Sebastian Boenisch

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Sebastian Boenisch
Sebastian Boenisch in 2015
Personal information
Full name Sebastian Boenisch
Date of birth (1987-02-01) 1 February 1987 (age 29)
Place of birth Gliwice, Poland
Height 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
Playing position Full-back
Club information
Current team
Bayer Leverkusen
Number 17
Youth career
1992–2000 SSVG 09/12 Heiligenhaus
2000–2001 Borussia Velbert
2001–2003 Rot-Weiß Oberhausen
2003–2006 Schalke 04
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2007 Schalke 04 II 14 (0)
2006–2007 Schalke 04 9 (0)
2007–2012 Werder Bremen 55 (1)
2011–2012 Werder Bremen II 3 (1)
2012 Bayer Leverkusen II 1 (0)
2012– Bayer Leverkusen 59 (3)
National team
2006–2007 Germany U20 4 (0)
2007–2009 Germany U21 13 (0)
2010– Poland 14 (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 3 February 2016.
† Appearances (goals)

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 12 November 2013

Sebastian Boenisch (Polish pronunciation: [sɛˈbastjan ˈbɛɲiʂ], German: [zeˈbasti̯an ˈbøːnɪʃ]; born 1 February 1987) (formerly as Pniowski [ˈpɲɔfskʲi]) is a Polish footballer who plays as a left back for Bayer Leverkusen and the Polish national team.

Early career[edit]

Boenisch was born in Gliwice in Upper Silesia. His great-grandfather was of German descent. In 1988 he emigrated with his family and after a time in Dortmund, the family settled in Heiligenhaus in Niederbergisches Land in Bergisches Land in North Rhine-Westphalia. Boenisch previously had a surname of Pniowski before the family changed it to Boenisch, because his father was denied a job due to his Polish surname.[1] Despite being born in Poland, he is not fluent in Polish and speaks German and Silesian.

Club career[edit]

Schalke 04[edit]

Boenisch started his football career by joining a youth club, SSVG 09/12 Heiligenhaus. Since then, he moved to different youth clubs like Borussia Velbert and Rot-Weiß Oberhausen before joining Schalke 04 at age sixteen. After three years at the club's reserve, Boenisch made his professional debut for Schalke 04 on 11 February 2006. He was substituted on in the 86th minute, in a 7–4 home win against Bayer 04 Leverkusen. His only other appearance that season was in a 2–1 win against RCD Espanyol in the UEFA Cup. From the next two season, Boenisch was never considered a first team or make a breakthrough as he made twelve appearance, having spent time playing for the reserve and being used as an un-used substitute in the first team. Towards the end of the 2006–07 season, he signed a new deal at Schalke, that would have kept him until 2010.[citation needed] However, Boenisch had enough of being left out of the club's starting lineup in the next season and announced his intention to leave the club.[citation needed]

Werder Bremen[edit]

Boenisch during Werder Bremen's training on 23 April 2010.

On 1 September 2007, he moved to Werder Bremen on an undisclosed fee, believed to be around €3 million and signing a four-year deal that will last until 2011.[2] Four months after going to Werder Bremen, he was joined by Schalke teammate Mesut Özil, who suffered the same fate as Boenisch. He made his debut for the club, coming on as a substitute for Duško Tošić in the 80th minute, as Werder Bremen won 2–1 against Eintracht Frankfurt. Soon after, Boenisch suffered an knee injury during a U21 match when he representing Germany,[3] After a month's layoff, Boenisch made a return from injury, on 16 February 2008, coming on as a substitute in the 84th minute for Aaron Hunt, in a 2–0 win over Nürnberg.[4] Three weeks after his return, he scored his first goal for the club, in a 6–3 loss against Stuttgart. He returned to the starting line-up throughout March and was criticised by the club's fans for passing the ball to opposition player.[5] However, it was short-lived when he suffered an hamstring injury that kept him missing for the rest of the season, though he was an unused substitute in the final game of the season.[6]

The next season, having suffered an injury ahead of a new season,[7] he became a regular in the first team. Throughout his five years at Werder Bremen, Boenisch was usually placed on the left of defence, either as a central or right. He also made his UEFA Champions League debut and was also involved in the club's match in the UEFA Cup final against Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk, where he made his first start and played throughout the match, including extra time. In the final minutes with only two minutes left, Boenisch received a yellow card for dissent. Unfortunately, Werder Bremen would lose 2–1. Unlike many players in the UEFA Cup campaign, he made nine appearances, making seven starts. Despite not winning the UEFA Cup, the club would win the DFB-Pokal after beating Bayer Leverkusen 1–0, where Boenisch started in the left-back position and played the whole match. It was also Boenisch's first title.

Sebastian Boenisch during Werder Bremen's training on 11 July 2010.

