They were young; just 20, 19, and 22. They were talented; well, at least on the pitch if not nearly as much on air-guitar, air-drums, and mimed vocals. They were "every neutral's favorite" who "hassled their opponents like 10 love children of Ivica Olic and Dirk Kuyt would do and ran as if the fitness coach of the South Korea World Cup team from 2002 had worked his magic." They were the Bruchweg Boys, led by frontman heart throb Lewis Holtby on vocals, entranced by Andre Schurrle on sexy lead guitar, tied together by Ádám Szalai ever so cool on drums.
Their biggest hit, a sixth consecutive win to open the 2010-11 Bundesliga season, was 2-1 away to Bayern Munich on September 25, 2010. While Mainz 05, who share a birth-year with Chelsea, would come down from that cloud to end up only fifth - still good enough for the club's best ever Bundesliga finish - a star or three were born that day. Their next match, a 4-2 victory over Hoffenheim brought the house down, the Boys front and center.
Unfortunately for Mainz, the story ended just as quickly as it had begun. Szalai suffered a cruciate ligament injury as the league resumed after its winter break and the Bruchweg Boys officially broke up at the end of the season. Lewis Holtby returned to his parent club Schalke 04 where he spent the next 18 productive months. He eventually ended up at Tottenham Hotspur and so we don't talk about him anymore. André Schürrle, who had been at the club since age 13, found similar success at Bayer Leverkusen who paid £6.5 million for his services then charged three times as much when Chelsea came calling. Following a long recovery, Szalai impressed in 2012-13 (scoring at roughly a 1-in-2 clip, just like in his best season at Real Madrid Castilla) and earned himself a move up to Schalke as well where he currently leads the team's scoring charts both in the league and in all competitions.
Of course it's nice to be going back to Germany. Against Schalke, in this stadium, with such fantastic fans. I'll be coming up against one of my best friends in football, Adam Szalai, too. It will be a special game for me.
-André Schürrle; source: Bundesliga
After his hat trick for Germany, hopes are high that Schürrle will open his Chelsea account soon as well. And as much as he may relish meeting his old friend Szalai, a Champions League Tuesday night in Germany would be a perfect time to do so.