Thomas Hitzlsperger (born 5 April 1982 in Munich) is a German footballer who plays as a midfielder for Everton. Hitzlsperger spent the early part of his career playing for Aston Villa in England (accompanied by a short loan spell at Chesterfield), before returning to Germany to play for Stuttgart. In 2010 he signed for Italian side Lazio, before moving back to England to join West Ham United later that year. Hitzlsperger has also represented the German national team, earning 52 caps.

Club careerEdit

Aston VillaEdit

Hitzlsperger, the youngest child of Ludwig and Anneliese Hitzlsperger, grew up in Forstinning alongside his five brothers and one sister,[2][3] In August 2000 he joined Aston Villa on a free transfer from the Bayern Munich Junior Team.[4] He had spent a short trial period with Celtic after leaving Bayern Munich, but he opted to join Aston Villa.[citation needed]

He made his Aston Villa debut in a 3–0 home defeat to Liverpool on 13 January 2001; it was his only appearance during his first season in England.[4][5] Whilst at Aston Villa, Hitzlsperger was briefly loaned out to Chesterfield during the 2001–02 season, making his debut against Kidderminster Harriers in the Football League Trophy.[6] In all he made six appearances for the Spireites, five of which were in the league.[5] He was recalled by Aston Villa during the second month of the loan spell however, as the Midlands club had several players injured or suspended.[7] Hitzlsperger moved into the Aston Villa first team following the arrival of new manager Graham Taylor. He would go on to play a significant part in the Aston Villa side that would finish 6th under David O'Leary, before falling out of favour the following season. He left Aston Villa as a fan favourite, and stated that he might return to the club when the opportunity comes. Hitzlsperger gained the nickname Der Hammer (The Hammer) during his time at Villa Park, due to his powerful left-foot shot from long-range.[8][9] A fluent speaker of English, he acquired an unusual Brummie-German hybrid accent during his spell at Villa.[10]


[1][2]Hitzlsperger celebrates winning the Bundesliga with VfB Stuttgart in 2007Hitzlsperger signed for Stuttgart in the summer of 2005,[11] having left Aston Villa on a Bosman free transfer. He became a regular for Stuttgart, particularly in his second season in which the team won the Bundesliga title. Hitzlsperger made a large contribution to their success, playing in 30 of the team's 34 league matches and scoring seven times. He scored a crucial equaliser in the 27th minute of Stuttgart's final match of the season against Energie Cottbus – had Stuttgart lost that match, Schalke 04 would have won the title. In the end, a 63rd minute goal by Sami Khedira secured the title for Stuttgart.[12]

On 14 August 2007, he extended his contract until the summer of 2010.[13] On 22 July 2008, Hitzlsperger was appointed the new captain of VfB Stuttgart by manager Armin Veh following the departure of former club captain Fernando Meira. On 1 December 2009, he was deposed as team captain by Stuttgart's new manager Markus Babbel.[14]


On 31 January 2010, Hitzlsperger moved to Lazio on six-month contract, for around €550,000.[15][16] He scored his only goal for Lazio on 15 May in a 3–1 win against Udinese.[17]

West Ham UnitedEdit

Hitzlsperger signed a three-year deal with Premier League club West Ham United in June 2010,[18] but due to an injury did not make his debut for the Hammers until an FA Cup fifth round match against Burnley in February 2011, a game in which he scored in the 23rd minute.[19] ESPN named him man of the match for his debut performance. Hitzlsperger made his league debut for the Hammers in a 3–1 against Liverpool.[20] He scored his first Premier League goal for West Ham in the 3–0 home win against Stoke City on 5 March 2011.[21] At the end of the season West Ham were relegated to the Football League Championship and Hitzlsperger's contract was terminated.[22]


On 17 August 2011, Hitzlsperger signed for Bundesliga club Wolfsburg on a three-year deal, after being released by West Ham three months earlier.[23] His contract was terminated at the end of the season.[24]


On 19 October 2012 Hitzlsperger joined Premier League club Everton, after a spell on trial with the club, on a short term contract until January 2013.[25][26] He made his debut for the Toffees coming on as an 86th minute substitute in a 2–1 victory against Sunderland at Goodison Park.[27] He made his first Everton start when the Blues took on Reading at the Madejski Stadium on 17 November 2012. On 11 January 2013 he signed an extension to his contract, keeping him at the club until the end of the season.[28]

