At just 1.68 metres, Piotr Trochowski has an uncanny ability to stand tall on the pitch. With his speed, agility, tricky dribbling and refined technique, the attacking midfielder is the type of player that can make the difference. Now 26, he has matured into a linchpin for Hamburg, showing the kind of growing consistency that sets apart the top performers, and giving coach Joachim Low an option to ignite the German team at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.
The journey to football’s top table has not been an easy one for ‘Troche’. Born in Poland, he emigrated to Hamburg with his parents when he was still an infant. As a 15-year-old playing at St. Pauli, he was spotted by German record championship winners Bayern Munich who took him into their youth programme, where he would blossom into one of the most talented players in his age group anywhere in Germany. Relentless in his pursuit of a professional career, the young playmaker graduated to the first team but with opportunities limited returned to his childhood home in winter 2005. At Hamburg, the diminutive star is appreciated for what he is: a technically gifted playmaker if not a prolific goalscorer.
In October 2006, Trochowski finally made his debut in a German shirt, featuring in the 2-0 win over Georgia in Rostock. He was also named in Joachim Low’s squad for UEFA EURO 2008 and made an impressive nine appearances in qualifying for the FIFA World Cup, netting the decisive goal in a slender 1-0 victory over Wales in Monchengladbach. In South Africa, the midfield dynamo will also be an option for a left-sided role.