It has been a rapid rise to fame for Kyriakos Papadopoulus.
Since a £1.8m move from Olympiacos in the summer of 2010, he has gone on to appear 92 times in three years for Schalke, and is now first-choice in the Greek national team.
Despite being just 21, the centre-back has already managed 16 appearances for his country, until a cruel injury ruled him out of a large majority of the 2012/13 Bundesliga campaign.
At 6ft 2in, the youngster doesn't look out of place in defence, and although managing just 10 appearances for his German club last season, it was clear to all what impact he had while he was involved.
He managed a team-high 3.7 tackles, and six clearances per game; while only Jermaine Jones managed to win more aerial duels per game.
As well as showing he is the complete defender, his pass-completion rate of 89% was only matched by Ibrahim Affelay, and a full 5% and 9% higher than Schalke's other two centre backs, Benedikt Höwedes and the now-retired Christoph Metzelder.
Seven goals in 92 appearances demonstrate his ability in the final third, which is indispensable to teams in the modern-day game, as they look to add goals from all positions.
His performances have certainly not been missed by Europe's elite. Zenit St. Petersburg had a £16m bid accepted last summer, but he turned down the lucrative contract to stay in Germany.
Many football fans would appreciate that commitment, especially after top players such as Axel Witsel and Hulk have turned down moves to the Premier League to take a place at the up-and-coming Russian club.
However, with a host of top Premier League clubs showing an interest in Papadopoulos, 2013 may well be the year he bids farewell, for a new challenge.
Speculation involving both Manchester clubs, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Arsenal, have appeared in various newspapers - and although a concrete bid has yet to come in, it is clear that Schalke may well be satisfied with selling the Greek, especially for ten-fold what was paid for him just three years ago.
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