He wrote: “Everything changed then. But not just because of football. It was also because I had my (future) wife by my side.
“She helped me grow in ways that I’ve probably never expressed out loud — even to her. This is such an embarrassing story that I hesitate to tell it! But since I promised you honesty, then I guess I have to. And it’s pretty funny, anyway.
“It started with a tweet. I only had a few thousand followers at the time, because I was still on loan at Werder Bremen. So I tweeted something about a match or whatever, and this pretty girl favourited it.
“I was single at the time, and my friend noticed it. So he said, ‘She looks like a nice girl, no? You should send her a message.’
“And I literally said to him, ‘No, no, no. Come on. People don’t like me. They don’t get me. She won’t respond.’