How Christian Pulisic rose to international stardom playing soccer

Pulisic, who is from Hershey, Pennsylvania, became the highest-paid American soccer player of all time when he signed with Chelsea Football Club in the U.K. But it didn't come without its challenges.
6:56 | 01/25/20

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Transcript for How Christian Pulisic rose to international stardom playing soccer
This is pretty cool. Yeah. Do you still get excited? I get more excited when it's full of fans. Reporter: When you picture an international soccer superstar, who do you see? Beckham! Reporter: Beckham lighting it up for England. David Beckham rescues England. Reporter: Or Ronaldo's splashy bicycle kicks. There's Messi. In and to the back of the net, Messi! Reporter: Neymar. All with their slick hair, sleeve tattoos and near-nude cologne ads. Yep. All the trappings of a global soccer icon. Soccer is the number one sport in the world. We look at the Lebron jameses of the world and the Tiger Woods of the world and say they are superstars. Which they are. But times that by a thousand because that is what Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are around the world. Look at neymar in Brazil. Look at Messi in Argentina, Ronaldo in Europe. Reporter: But in a world of one-name hunks with their barely there boxers, you might not picture this guy. A sweet all-American dude from Hershey, Pennsylvania. There's not many big name soccer players out of Hershey, Pennsylvania. Probably not a lot, no. The sweetest place on Earth as we like to call it. Reporter: Yes, at just 21 years old Christian pulisic is taking over the sports world. His vicious crossover and clutch kicks. And he scores! What a moment for Christian pulisic! Reporter: Have made him the hottest young name in men's soccer. And a big part of why Chelsea, you know that massively successful team across the pond, paid a record $73 million for Christian and made him the most expensive American soccer player of all time. Valuing him right up there with soccer legends like Ronaldo. Teammates even dubbing him captain America. Captain America! Lovely assist. Reporter: Before we keep going let's clear something up. We call this sport soccer. But here in the uk they call it football. Do you say soccer or football? Now here I kind of have to say football if I don't want to get made fun of. But it will also be soccer to me I guess because football is, you know, American football. Reporter: Soccer, or football, is one of the most played sports in the united States but it only really dominates our sports world like basketball, football, and baseball routinely do -- I believe! Reporter: When the world cup rolls around once every four years. And while the U.S. Women have dominated the international stage and made generational stars out of their players like Mia hamm and Megan rapinoe, American men have never seemed to rise to the level of soccer superstardom. Soccer's so huge in the states, right? But we don't have a ton of these international superstars. Why do you think that is? A lot of our best athletes generally are in other sports. But I think it is to say things are changing. There's already players playing in Germany and now playing here. I think we're going to see a lot more in the next couple years. Hopefully, you know, doing similar things to this and playing in the premier league. And I think it's definitely a good time for American soccer. Reporter: Which makes Christian truly unique. In sports oftentimes we remember the first. Christian pulisic, he is the pulisic going to Chelsea for over $70 million, that is a water hed moment for the American soccer player. Reporter: There's all these fans looking down at you. Do you ever feel extra pressure being the American out there? I don't really think of it like that, to be honest. I don't see myself as American. I just see myself as part of the team. But people, you know, they always try to put that extra pressure, the American. But like I said, I try not to think about it. Yeah. That's good. No pressure. I'm not adding extra pressure. I'm just reminding you of your roots. Reporter: Now, he may just be the hottest thing here at Chelsea football club arena. Back home in Hershey, Pennsylvania -- This is this is the first time he got the 10. Reporter: He's still the hometown kid to mom and dad. . I don't think it will ever get to his head. He understands how things can go. Probably harder for him getting out in big crowds than people realize because he is really more of a shy soft-spoken Reporter: Kelly and mark pulisic were star soccer players themselves. Both of us played soccer collegiately. And then I played professionally. At 2 years old my husband and I both saw a very strong athletic ability. Both of us being into sport and being into teaching, we knew that he had a gift. What were some of the big life lessons your parents taught you that sticks with you today? The number one thing I would say is just kind of putting confidence in me. Just telling me to always believe in myself no matter who I'm playing against, no matter where I come from. Reporter: Christian took that confidence and at just 15 he moved to Germany determined to become a pro. Yeah, it was terrifying, to be honest. It was kind of a big sacrifice. I didn't know what was going to happen. I didn't speak any German. I just had huge dreams, and I thought why not go for it? Reporter: But pursuing that dream 4,000 miles away from the police he called home came with its challenges. We decided as parents the best thing to do is separate and let our daughter stay home and finish school where she needed to and then let Christian go and start in dortmund, Germany. We were up for the challenge because we wanted everybody to be happy. It was difficult for Christian. I was overseas with him. And he missed his mom and his sister so much more than they would ever know. But he stayed very focused on accomplishing what he wanted to do, and that was become a first team player in dortmund. Reporter: The big gamble paid off. Just 16 when he signed with German powerhouse borussia a year later he started making his mark, scoring Pulisic! Oh, yes! And he scores! Reporter: It wasn't long before the biggest soccer league in the world came knocking. What a moment for Christian -- This is where I wanted to be my whole life, playing professionally for a massive club, playing for Chelsea. I love it so far. While you were training and had to leave the U.S. For Europe, did you ever feel like you missed out on growing up? But there were also things I got to come home for. What did you make it home for? I made it home for my senior prom. The next day I flew to Kansas City and played for the national team and scored my first international goal. Reporter: For America's first great soccer star he's only just getting started. So what about the little kid playing Kinder kick back in the states? If they asked you how do I do what you're doing, what would you tell them? I would tell them give it everything and if you really want something to dream big because that's what I did. Reporter: For "Nightline" I'm Maggie Rulli in London. And when we come back, the

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