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Few professional footballers have a more engaging background story than Owen Hargreaves. A world-class defensive midfielder in his pomp, he is the son of an English couple who emigrated to Canada in the early 1980s.
He was late to the game - taking it seriously at age 15, with other sports such as basketball, NFL, and ice hockey dominating his early competitive instincts.
He did have the virtue of having a father who played professional football for Bolton during his early years in England before signing for the Calgary Kickers in the Canadian Soccer League.
Here's where it gets interesting.
He came to meet a football coach by the name of Thomas Niendorf, who used to work in East Germany. The collapse of the Berlin Wall meant Niendirf went to pastures new and chance would have it that he came to work in Canada.
After impressing Niendorf with his athleticism and hard work, he was earmarked to try out for Bayern Munich - impressing enough to sign for the Bavarian giants, despite not speaking a word of German.