Robert Huth

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Robert Huth
Robert Huth Middlesbrough relegation day.jpg
Robert Huth playing for Middlesbrough in 2009
Personal information
Full name Robert Huth[1]
Date of birth (1984-08-18) 18 August 1984 (age 32)[1]
Place of birth Biesdorf, East Berlin, East Germany
Height 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)[2]
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current team
Leicester City
Number 6
Youth career
1999–2000 VfB Fortuna Biesdorf
2000–2001 1. FC Union Berlin
2001–2002 Chelsea
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2006 Chelsea 42 (0)
2006–2009 Middlesbrough 53 (2)
2009–2015 Stoke City 149 (13)
2015 Leicester City (loan) 14 (1)
2015– Leicester City 35 (3)
National team
2003 Germany U20
2004–2005 Germany U21 4 (0)
2004– Germany 19 (2)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 3 May 2016.


Robert Huth (German pronunciation: [ˈʁoːbɛʁt ˈhuːt]; born 18 August 1984) is a German professional footballer who plays as a centre back for Leicester City.

Huth was signed for Chelsea from the youth system of German club 1. FC Union Berlin in 2001 by Claudio Ranieri. He struggled to establish himself in the Chelsea first team and with the likes of John Terry, William Gallas and Ricardo Carvalho ahead of him in the pecking order at Stamford Bridge, he joined Middlesbrough in August 2006 for a fee of £6 million. He spent three years at the Riverside and after the club was relegated in 2009, Huth signed for Stoke City for a then-club record fee of £5 million.

After a successful 2010–11 season for Huth which saw him play in the FA Cup Final, he was named as Stoke's Player of the Year. Under the management of Tony Pulis, Huth remained a vital member of the Stoke squad in 2011–12 and 2012–13. He also played regularly under Mark Hughes in 2013–14 before he suffered a knee injury which ruled him out nearly a year. He was unable to force his way back into the team and he joined Leicester on loan in January 2015, helping them avoid relegation from the top flight. Huth then joined Leicester permanently, helping them to win the Premier League title in 2016.

Huth was also a German international, earning 19 caps and scoring two goals between 2004 and 2009. He was part of the German squad which came third at the 2006 FIFA World Cup on home soil.

Huth has made the most Premier League appearances by a German player.[3]

Club career[edit]

Chelsea[edit]

Huth was born in Biesdorf, East Berlin, and played for local side VfB Fortuna Biesdorf and then the youth teams at 1. FC Union Berlin before joining English side Chelsea in 2001. Huth made his debut for Chelsea at the age of 17 in the last game of the 2001–02 season, coming on as a substitute at half-time for Jesper Grønkjær in a 1–3 home defeat against Aston Villa.[4] In August 2003, Reading tried to sign Huth on loan for the 2003–04 season, but their bid was rejected by Chelsea.[5] He made 20 appearances during that season, stating he was happy to stay at Chelsea.[6] In the 2004–05 season, injuries restricted him to 15 appearances for the Blues.[7]

When the 2005–06 season started, Huth's chances of becoming a first-choice player at Chelsea in the near future seemed limited with John Terry, William Gallas and Ricardo Carvalho ahead of him in the Chelsea squad. These were the preferred central defenders for Chelsea manager José Mourinho, who had succeeded Ranieri in the summer of 2004. Mourinho did, however, reject a bid for Huth from German club Bayern Munich in the summer of 2005.[8] Huth scored twice for Chelsea, with one against MŠK Žilina in a Champions League qualifier[9] and the other against Birmingham City in the FA Cup.[10] At the end of the 2005–06 season, Huth stated that he was unhappy with his lack of first team chances, prompting Middlesbrough, Wigan Athletic and Everton to submit bids for his services.[11][12][13] He stated that he would join Middlesbrough after the 2006 FIFA World Cup after agreeing a five-year deal.[14]

Middlesbrough[edit]

On 13 July 2006, a proposed transfer to Middlesbrough was scuppered when Huth failed a medical.[15] Middlesbrough continued to track Huth, and on 31 August he signed for the club for a fee of £6 million on a five-year contract.[16] Huth had a tough start to his career at Middlesbrough as they lost 1–0 to Notts County in the League Cup.[17] Manager Gareth Southgate stated that Huth was lacking in match fitness and decided to play him in a number of reserve matches.[18][19] By mid-October, Huth had regained his fitness and played his first league match for Boro against Everton, which they won 2–1.[20] He scored his first Boro goal in a 2–1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur on 5 December 2006.[21] Huth's progress in a Middlesbrough shirt, however, was halted when he picked up a foot injury in a training session.[22] Scans later revealed that he had suffered a stress fracture and was out for six weeks.[23] He made his return in a 3–1 defeat against Aston Villa, but again picked up an injury.[24]

