Atlético Madrid midfielder’s comeback from brain cancer and mother’s paralysis are inspiring him
Julian Draxler was among the best teams in the world at the turn of the 21st century and was considered the best player in a generation by his compatriots and many of his countrymen.
He also was one of the best, but he was denied an opportunity to return to the European top flight because the German club had decided he was not good enough.
He scored one more goal in the 2006-07 season than he had during the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons, and that was when he was at Real Madrid, and he is not one to be modest, but in his own way, he is perhaps the greatest player in history.
The latest of a series of comeback stories has him back in action, training with his old teammates after 14 months out with cancer and, for the fourth time in his career, recovering from having his mother’s left side paralyzed.
The 34-year-old took part in the team’s training session in Berlin on Wednesday, but he was not involved in the match against Eintracht Frankfurt.
However, he did score in a match with Borussia Dortmund some five days earlier, and he seems at last to have got his chance.
He is on the verge of returning to the international stage and is a prime candidate for the 2018 World Cup in Russia because, in spite of the setbacks, he is still having success.
Draxler’s story has been a great source of inspiration for those of us who know what it is to face such a challenge, and also for the people of Serbia, his homeland, who have not had such an escape from adversity and have suffered with his absence.
There was a time when he was the most beloved footballer in Serbia. He was with the national team as the captain and one of the greatest midfielders in Europe and Serbia has a huge fan following.
Now, his success story is also a source of pride for the country,