From the Bundesliga to the WWE? How fan furor made GK a bodybuilder

1 Comment

Tim Wiese isn’t your ordinary goalkeeper in any stretch of the imagination. The German backstop played six times for the full national team during a 15-year career that took him from Cologne to Hoffenheim.

But it’s what he’s up to now — and how he got there — that makes Wiese’s story a truly intriguing tale.

Ridiculed after Hoffenheim failed to achieve its lofty goals, Wiese turned to a distraction, an outlet. It wasn’t food, drink or worse; Tim Wiese turned to bodybuilding.

And did he.

The jacked-up keeper was released by Hoffenheim last season as his body became too muscular to stand between the sticks (at least according to the club).

His next organization? It just may be World Wrestling Entertainment. From TopDrawerSoccer.com:

In any case, Wiese told German news outlet Bild that he’s received an offer from the WWE (that’s American professional wrestling for you neophytes) and is seriously mulling it over. The WWE apparently had its interest piqued initially when Wiese pushed out this muscle-bound selfie last year. It appears his fall from grace in the soccer realm coincided neatly with his rise as a lifter of very heavy objects.

wiese-muskeln

Wiese hasn’t yet accepted the offer, but it sounds like there’s a legitimate chance the nation’s fine network of professional wrestling fans will soon have a former international soccer player to cheer (or despise, depending on the script. Hopefully they don’t dress him up in a Nazi goalkeeper kit). On the topic, Wiese told Bild, “Why should I say no right away? Wrestling is very popular, especially in the United States. I will discuss the request in the next few weeks with my advisor.”

He looks like a wrestler, that’s for sure (no way it’s natural, right?). This Eurosport article delves into his expansion, and is truly interesting. A highlight or two:

source:
Wiese with Germany

“When I came to Hoffenheim, we thought we could challenge for European places. Then everything backfired.

“And every time we lost, it seemed it was my fault; I was being analysed and criticised, not the team. It was all about me.

“Despite my experience and confidence, I had never faced this before. It culminated in a fan protest at the club’s office – a fan protest, just against me!

“There were only a few of these fans, but this made me feel deeply unwanted, and I would never wish this on another player.

“It was like being in a horror movie. The pressure was inhuman. I could not play freely.”

The article also details how Wiese chose Hoffenheim over a move to Real Madrid to back up Iker Casillas. But he wanted to play, which led him here.

Lots of folks will crack wise over the story, and that’s understandable. But at least part of the tale is really tough to read. He was driven to lift…and lift… and lift. What comes next will certainly bear following with interest.

Chelsea needs to wait “48 hours” to assess Mount

Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Mason Mount‘s move from the Championship to the Premier League has been nearly seamless.

His adjustment to the Champions League was cut down too quickly to get an understanding of whether it would be too big of a jump.

[ MORE: Match recap | Barkley drama ]

Mount, 20, was chopped down by Valencia’s Francis Coquelin, the former Arsenal man, and had to leave the game after just 16 minutes.

Here’s Frank Lampard, from ChelseaFC.com:

“He’s got an ankle injury but we don’t know how bad it is. We’ll have to assess it in the next 48 hours to see the scale of the injury. It was a shame because he started the game well and it meant we had to make the change early on.”

Mount scored nine times with four assists on loan under Lampard at Derby County last season, and has already chipped in three goals for Chelsea this season.

Lampard turned to Pedro off the bench on Tuesday, but any lengthy absence for Mount will spell more time for American youngster Christian Pulisic.

UEFA Champions League Wednesday preview: Man City, Spurs debut

Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur begin their UEFA Champions League campaigns on very different results and with very different vibes.

City is coming off a stunning 3-2 loss to injury-hit Norwich City, and is set up in Ukraine to face Shakhtar Donetsk for the third-straight season, a side which beat Pep Guardiola once in four tries between 2017/18 and 2018/19 in the UCL.

[ MORE: UCL Tues. wrap ]

But on Wednesday, Guardiola’s men are going to carry a similar feel to one of his old Barcelona teams, as Pep seemingly will have Fernandinho pull a Javier Mascherano and drop into the back line.

