Jens Nowotny


Jens Nowotny

Football player infobox| playername= Jens Nowotny
fullname = Jens Nowotny


dateofbirth = birth date and age|1974|1|11
cityofbirth = Malsch
countryofbirth = West Germany
height = 1.87 m
position = Defender
youthyears =1979-1985
1985-1990
1990-1991
youthclubs =SV Spielberg
Germania Friedrichstal
Karlsruher SC
years = 1991-1996
1996-2006
2006
clubs = Karlsruher SC
Bayer Leverkusen
Dinamo Zagreb
caps(goals) = 103 (7)
231 (4)
10 (0)
nationalyears = 1997-2006
nationalteam = Germany
nationalcaps(goals) = 48 (1)
pcupdate = 5 November 2006
ntupdate = 16 August2006

Jens Nowotny (born January 11 1974 in Malsch) is a retired German football defender.

Career

Nowotny started to play football at the age of five at the club SV Spielberg. He moved to Germania Friedrichstal at the age of eleven and stayed at the club in the next five years, until 1990. He went on to move to Karlsruher SC and started his professional career at the club in July 1991. However, he had to wait all the way until May 2, 1992 to make his Bundesliga debut in KSC's away match against Hamburger SV. He subsequently appeared in all of the remaining three league matches until the end of the season and became a regular in the following season, appearing in 29 Bundesliga matches and scoring three goals in the league, being on target for the first time with a brace in KSC's 2-2 draw away against VfL Bochum. He continued to play for KSC until the end of the 1995-96 season and went on to sign with Bayer Leverkusen in July 1996. In five seasons he played for KSC, Nowotny appeared in 103 Bundesliga matches and scored seven goals for the club in the league.

He made his Bundesliga debut for Bayer Leverkusen on August 21, 1996 against MSV Duisburg in the club's second league match of the 1996-97 season and became a regular already in his first season at the club, making 32 Bundesliga appearances that season. He scored his first Bundesliga goal for Bayer Leverkusen on October 30, 1998 in their 8-2 victory away against Borussia Mönchengladbach. In ten seasons he played for Bayer Leverkusen between 1996 and 2006, Nowotny made 231 Bundesliga appearances and scored four goals for the club in the league. He also played with Leverkusen in five UEFA Champions League seasons, making 34 appearances and scoring one goal. He made his UEFA Champions League debut on September 17, 1997 in Bayer Leverkusen's home match against Lierse and scored his only goal in the competition on September 28, 2004 in the club's 4-2 defeat away against Dynamo Kyiv.

On July 18, 2006, Nowotny agreed to sign a three-year contract with current Croatian First League champions Dinamo Zagreb and officially became a member of the club by signing this contract five days later. He made his debut for Dinamo on July 29, 2006 against Slaven Belupo in their first domestic league match of the 2006-07 season. His international debut for the club came on August 8, 2006 in their first-leg third-round UEFA Champions League qualifier against Arsenal, where they suffered a convincing 3-0 defeat.

On August 19, 2006, Nowotny got injured again during Dinamo's Croatian First League match against NK Međimurje at home, where the club managed a 4-1 victory. Even though he was not fully healed and played all 90 minutes for Germany in their friendly match against Sweden (3-0 victory for the Germans) only three days earlier, Nowotny asked to play because his wife and children came to Zagreb and were in the stadium. Coach Josip Kuže, as he later admitted, had his doubts about Nowotny's decision to play. He also had thoughts to substitute him by the end of the match, but changed his mind because of the fans, who had accepted Nowotny with acclamation. Midway through the second half, it was too late. Nowotny's left knee let him down again and he was forced to leave the pitch in the 72nd minute. Fortunately, this time ligaments were not affected, so just a routine surgery was enough and Nowotny is expected to be able to play competitive matches by the end of September. Interesting enough, Nowotny watched the entire surgery and commented it with the surgeon who was doing it. The injury caused him to miss both of Dinamo's two matches against AJ Auxerre in the first round of the UEFA Cup, where they lost 5-2 on aggregate, as well as five matches of the Croatian First League before making his comeback on October 21, 2006 in Dinamo's away match against NK Osijek, coming off the bench for the final 15 minutes of the match.

International career

Nowotny made his debut for the German national team on April 30, 1997 in their 1998 World Cup qualifier against Ukraine at home in Bremen. He was subsequently part of the German squad at both the Euro 2000 and Euro 2004, making three appearances at the 2000 tournament and another two at the 2004 tournament. In 2006, he was called up for the German national team to be part of their squad at the 2006 World Cup finals after two years of absence from international football. It was widely believed that at the age of 32, it was his experience that won him a place in the squad, so as to bolster the young and inexperienced German defence. He nevertheless made only one appearance at the tournament, playing all 90 minutes in the third-place play-off against Portugal. Up to this time, Nowotny won 48 international caps and scored one goal for Germany. He was on target in Germany's 7-0 victory over Malta in a friendly match played on May 27, 2004.

Retirement

Nowotny announced his retirement from football on January 22, 2007 after suffering a knee injury. He said, "To think I may have to wait another 10 months through physiotherapy and returning to training - this is enough," said the 33-year-old. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/europe/6287387.stm 1]

External links

* [http://www.leverkusen.com/whoiswho/whoiswho.php4?view=NowotnyJ Leverkusen who's who]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCe24C05KZ8 YouTube: A Farewell Tribute for Jens Nowotny as a Footballer]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbu2Q8H33TY YouTube: Jens Nowotny, Forever]


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