Monday night games against the likes of Dynamo Dresden, St. Pauli and Hansa Rostock were the norm for Christoph Kramer while on loan at second division VfL Bochum as recently as 2013. His journey since then has been nothing short of remarkable. Kramer has done something that is very rare in world football: He has gone from a second-division player to a World Champion in just a year. Mönchengladbach secured his services on loan last season and he has regularly featured in the starting XI under coach Lucien Favre, attracting the attention of the Germany manager and then finally making his way into the World Cup squad.
Kramer gave a lot of interviews after the World Cup. He was asked about the final, the injury to Sami Khedira, his concussion and his disorientation. There were many questions and answers and the public were interested in this young man from Solingen - and he was too polite to decline answering every single question.
The World Champion is under contract with Leverkusen and is on loan at Mönchengladbach until the end of the season. Kramer has never made a secret of how comfortable he feels at Gladbach and Borussia have never made a secret of how happy they are with Kramer. But he’ll be back playing for Bayer 04 next season. And unlike the common presumption, he doesn’t have a problem with that. “I trained at Leverkusen for most of my youth career and I owe the club a lot,” said Kramer.
His focus now is on the game against them on Sunday at 15:30 CET. And it would hurt him even more if he was not able to play. On Thursday, the 23-year-old hobbled off shortly before the end of Gladbach's 3-0 Europa League win against FC Zurich. “Christoph has taken a knock. I hope that it won’t be too bad,” said sporting director Max Eberl. There is hope for Gladbach in the fact that he seemed to walk away from the stadium relatively normally after the Zurich game. On Friday, Kramer will undergo an examination to see whether he will be able to embark on his own special journey on Sunday.