Yes, Fernandinho and Nicolas Otamendi are Manchester City’s hopes at center back, now that John Stones has joined Aymeric Laporte on the shelf.

“For me as a manager it’s an incredible challenge,” said Pep Guardiola. “But I believe a lot, people don’t know the spirit and resolve to solve this problem. The players going to come back with Dinho, Eric Garcia, Taylor Harwood-Bellis. … It’s happened, but what we are not going to do is complain. We have to have 11 players on the pitch and I like it, to find a solution. For the players as well to find an incredible step forward.”

Spurs, meanwhile, will simply be trying to build on any momentum gained by a 4-0 demolition of Crystal Palace at the weekend, a win which came after manager Mauricio Pochettino begged his side to “re-focus” after a relatively poor start to the season.

Now a bit more relaxed, Spurs head to Greece as the clear favorites against stingy Olympiacos. These are, after all, the finalists of last season’s tournament.

Pochettino won’t be sleeping on the challenge, from The London Evening Standard:

“They have good players and if we are not focused and don’t take our best game we are going to suffer. But last season we played in the final of Champions League, so it’s normal people think before the game, Tottenham is one step above Olympiacos but in the end you need to show it on the pitch.”

Spurs are one of two early kickoffs on Tuesday.

Full UCL Wednesday schedule

12:55 p.m. ET
Club Brugge v. Galatasaray
Olympiacos v. Tottenham Hotspur

3 p.m. ET
Bayer Leverkusen v. Lokomotiv Moscow
Paris Saint-Germain v. Real Madrid
Atletico Madrid v. Juventus
Dinamo Zagreb v. Atalanta
Bayern Munich v. Red Star Belgrade
Shakhtar Donetsk v. Manchester City

American coach Marsch speaks after landmark Champions League day

Photo by Andreas Schaad/Bongarts/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Jesse Marsch made his UEFA Champions League debut on Tuesday, a historic first for not just the Wisconsin native but also his country.

Marsch, 45, oversaw Red Bull Salzburg’s 6-2 demolition of Genk, becoming the first American to win a UCL match as manager.

[ MORE: Champions League Tues. wrap ]

“We knew we were going into the match full of confidence,” he said, via the Salzburg site. “We knew too that we could put in a performance of this quality. I wasn’t pleased with a few situations, such as conceding for 3-1. That shows our incredible mentality though as it prompted us to give a few more percent and immediately score two goals.”

The ex-New York Red Bulls manager and RB Leipzig assistant manager got another three goals from incredible 19-year-old striker Erling Braut Haland, who nows has 17 goals in nine matches this season.

“It is an absolute joy to work with this team. We have a lot of players who just know how to battle, and that rubs off on the others. You can see that on the pitch on nights like tonight.”

There will be tougher nights ahead for Marsch, who is in a group with Liverpool and Napoli, but Tuesday was a fine start for the tactician. And it was a banner moment for American coaches abroad, who’ve been led by past and present USMNT coaches Bob Bradley and Gregg Berhalter.

Maybe one day that’ll be Marsch’s title… but it seems like he may have some loftier ground to cover on his path through world soccer.

Klopp: Liverpool made wrong decisions; Penalty also incorrect

Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is going to bat for his left back after Andrew Robertson gave away what became the decisive penalty in a 2-0 loss to Napoli in UEFA Champions League action on Tuesday.

“I don’t think it’s a penalty,” Klopp said. “What can I say, for me, it is clear and obvious no penalty. He jumps before any contact, we can’t change that.”

[ RECAP: Napoli 2-0 Liverpool ]

For what it’s worth: It sure seemed like both a foul on Robertson and a comical embellishment from Callejon, but we digress.

Liverpool just didn’t have it on the day, like when Sadio Mane played a terrible pass to Mohamed Salah on what could’ve been an easy 1-0 lead.

In the moments they did have it, there was Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret making a splendid save.

“We played a lot of good football but didn’t finish it off. We controlled moments but had not enough chances in the end. We made decisions that were not right and have to accept the result. It was very often the final ball that was not right.”

Also, forgive Klopp if he has stopped enjoying the beautiful country of Italy.