The next season, he suffered a back injury, resulting him to miss the opening game of the season.[8] Boenisch previously suffered an ankle ligament in the 2009 European Under-21 Championship campaign[9] After making a return the next league game, he scored his first goal of the season, in a qualification round of Europa League, in a 6–3 win over Aktobe. Soon in December, Boenisch suffered an injury again – after a collision with Carlos Zambrano in the right knee.[10] He made his return, three months later, in a 3–2 win over Bochum on 20 March 2010. As in the previous season, Werder Bremen made it to the final in the DFB-Pokal. Boenisch aarted in the final, but Bremen lost 4–0 against Bayern Munich. Towards the end of the season, Boenisch was in talks on signing a new contract extension with the club.[11]

After several appearances throughout August and early September, Boenisch suffered an knee injury, that kept him out throughout the 2010–11 season and early first half of 2011–12 season as well. In March, he made a return from injury and was expected to play again after his surgery was successful.[12] However, his injury soon aggravated and he missed the rest of the season.[13] In April, after long talk of negotiations of a contract extension, Boenisch finally signed a new deal that would keep him until 2012.[14] In September, Boenisch announced he would make a comeback in the second half of the league season.[15] In mid-November, Boenisch made a recovery from injury and returned to training.[16]

In January, he made a return playing for the club's reserve. Injuries struck again twice but he made a successful recovery. Boenisch made his first appearance since being injured coming on as a substitute for Tom Trybull in the 78th minute, in a 1–1 draw against Augsburg on 24 March 2012.[17] In a 2–2 draw against Borussia Mönchengladbach on 10 April 2012, Boenisch received a straight red card early in the game and missed two matches.[18]

Boenisch being interviewed by TVP Sport in November 2010.

As of the end of the 2011–12 season, Boenisch became a free agent having let his contract run down[19] and played poorly during the UEFA Euro 2012 that VfB Stuttgart withdrew their contract offer, citing lack of performance as the reason for their action.[20]

On 6 August 2012, Boenisch was handed a trial at English Premier League side Stoke City and started a pre-season friendly for the club against Torquay United and Yeovil Town.[21] However, his trial was unsuccessful and he was not offered a contract by Stoke.[22] Boenisch told that his new deal with Stoke City rejected left him "bewildered".[23]

Bayer Leverkusen[edit]

On 4 November 2012, Boenisch joined Bayer 04 Leverkusen on a six-month spell, and following good appearances, including his first goal against Frankfurt on 19 January 2013, Boenisch signed a new contract with the Werkself on 4 February 2013, due to expire in June 2016.[24] His move angered German club Fortuna Düsseldorf, expected him to join them.[25] In a match between Bayer and Fortuna, Boenisch was accused of being a spy by financial Boss Paul Jäger.[26] In response, Boenisch insisted he is not a spy.[27]

International career[edit]

Boenisch no.2 (second left) lining up ahead of a match in UEFA Euro 2012 between Russia and Poland.

On 14 November 2006, Boenisch earned his first cap for the German under-20 team in a 4–1 victory against Austria.[28] He made his debut for the German under-21 team in 2007. The Polish-born player[29] hesitated whether to cap for Poland or Germany. Later, there were rumors that Boenisch would receive a call up from Leo Beenhakker for the match against Greece but he was not listed in the official call ups.[30][31] Boenisch said that he was not interested in capping for Poland anymore, and was concentrating on playing for the German U-21 team. He won the 2009 European Under-21 Championship with Germany.

In November 2009, there were rumors that Poland's new national football team coach Franciszek Smuda was interested in the player but Boenisch said that he had made no decision.[32] Due to lack chances for a future call up to the German senior squad, on 20 August 2010 Boenisch finally decided to play for Poland and has received his first call up for matches against Ukraine and Australia[33][34] He made his debut for Poland against Ukraine on 4 September 2010. In May 2012, Boenisch was called up for the UEFA Euro 2012. He played his first competitive match for Poland in the opening game of the tournament against Greece on 8 June 2012.

Career statistics[edit]


As of 14 February 2015
Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Germany League DFB-Pokal DFB-Ligapokal Europe Total
2005–06 Schalke 04 Bundesliga 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0
2006–07 8 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 10 0
Schalke 04 total 9 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 12 0
2007–08 Werder Bremen Bundesliga 9 1 0 0 2 0 3 0 14 1
2008–09 24 0 5 0 - - 13 0 42 0
2009–10 17 0 2 0 - - 3 1 22 1
2010–11 1 0 1 0 - - 2 0 4 0
2011–12 4 0 0 0 - - 0 0 4 0
Werder Bremen total 55 1 8 0 2 0 18 1 83 2
2012–13 Bayer Leverkusen Bundesliga 15 1 1 0 - - 2 0 18 1
2013–14 25 1 2 0 - - 4 0 31 1
2014–15 10 0 1 0 - - 5 0 16 0
Bayer Leverkusen total 50 2 4 0 - - 11 0 65 2
Career total 111 2 12 0 4 0 30 0 160 4


As of 16 September 2013
Poland national football team
Year Apps Goals
2010 2 0
2012 7 0
2013 5 0
Total 14 0


Werder Bremen[edit]

Germany U-21[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Boenisch is engaged to Tatjana Batinić, the 2006 Miss Austria.[35] The two first met in late-2009.[36] The couple are expecting to get married in the summer.[37]


