Dutch clubs Vitesse and Heracles – a trial in Borussia Dortmund – failed – before moving to Italy in 2017.
There, Gossens really flourished under the leadership of Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini, who helped turn the team from a relegation candidate into a regular participant in the Champions League after three consecutive finals in the top 3 in Serie A.
Gasperini required many of his players in a 3-4-3 formation, where the tireless Gossens flourished as a left back or winger.
Germany coach Joachim Loew is using the same Euro 2020 squad. Gossens have started matches against France and Portugal on the left and can expect another run there in the final group game against Hungary on Wednesday.
“We appreciate him in the team and as coaches a lot, because he is very, very open, very active in communication,” said Lev. “He has a very good relationship with all the players, he is somehow clear in his head, very straightforward.
“He’s a man like the game he plays, everything with clear lines, throwing everything into balance, the way he plays with unbridled commitment, and he fights for things that are important to him.”
Lev noted that Gossens scored goals for Atalanta and said that he had been watching the player for the last two years. Gossens debuted in Germany in a 1-1 draw with Spain on September 3. He scored his first goal for Germany in the 7-1 match against Latvia before the tournament on June 7.
“He has established himself with us quite quickly and has good support in the team,” Lowe said.
Gossens made a strong start against Portugal, volley in a cross by Joshua Kimic. But the goal was rejected because Serge Gnabri was offside and was thought to have interfered with the game.
Gossens simply continued against Portugal and forced an own goal by Ruben Diaz, put Kai Haverz in third for Germany and then scored fourth.
“It was just a dream come true for me,” said Gossens. “I think if you are allowed to compete in the European Championship for your country, that’s one thing. And if you can contribute to such an important game to continue the tournament, then this is the next level again. And yes, it’s magic. “
Gossens was then given the “star of the match” trophy. It may not be his last.