When someone talks about Robert Huth, the first thing that comes to mind will likely be the fact he was a key member of Claudio Ranieri’s Premier League winning Leicester City side.
However, it’s easy to forget the German centre-back had been in England for 15 years before that point, moving from Union Berlin to Chelsea back in 2001 as a 16-year-old.
He eventually managed to break into the first-team, making 62 appearances for the Stamford Bridge side before being sold to Middlesbrough in 2006.
A move to Stoke City followed three years later, before a loan to Leicester City for the second half of the 2014-15 season led to a permanent move to the King Power Stadium in the summer of 2015.
If asked about their careers after their retirement, most former players would tell you they wouldn’t change anything, but Huth isn’t like everyone else.
Speaking to Der Tagesspiegel, the 35-year-old was asked why he moved to England and Chelsea at such a young age.
He replied: “I was young and stupid. There was actually no one particular reason. It was more like: why not? Money definitely didn’t matter. It wasn’t lucrative at all in the first few years. You don’t know how it goes. I didn’t think much about it either. Chelsea FC. That sounded good.
“They’d won the European Cup shortly before, Marcel Desailly played there, the 1998 World Champion. I just wanted to try it out. I think that was also the good thing: that I didn’t have any negative thoughts. Otherwise, I probably would have gone wrong”.
Then came the fateful question: would he do it again?
Huth said: “No, not without training, not without help. If my boy had an offer from, say, Spain, I would sit down with him first and explain to him how it really works. The reality looks like this: in the end, 1% of all youth players in the big academies can make a living from football.
“Nobody tells you that, of course. Nobody goes through the negative scenarios with you. It would be normal if you think about children”.
The German admits he was ‘lucky’ for things to go the way they did, and has ‘no idea’ what his life would look like today if he hadn’t succeeded in his football endeavours since he ‘never had a plan B’.