Marco John: "The best thing that could happen"

Marco John, TSG Hoffenheim's 19-year-old midfielder, is currently dealing with the stress of his exams for an advanced vocational certificate of education, but can still enjoy juggling school and professional football to the fullest. In early January, John made his debut in the Bundesliga for TSG Hoffenheim. That was followed by eleven further appearances in Germany's top tier, with Sebastian Hoeness naming the left-sided midfielder in the starting eleven on each occasion. "It all happened really quickly. It has been wonderful so far. It still feels like a dream that quickly became a reality. So many moments that I have long dreamed of are now something I have actually achieved. I am learning from every experience and I'm incredibly grateful for everything," says John in an interview with the club magazine SPIELFELD, which appears on Friday (9 April).

Due to his tightly packed schedule, quiet moments have been few and far between for the talented youngster who joined TSG's youth team in 2013, so he hasn't had much time to process the many experiences he has gone through since making his professional debut. Only once he gets into bed in the evening can the youngster reflect on the exciting days behind him: "Then I often think: 'Awesome! In that moment, you are experiencing exactly what you've been trying to achieve for ten years'. That's a pretty great feeling." Despite his rapid rise to become a Bundesliga player, John, born in Bad Friedrichshall, never thought of leaving school early: "If everything works out, I'll be finishing school in mid-June. I have not only spoken to coaches and managers, but also to the guys in the team. They all confirmed that I was doing the right thing." He will sit his exams for an advanced vocational certificate of education (Fachabitur) at the Max Weber School in Sinsheim: "It's a question of organisation, of structure. During the week, I actually go to school from eight to ten o'clock before training. We have recently starting attending school in person again. Before that, we had a long time doing online lessons. Sometimes in the evening I do another hour of learning or tutoring," explains John, who moved from Union Heilbronn to TSG as a eleven-year-old.

In February, he extended his contract with TSG Hoffenheim until 2024. The midfielder describes his development at TSG, which saw him rise through all the junior teams (he is currently still eligible to play for the U19s), as the "best thing that could happen". He is "very, very grateful" to the club for this. However, he does not see any guarantee that after the perfect weeks since the beginning of the year he will continue to play every week in the Bundesliga: "Every day, I have to perform on the pitch again. It doesn't matter that I've been here forever – how I am performing at the moment is all that matters. You don't get any special treatment as a player from the local area."

SPIELFELD is the TSG Hoffenheim club magazine. Brimming with important content about TSG and the region, SPIELFELD is published 11 times per year. You can pick up your copy free of charge in the Fan Shop – or have it delivered to your home. The shipping cost is only €18.99.

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