Kicker, Wednesday, December 10, 2008 2:45 PM
Former German national team goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand
, 29, has signed for Bundesliga leader TSG Hoffenheim after canceling his contract with Spanish club Valencia by mutual consent.
Hildebrand moved to Valencia from Stuttgart in 2007, but after starting for most of last season lost his place when Unai Emery
took over as coach from Ronald Koeman
When Hildebrand was dropped he reportedly refused to take his place on the bench, following that great tradition of humility among German goalkeepers set by the likes of Oliver
and Jens Lehmann
, keepers that Hildebrand was expected to succeed as Germany's No. 1. With no first-team action, he subsequently lost his place in the national team
set-up, having won just seven caps, but Germany's coach Joachim Low
sees the move back to the Bundesliga as a way for Hildebrand to return to contention.
"I'm pleased that Timo's move to Hoffenheim will mean clarity and more certainty in his planning," Low said. "He was left hanging at Valencia these past few months, but now
he's going to a coach [Ralf Rangnick
] who can work with him." Hildebrand, who has signed a contract until 2010, will compete with Hoffenheim's other two goalkeepers,
(six appearances this season) and Daniel Haas
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