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VfB Stuttgart 1893 e.V.
Bundesliga, 31.01.2010

Arrivederci Thomas Hitzlsperger

Shortly before the transfer window closes on Monday, Thomas Hitzlsperger has decided on a move to Italy's 'Serie A' and Lazio Rome. Hitzlsperger's contract with VfB, which had been valid until June 2010, was dissolved on Sunday.

'Hitz the Hammer'

The German international considers the move to be a chance to make a fresh start following a difficult period in his career. The Munich born midfielder signed to VfB in summer 2005 from Aston Villa, where he made 99 appearances in the English Premier League. In England, Hitzlsperger's powerful shot earned him the nickname 'Hitz the Hammer'. At VfB the midfield engine quickly earned himself a first team place and in 2006 he was part of Germany's World Cup squad. The following season he was a championship winner with Stuttgart and was involved in the DFB-Cup final.

VfB captain 2008 - 2009

In 2008, Hitzlsperger took over the captaincy at VfB from Fernando Meira and in his time at the club he has scored 20 goals in 125 Bundesliga games, seven goals in 17 DFB Cup matches and made a total of 26 European appearances, including in the UEFA Champions League, scoring twice. Hitzlsperger has also won 51 international caps with Germany and scored six times for his country.

A difficult decision

"It wasn't easy for us to allow Thomas to go, as he is a player who very much identifies with the club, but we do respect his decision. We wish Thomas lots of success at his new club and thank him kindly for his performance here at VfB Stuttgart," commented Executive Representative for Sport Horst Heldt.

"Not easy to say goodbye"

Thomas Hitzlsperger himself commented on his move to Rome: "It's not easy for me to say goodbye to VfB Stuttgart. I had a wonderful time here and I will always carry the positive memories of the club, the fans and the city with me. I will always enjoy coming back to Stuttgart and I have found many friends here. The end hasn't exactly been satisfactory for me and not at all nice, but that's football! I'm looking forward to this new challenge now. It's a privilege to play in a top league abroad and I hope to continue the good tradition of German players having success in Italy. I will continue to keep my fingers crossed for VfB Stuttgart and I am absolutely convinced that the club will finish the season well."