Back then, Reus was seen as one of Germany’s greatest hopes to win the competition in Brazil, with the winger enjoying several trophy-laden years with Borussia Dortmund.
However, just weeks before their opening game, Reus was declared unfit to play due to an ankle injury and, to rub salt into the wounds, Germany went on to life the trophy after beating Argentina in the final – with Reus forced to watch the celebrations on TV at home.
But whilst that injury meant despair for Reus, it ended up being a plus for Gunners centre-back Mustafi, who ended up in the final 23-man squad in place of Reus.
After collecting his World Cup winner’s medal, Mustafi held up a Germany shirt with Reus’s name on the back, and explained via the Arsenal website: ““I played a game just before the World Cup.
“I was in the last 27 but I didn’t make the last 23. But then Marco got injured and I got a call to join the team again, so I went to Brazil.
“When you think that you didn’t make the 23 players the first time, you think, ‘OK, I go there now, but my chances of playing aren’t going to be that big’. But straight away in the first game, you have to go out on to the pitch and in the second game you play again. Then you play again and again, and end up winning the World Cup.
“When people said to me that Marco was injured and now it was my turn, it always sounded a bit like they had forgotten about Marco because I was in the final 23 players.
“What I didn’t want was to forget him. I think he deserved to be there as well. He’s a fantastic player and that’s why I didn’t want to forget him.”
How nice, eh? It’s lovely to think that not all of these highly-paid footballers are out for themselves!
Well played, Shkodran. Well played.