Huth underwent ankle surgery in the summer of 2007 in order to fix his problem;[25] he consulted a specialist after failing to recover.[26] Huth returned to training in November 2007 and made his comeback against Reading on 1 December.[27] After the departure of Jonathan Woodgate to Tottenham, Huth was paired in central defence with David Wheater.[28] On 3 February, Huth scored against Newcastle United to earn a point against Kevin Keegan's team.[29][30] He again struggled with injuries and missed the last two months of the 2007–08 season.[31]

Huth recovered well and made a strong start to the 2008–09 season.[32] However, he again suffered an ankle injury.[33] He returned to the side in December time and by February the team had been enduring a tough season and were in deep relegation trouble.[34] Boro failed to improve and they suffered relegation to the Championship, losing 2–1 to West Ham United on the final day of the season.[35] He played five league matches for Boro at the start of the 2009–10 season before he returned to the Premier League with Stoke City.[36]

Stoke City[edit]

On 27 August 2009, Huth signed a four-year contract with Stoke City for £5 million.[37] He made his Stoke debut in a 1–0 win over Sunderland on 29 August 2009, replacing goalscorer Dave Kitson.[38] He celebrated his 100th Premier League appearance by scoring his first Stoke goal on 4 October 2009, against Everton.[39] On 17 October, Huth punched Matthew Upson in the face during a match against West Ham, though he received no card from the referee.[40] Huth was later charged by the FA for the incident.[41] He admitted his guilt the following day, and apologised for the incident.[42] Huth was subsequently suspended for three matches by the FA.[43] Huth scored a 90th-minute equaliser against Liverpool on 16 January 2010.[44] He then scored his third Stoke goal in a 2–1 win over Portsmouth. He was given the captain's armband for Stoke's 2009–10 FA Cup quarter-final tie at former club Chelsea, which he described as a proud moment for himself.[45]

Huth in action for Stoke during the 2009–10 season

Huth opened his account for the 2010–11 season with a 93rd-minute winner against Aston Villa to help Stoke record their first win of the season.[46] He followed this up with goals against Birmingham City,[47] Wigan,[48] Blackburn Rovers,[49] Wolverhampton Wanderers[50] and two against Sunderland.[51] He also scored in the FA Cup quarter-final against West Ham, helping Stoke to reach the semi-final stage for the first time since 1972.[52][53] He scored in the 5–0 FA Cup Semi-final victory against Bolton Wanderers, becoming the first Stoke defender to score nine goals in a season.[54][55] He then played in the FA Cup final against Manchester City as Stoke lost 1–0.[56] After a successful season for Huth, he was named Stoke's Player of the Year.[57]

In the summer of 2011, manager Tony Pulis signed former England international centre backs Jonathan Woodgate and Matthew Upson, forcing Huth into playing in the unfamiliar right back position.[58][59] After a series of poor defensive performances by Stoke, however, Huth returned to his centre-back pairing with Ryan Shawcross, going on to score his first goal of the season against Everton.[60] In a match against Sunderland, Huth was sent-off for tackling David Meyler, although replays showed that he pulled out of the challenge. Sunderland took full advantage of the extra man and scored the only goal through James McClean.[61] Stoke attempted to have Huth's red card overturned on appeal, but failed in their efforts.[62] Huth scored twice towards the end of the season against Midlands opponents Wolves and Aston Villa respectively.[63][64] His performances for the side prompted Pulis to open discussions with Huth over a new contract.[65]

Huth and Geoff Cameron with Arsenal's Abou Diaby and Laurent Koscielny in February 2013

In June 2012, Huth signed a new three-year contract with Stoke, keeping him at the Britannia Stadium until 2016.[66] Huth fell ill at the start of August with viral meningitis.[67] He made a full recovery soon after and played against Reading on the opening day of the 2012–13 season.[68][69] Afterwards, he explained that he caught the virus whilst in the United States on Stoke's pre-season tour.[70] Huth scored his first goal of the season in a 2–1 victory against Reading on 9 February 2013.[71] Huth was given a retrospective three-match ban after an off-the-ball altercation with Fulham's Philippe Senderos on 23 February 2013.[72][73] He played 39 times for Stoke in 2012–13 as the side finished in 13th position; at the end of campaign, manager Tony Pulis was replaced by Mark Hughes.[74] Under Hughes, Huth remained a regular in the side, but suffered a knee injury in November 2013 that required surgery.[75][76] Despite trying to make a quick recovery, Huth required a second operation on his knee and missed the remainder of the 2013–14 season.[77]

Huth returned from injury at the beginning of the 2014–15 season, playing in League Cup matches against Portsmouth and Sunderland. However, he then suffered another injury in training that ruled him out for a further two months.[78] He played his first league game for over a year against Arsenal on 6 December 2014.[79][80] Huth left Stoke in June 2015 after spending six seasons with the Potters, making 188 appearances and scoring 18 goals.[81]