Career statisticsEdit

As of match played 7 January 2013.[29][30]
Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
2000–01 Aston Villa Premier League 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2001–02 Chesterfield Second Division 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
Aston Villa Premier League 12 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 12 1
2002–03 26 2 0 0 3 2 0 0 29 4
2003–04 32 3 1 0 5 2 0 0 38 5
2004–05 28 3 0 0 2 0 0 0 30 3
Germany League DFB-Pokal Other Europe Total
2005–06 VfB Stuttgart Bundesliga 26 2 2 1 0 0 7 0 35 3
2006–07 30 7 5 3 0 0 0 0 35 10
2007–08 25 5 4 2 - - 2 0 31 7
2008–09 32 5 2 0 - - 5 1 39 6
2009–10 12 1 3 1 - - 5 0 20 2
Italy League Coppa Italia League Cup Europe Total
2009–10 S.S. Lazio Serie A 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 1
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
2010–11 West Ham United Premier League 11 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 13 3
Germany League DFB-Pokal Other Europe Total
2011–12 Wolfsburg Bundesliga 6 0 0 0 6 0
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
2012–13 Everton Premier League 6 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 7 0
Total England 121 11 4 1 10 4 0 0 134 16
Germany 130 20 16 7 0 0 19 1 166 28
Italy 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 1
Career total 258 32 19 8 10 4 19 1 307 45

International careerEdit

[3][4]Hitzlsperger has captained the German under-19 team,[6] and has also appeared for the national under-21 side. He was then called up to the senior side by Jürgen Klinsmann and made his debut in a 2–0 win against Iran in Tehran on 9 October 2004, replacing Bernd Schneider in the 68th minute.[31][32] He appeared at the 2005 Confederations Cup, and also at the 2006 World Cup, where he failed to make it into Klinsmann's starting eleven, playing just 11 minutes of the third-place play-off match against Portugal.[10] He scored his first international goals on 6 September 2006, in a European Championship qualifying game against San Marino. Hitzlsperger came on as a second half substitute to score Germany's 9th and 11th goals in the 13–0 win,[31][33] a record victory in European Championship qualifying matches.[34]

Germany's coach Joachim Löw included Hitzlsperger in his squad for the finals of Euro 2008, but did not start him in any of the three group games. Hitzlsperger came on as a second-half substitute in the victories over Poland and Austria, and did not feature at all in the defeat to Croatia.[35][36][37] In the knockout stages however, he started all three matches, helping his team to overcome Portugal in the quarter-finals and setting up Philipp Lahm for a 90th minute winner against Turkey in the semifinal.[38][39] Germany were defeated 1–0 by Spain in the final, in which Hitzlsperger was substituted in the second half.[40]

Hitzlsperger remained first choice in 2010 World Cup qualifying, playing in all matches save one and scoring a goal,[41] but he missed out on his nation's World Cup squad in June 2010.

International goalsEdit

Scores and results table. Germany's goal tally first:
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 6 September 2006 Stadio Olimpico, Serravalle, San Marino  San Marino 9–0 13–0 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
2. 6 September 2006 Stadio Olimpico, Serravalle, San Marino  San Marino 11–0 13–0 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
3. 6 June 2007 AOL Arena, Hamburg, Germany  Slovakia 2–1 2–1 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
4. 17 November 2007 Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany  Cyprus 4–0 4–0 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
5. 6 February 2008 Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna, Austria  Austria 1–0 3–0 Friendly
6. 6 September 2008 Rheinpark Stadion, Vaduz, Liechtenstein  Liechtenstein 5–0 6–0 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying

Personal lifeEdit

Hitzlsperger has an interest in economics, in particular dynamic mechanism design, and while in England studied investment strategies, although he did not complete the course.[42] He regularly visited the Bank of England to discuss finance with the bank's governor, Mervyn King, a lifelong Aston Villa fan.[43]

Hitzlsperger has blogged for Störungsmelder, an anti-racism site that encourages debate about xenophobia and racism in Germany.[42]

In June 2007, Hitzlsperger split from his longtime girlfriend, Inga, just one month before they were due to get married.[44]

On 9 April 2011, Hitzlsperger was caught travelling in his Range Rover at 107 mph (172 km/h) on the A14 in Suffolk.[45] On 14 July 2011, he was fined £750 and was given six penalty points on his driving licence by Bury St Edmunds Magistrates' Court.[45] However, he was spared a driving ban as he was at the time unemployed and claimed he needed his car to drive around the country and look for a new club.[46] The decision not to ban Hitzlsperger was heavily criticised by road safety groups. Julie Townsend, Campaigns Director of Brake stated "This person showed a complete disregard for human life and the fact he is being allowed to continue driving is horrifying."[47]



VfB Stuttgart