  1. ^ Werner, Lars (16 July 2013). "Sebastian Boenisch: Als Kind hieß ich Pniowski!". Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "Bremen bring in Schalke talent". UEFA. 31 August 2007. Retrieved 1 July 2009. 
  3. ^ "Boenisch Knie-OP! Drei Monate Pause" [Boenisch knee surgery! Three months off] (in German). Bild. 20 October 2007. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Werder zittert um seine Stars" [Werder fears for his stars] (in German). Bild. 16 February 2008. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "Kämpfer Boenisch bittet um Verständnis" [Fighter Boenisch asks for understanding] (in German). Bild. 31 March 2008. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  6. ^ "Schaaf ist Werders größtes Wunder" [Schaaf is Werder's greatest miracle] (in German). Bild. 11 April 2008. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "Boenisch gibt Entwarnung" [Boenisch is clear] (in German). Bild. 8 August 2008. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  8. ^ "Einsatz von Werder-Profi Naldo fraglich" [Use of Werder player Naldo questionable] (in German). Bild. 5 August 2009. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "Werder-Profi Boenisch erleidet Bänderdehnung" [Werder player Boenisch suffers sprained ligaments] (in German). Bild. 16 June 2009. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  10. ^ "Hinrunde für Boenisch nach Knieverletzung beendet" [First round for Boenisch finished after knee injury] (in German). Bild. 14 December 2009. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  11. ^ "Allofs pokert mit Boenisch" [Allofs pokers with Boenisch] (in German). Bild. 7 April 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  12. ^ "Drama um Boenisch" [Drama about Boenisch] (in German). Bild. 9 March 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  13. ^ "Boenisch: "Ich habe keine Zeit zum Heulen"" [Boenisch: "I have no time to cry"] (in German). Bild. 11 March 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  14. ^ "Werder Bremen verlängert Vertrag mit Boenisch" [Werder Bremen contract renews contract with Boenisch] (in German). Bild. 30 May 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  15. ^ "Werders Boenisch plant erst für die Rückrunde" [Werder's Boenisch plans only for the second half] (in German). Bild. 6 September 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  16. ^ "Boenisch hofft noch 2011 auf ein Einsatz" [Boenisch is still hoping for a 2011 deployment] (in German). Bild. 2 November 2011. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  17. ^ "Füllkrugs Traumtor reicht Werder nicht" [Füllkrugs dream goal not enough for Werder] (in German). kicker. 24 March 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  18. ^ "Bremens Boenisch für zwei Spiele gesperrt" [Bremen Boenisch banned for two games] (in German). Bild. 12 April 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  19. ^ "Vertragsverlängerung abgelehnt: Sebastian Boenisch verlässt Werder Bremen" [Contract extension rejected: Sebastian Boenisch leaves Werder Bremen] (in German). 30 May 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  20. ^ "Wanyama is Lenny's champion". Evening Times. 17 July 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2013. 
  21. ^ "Polish Star Handed Potters Trial". Stoke City F.C. Retrieved 6 August 2012. 
  22. ^ "Free agent Sebastian Boenisch waiting for offer". Sky Sports. 16 October 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2013. 
  23. ^ "Boenisch bewildered by Stoke City rejectio". 11 September 2012. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  24. ^ "Sebastian Boenisch agrees deal to 2016". Bayer 04 Leverkusen Official Website. 4 February 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2013. 
  25. ^ "Fortuna Dusseldorf fuming as Sebastian Boenisch signs for Bayer Leverkusen". Sky Sports. 5 November 2012. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  26. ^ "Ist dieser Spieler ein Spion?" [Is that player is a spy?] (in German). Bild. 4 November 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  27. ^ "Boenisch: „Ich bin kein Spion!“" [Boenisch: „I'm not a spy!“] (in German). Bild. 27 March 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  28. ^ "U 20-Nationalmannschaft: DFB-Auswahl gewinnt 4:1 gegen Österreich" (in German). German Football Association. 14 November 2006. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  29. ^ "Piłkarz Werderu to nowa nadzieja Polski" (in Polish). Przeglad Sportowy. 23 August 2010. Retrieved 23 August 2010. 
  30. ^ "Sebastian Boenisch woli grać dla Niemców (Sebastian Boenisch prefers to play for Germany)" (in Polish). Dziennik. 11 June 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2009. 
  31. ^ "Kadra Polski na mecz z Grecją" (in Polish). 5 August 2009. Retrieved 9 May 2010. 
  32. ^ "Werder Bremen’s Sebastian Boenisch Stalls Decision On International Future". 10 November 2009. Retrieved 9 May 2010. 
  33. ^ "Boenisch wybrał i otrzymał powołanie!" (in Polish). 20 August 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2010. 
  34. ^ "Sebastian Boenisch wybrał Polskę, niespodzianki w kadrze Smudy" (in Polish). 20 August 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2010. 
  35. ^ "Ex-Miss Batinic heiratet Fußball-Star". 28 March 2011. Retrieved 21 June 2011. 
  36. ^ "Boenisch verschossen in Miss Austria" [Boenisch has a crush on Miss Austria] (in German). Bild. 31 December 2009. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  37. ^ "Stuttgart freut sich auf diese Schönheit" [Stuttgart is looking forward to this beauty] (in German). Bild. 4 June 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 

External links[edit]