||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2014)|
Kehl with Borussia Dortmund in 2007
|Full name||Sebastian Walter Kehl|
|Date of birth||13 February 1980|
|Place of birth||Fulda, West Germany|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Playing position||Defensive midfielder|
|2004–2011||Borussia Dortmund II||7||(1)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21 December 2014.
Sebastian Walter Kehl (German pronunciation: [zeˈbasti̯an ˈkʰeːl] ( listen); born 13 February 1980) is a retired German footballer who played as a defensive midfielder for German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund. Kehl is naturally left footed and is also occasionally deployed on the left side of defence.
Born in Fulda, Hesse, in 1980, Kehl moved to Hannover 96 at the age of 16, at a time when the club were competing in the second division. He made his debut two years later and made 32 appearances before SC Freiburg's legendary manager Volker Finke brought him to the Bundesliga. In his first season, Kehl, at the time mostly being used as a libero, made 25 appearances as Freiburg finished sixth and were surprise qualifiers for the UEFA Cup. He continued to impress the following season, and moved to Dortmund midway through the campaign with Freiburg sitting 13th – they won just three of their remaining matches and were ultimately relegated. Kehl, however, started all but one of his new club's games in that period and was rewarded with his first Bundesliga winner's medal at the end of the season, though he was cup-tied for Borussia's UEFA Cup final defeat to Feyenoord.
The move was an instant success, but not free of controversy. In the summer of 2001, Kehl had already agreed basic terms with Bayern Munich, and even accepted an advance payment of 1.5 million Deutschmarks. The money was returned in November, but Bayern were angry at the about-face and threatened legal action. But, the €3.2 million deal with Dortmund was allowed to stand.
Over the seasons that followed, the decision not to head to Bavaria started to look a little less savvy. In his second campaign with Dortmund, Kehl made 24 league appearances and started every game as the club reached the second group stage of the Champions League, but the domestic/European balancing act proved too much and Dortmund finished the season 17 points behind champions Bayern in third.
Things didn't improve the following year – the Schwarzgelben came in sixth in the league, crashed out of the primary European competition at the qualifying stage and only made it to the second round of the UEFA Cup. Indeed the interview featured at the start of this piece fell between the club's underwhelming 2–2 draw with Sochaux and their being overwhelmed 4–0 in the return leg. Little wonder that some dissenting voices felt Kehl's performances had dropped off.
The following year, he became fully established in the defensive midfield role he is known for. By now 24, his combination of diligence, tough tackling and a surprisingly cultured left foot had earned him a place in the Germany squads for the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004, and he continued to feature regularly for his club, starting more than 60 league games over the next two seasons as the financially crippled Dortmund struggled to consecutive seventh-place finishes in 2005 and 2006 that brought little prize money to boost the coffers.
Kehl's fortunes were to mirror those of the club: although he did feature for the national side in their home World Cup, he injured his left knee in a challenge with Bayern's Hasan Salihamidžić on the first day of the 2006–07 season, and managed just four starts as the team limped to ninth place and the club's continuing financial woes forced changes in the boardroom. A catalogue of further injuries restricted him to a total of 45 league starts over the next three years, a time of transition in the club generally. On taking over in 2008, new coach Jürgen Klopp saw enough in Kehl to name him club captain, but in the 2010–11 season, as Dortmund became champions again, the skipper was only fit enough to start three matches. What's more, 22-year-old Sven Bender had emerged to fill one of the two spots in central midfield, while the man in the other, Nuri Şahin, had just been voted players' player of the year. It was hard to see a way back for the unfit 31-year-old.
Kehl and his girlfriend, Tina, have two children Luis, born on 26 September 2006 and Leni, born on 1 October 2009.
|Germany||League||DFB-Pokal[nb 1]||Continental[nb 2]||Total|
|1998–99||Hannover 96||2. Bundesliga||8||1||1||0||–||9||1|
|1||15 August 2001||Stadium Puskás Ferenc, Budapest, Hungary||Hungary||0–2||2–5||Friendly|
|2||9 May 2002||Dreisamstadion, Freiburg, Germany||Kuwait||5–0||7–0||Friendly|
|3||30 April 2003||Weserstadion, Bremen, Germany||Serbia and Montenegro||1–0||1–0||Friendly|
- "FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 – List of Players" (PDF). Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). p. 12. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
- "S. Kehl". Soccerway. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
- Loder, Ben (6 March 2013). "Sebastian Kehl Borussia Dortmund captain is back where he belongs". Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- "Dortmund prevail over Bayern in Supercup thriller". bundesliga.com. 27 July 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
- Arnhold, Matthias (19 February 2010). "Sebastian Kehl – International Appearances". RSSSF. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
- "Kehl, Sebastian" (in German). kicker.de. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
|Borussia Dortmund captain