Leicester City[edit]

On 2 February 2015, Huth joined Leicester City on loan until the end of the season.[82] He made his debut eight days later, playing the entirety of a 2–1 defeat away at Arsenal.[83] His first goal for the club came on 11 April 2015, heading an equaliser as they came from behind to win 3–2 away at West Bromwich Albion.[84] Huth's arrival at Leicester saw the Foxes embark on a run of seven victories in their final nine fixtures, which saw them retain their Premier League status.[85] Leicester manager Nigel Pearson admitted that he would like to sign Huth on a permanent basis.[86]

Huth completed a permanent transfer to Leicester on 24 June 2015, signing a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee, reported to be £3 million.[87][88] The following 13 January, he scored his first goal of the season for the title-chasing Foxes, heading in Christian Fuchs' corner for the only goal of the game at Tottenham.[89] On 6 February, he scored twice in a 3–1 win at title rivals Manchester City, putting Leicester six points clear at the top of the table.[90] Leicester won the title at 5,000-1 odds, and Huth became only the seventh player to win the Premier League with two different teams.[91]

International career[edit]

Huth training with Germany.

From a young age, Huth was already a member of the German national team. He also played at the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship. Huth was first invited on 16 August 2004 in the senior national team of Germany, when he was nominated for the friendly match at the Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna against Austria.[92] Two days later, he appeared as a substitute in this friendly match in the 86th minute for Andreas Hinkel.

Together with a young Per Mertesacker, he was the first-choice central defender for Germany at the 2005 Confederations Cup. On 29 June, he scored his first goal for Germany in a 4–3 extra-time win against Mexico during the third-place play-off.

His second goal for Germany came in a 4–1 defeat to Italy in a friendly game played in Florence in March 2006.[93] During the World Cup on home soil, Huth lost his place to Christoph Metzelder as Mertesacker's first-choice partner after being blamed for some defensive errors in several pre-tournament games and only started one game, the last group stage match against Ecuador.

He was recalled to the German national team for the first time since the 2006 World Cup in a friendly against Switzerland on 20 March 2008 owing to his impressive recent club form.[94] He was later ruled out after suffering from a foot injury. He totalled 19 games and two goals for Germany.

Personal life[edit]

Growing up in Berlin, Huth decided to support Werder Bremen, as local Hertha BSC were rarely on TV. He was a ball boy at the 1997 DFB-Pokal Final at his city's Olympic Stadium.[95]

In January 2015, the FA began an investigation into Huth after he took part in a game on Twitter in which users guessed the gender of people in sexually explicit photos. He deleted his interactions with the game and apologised.[96] Later that month, he was fined £15,000 and banned for two matches by the FA for the interactions, which were deemed "an aggravated breach."[97]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of match played 2 May 2016
Club statistics
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Chelsea 2001–02[98] Premier League 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2002–03[99] Premier League 2 0 1 0 0 0 2[a] 0 5 0
2003–04[100] Premier League 16 0 1 0 1 0 2[b] 1 20 1
2004–05[101] Premier League 10 0 1 1 0 0 4[b] 0 15 1
2005–06[102] Premier League 13 0 4 0 1 0 3[b] 0 21 0
Total 42 0 7 1 2 0 11 1 62 2
Middlesbrough 2006–07[103] Premier League 12 1 1 0 1 0 14 1
2007–08[104] Premier League 13 1 3 0 0 0 16 1
2008–09[105] Premier League 24 0 4 0 0 0 28 0
2009–10[106] Championship 4 0 0 0 1 0 5 0
Total 53 2 8 0 2 0 0 0 63 2
Stoke City 2009–10[106] Premier League 32 3 5 0 0 0 37 3
2010–11[107] Premier League 35 6 6 3 3 0 44 9
2011–12[108] Premier League 34 3 3 2 2 0 10[c] 0 49 5
2012–13[74] Premier League 35 1 3 0 1 0 39 1
2013–14[109] Premier League 12 0 0 0 3 0 15 0
2014–15[110] Premier League 1 0 1 0 2 0 4 0
Total 149 13 18 5 11 0 10 0 188 18
Leicester City (loan) 2014–15[110] Premier League 14 1 0 0 0 0 14 1
Leicester City 2015–16[111] Premier League 35 3 0 0 0 0 35 3
Total 49 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 49 4
Career total 293 19 33 6 15 0 21 1 362 26
  1. ^ Appearances in the UEFA Cup
  2. ^ a b c Appearances in the UEFA Champions League
  3. ^ Appearances in the UEFA Europa League

International[edit]

As of match played 2 June 2009.[112]
International statistics
National team Year Apps Goals
Germany
2004 4 0
2005 10 1
2006 3 1
2009 2 0
Total 19 2

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Chelsea
Stoke City
Leicester City

International[edit]

Germany

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]