Robin Everardus Gosens has a motto that has been with him ever since he was a teenager: always give more than what others give; it’s the only way to improve.
He learnt that day after day, but it well and truly dawned on him one morning. As he never attended any sort of football academy, Gosens played the beautiful game for enjoyment rather than for any other reason. One weekend, he had had a late night with friends and was in action on the Sunday morning at 11:00 in Kleve, Germany, but still managed to do what he did best: cover more ground than everyone else, be impactful on the pitch and make life difficult for the opposition resulting in goals, assists and a win. That morning, however, there was a scout from Vitesse in attendance who asked if Gosens fancied going on trial with the club.
That’s how Gosens’ football journey began in 2012 at the age of 18. From Emmerich am Rhein in Germany, a town on the Rhine four kilometres from the Dutch border, to Arnhem, which was around a 30-minute drive or train ride away. This resulted in a deal being struck at home with his mother if Gosens wanted to guarantee himself the chance to try to become a footballer. His school marks were not allowed to drop or he would’ve stopped training.
Nobody has achieved success without working hard. Gosens has recently written about that very concept in his autobiography, with the title translating from German as “It’s worth dreaming” in which he tells his story, including the trial with Borussia Dortmund when he was rejected.
Gosens has now become Inter’s left wing-back through working extremely hard and overcoming the negativity from those who said that his technique wasn’t good enough and that he didn’t know how to control the ball. He’d also considered plan B by attending a course to become part of the police force.
Discipline, a strong mentality, hard work and dedication have all been mainstays for Gosens, who pushes himself to the limit every day. At the age of 19, he realised just what he was capable of. His time at Dordrecht was followed by the leap to Heracles Almelo and Atalanta then came calling in 2017. There were difficulties and scepticism at the time, particularly due to the challenges of getting to grips with a new language and becoming part of a well-oiled machine, but Robin pulled up his sleeves once more. He notched two goals in his first season, went one better the year after and then hit double figures in his third (ten) and fourth (12) campaigns with the club, receiving plaudits for his dominant play down the wing and ability to strike terror into opposition defences. His performances earned him a place in the 2020 Team of the Year and a national-team call-up.
Robin’s adventure at Euro 2020 will be remembered for his sterling performance in Germany’s enthralling 4-2 triumph over Portugal in Munich when he had a goal disallowed, grabbed an assist, scored a header from close range and was deservedly named man of the match.
He believed and he got there. It is now time for Gosens to take to the San Siro pitch in a new shade of black and blue, representing Inter in all its glory and becoming the ninth German player to represent the club.
Show them what you’ve got, Robin!