Dortmund's Sahin: No regrets about those failed stints with Real and Liverpool
Turk happy at 'special' Dortmund and has no regrets over poor stints with Real and Liverpool
Nuri Sahin was once destined for great things.
At 16 years and 334 days, he became the youngest player to play in the German Bundesliga.
Three months later, in November 2005, he became the youngest goalscorer in Germany's top tier.
By 22 years old, right after helping Borussia Dortmund to the league title, Sahin (right) was voted the Bundesliga's Best Player.
A dream move to Real Madrid followed. But his career path didn't work out the way he had envisaged.
Plagued by injuries, he failed to establish himself with the Galaticos and, after a short loan spell with Liverpool, he moved back to Dortmund in 2013.
Now 27, there's no place he would rather be as he goes about resurrecting his career.
"For me, Dortmund are a special club because they are my first club and I grew up here," Sahin told The New Paper in an interview in a meeting room at the club's headquarters on Monday.
"It gives me a feeling of home. It's here that I feel very comfortable and can play my football."
The Turkey international has no regrets over how things turned out for him overseas.
The elegant midfielder said: "I knew already how big Liverpool are and, after four or five months there, I can't help but admire how big and how organised the club are.
"I will never forget the experience there. I met great guys, great players and made some friends. I'm happy that I was a part of that even though it was a short part.
"Listen, I am a person who criticise myself a lot and I look for the mistakes in myself and in my own game. I don't regret anything.
"I went there to play football, played some games and scored some goals. In the end, it was the best choice to come back home to play for my club again."
Former Dortmund star Lars Ricken, 37, saw a little bit of himself in Sahin when the midfielder made his debut a decade ago.
Ricken, who spent all 15 years of his career with Dortmund, was the club's youngest-ever player until Sahin broke the record.
And he is confident that the Turk can recover his best form.
"His problem is he has had a few injuries in the last few years," Ricken said of Sahin.
"He must play 30 matches each season. Sahin is a great and creative player who can help the team.
"He's not as fast as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Henrikh Mkhitaryan, but he has very good speed of action.
"It's very sad for us that he didn't play for such a long time. We are looking forward to him coming back."
However, Sahin isn't quite past his injury nightmare just yet. A club official said just before the interview that any question on his injury situation is prohibited.
Last season, Sahin racked up just nine games and he has yet to start a match for Dortmund since February.
However, his determination to win trophies with Dortmund hasn't waned and the Champions League is what he's after.
The club have started this season in sizzling form, winning 11 matches (in all competitions) on the trot and are top of the Bundesliga table.
He said: "Every footballer dreams of winning the Champions League. It's one of my goals.
"First of all, we have a new style of football (under new coach Thomas Tuchel), but the team have adapted very fast.
"This season, we have the chance to go for top four. We also have the chance to hold something in our hands at the end of the season.
"But it's only the start. I hope at the end of the season, we can sit here and speak about titles."
l Gary Lim's trip is sponsored by Turkish Airlines, the official airline partner of Borussia Dortmund.