A Germany international with Albanian roots, Shkodran Mustafi is just one of a number of footballers helping to pave the way for multi-national players.
The World Cup winner was born in Bad Hersfeld to an Albanian family and hopes his rise to the top can inspire other people from more than one culture to succeed.
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“Maybe for them it seems strange, but for us it's normal,” Mustafi told Arsenal Player. “People like Mesut, me and the others in the national team were all born and raised in Germany. We went to school in Germany, our families still live in Germany, so for us it's just normal.
“We don't really think about it, it's more that people say, ‘There are so many players who play for Germany who are not really German or are half German’, but it’s not important. You have to identify yourself with who you are playing for, whether it's your country or your club, and that's it.
“When I was 14, I was thinking about my grandfather because I loved him and had so much respect for what he achieved. So probably for young boy from Syria for example, in Germany now, I'm that kind of person who can give him that strength to continue and to keep doing things the right way.
“In football you have so much pressure - not only to perform, but to behave, because the whole world is looking at you. There is so much pressure, to do all the things right. As soon as you don't, you will read about it in the newspapers.
“Sometimes you forget about it. Other times you are happy with yourself, happy with your performances, and you think, ‘Yes, I am a role model for kids growing up, I have to behave and do the right thing because kids are looking at me and will do the things that I do’.”
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