Theodor Gebre Selassie

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Theodor Gebre Selassie
Theodor Gebre Selassie.JPG
Gebre Selassie in 2012
Personal information
Full name Theodor Gebre Selassie
Date of birth (1986-12-24) 24 December 1986 (age 32)
Place of birth Třebíč, Czechoslovakia
Height 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Right-back, wing-back
Club information
Current team
Werder Bremen
Number 23
Youth career
1992–1998 Velké Meziříčí
1998–2005 Vysočina Jihlava
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2007 Vysočina Jihlava 18 (2)
2005–2006Velké Meziříčí (loan) 8 (0)
2007–2008 Slavia Prague 11 (0)
2008–2012 Slovan Liberec 97 (8)
2012– Werder Bremen 209 (18)
National team
2007–2008 Czech Republic U-21 6 (0)
2011–2019 Czech Republic 52 (3)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 10:27, 27 May 2019 (UTC)

Theodor Gebre Selassie (born 24 December 1986) is a Czech football player who plays for German club Werder Bremen, either as a full-back or as wing-back. He earned 52 caps and scored three goals with the Czech national team.

Having won the Czech First League with Slavia Prague in 2008 and Slovan Liberec four years later, he then signed for Bremen on a four-year contract.

Gebre Selassie made his international debut for the Czech Republic in 2011, becoming their first player of African descent. He was selected in their squad for UEFA Euro 2012 and UEFA Euro 2016.

Personal life[edit]

Gebre Selassie was born in 1986 in Třebíč in former Czechoslovakia. His father, Chamola, is Ethiopian and arrived in the country as a doctor during the communist period. His mother, Jana, is Czech and a schoolteacher.[1][2] Gebre Selassie has a younger sister named Anna, who plays for the Czech Republic women's national handball team.[3]

Club career[edit]

Early career in the Czech Republic[edit]

Gebre Selassie began his football career in 1992, developing within the Czech youth system. For the next six years, he was a member of the Velké Meziříčí junior squad. He subsequently moved to Vysočina Jihlava, where he played for the club's youth team between 1998 and 2005.

As his family placed great importance on education, Gebre Selassie later almost abandoned football altogether to concentrate on a university degree. However, he eventually opted to join Velké Meziříčí's senior side in 2005.[2]

Gebre Selassie subsequently had a brief stint with Slavia Prague in the 2007–08 season, during which he won the Czech First League title. He then played for Slovan Liberec, where he again won the league title in the 2011–12 season.[1]

Werder Bremen[edit]

After playing all four of the Czech Republic's matches at UEFA Euro 2012, Gebre Selassie was signed by Werder Bremen of the German Bundesliga on a four-year deal on 22 June.[1] On 24 August 2012, he scored a goal in Bremen's first game of the season, heading an equaliser in a 1–2 away loss against reigning champions Borussia Dortmund.[4] Gebre Selassie made 24 starts that season, with the opening day goal being his only of the season.

In the 2013–14 season, Gebre Selassie made only 18 starts, coming on as a substitute 11 times and scoring his only two goals of the season in the final three matches. He missed the first 8 games of the 2014–15 season with an ankle injury. After coming on as a substitute in his first appearance of the season, he started the final 25 matches of the season under manager Viktor Skrypnyk, whose first match of the season after taking over for Robin Dutt coincided with Gebre Selassie's first start. On 18 February 2015, Gebre Selassie signed a contract extension with Werder Bremen, keeping him at the Weserstadion through the 2017–18 season.[5] Gebre Selassie also scored three goals on the season.

Gebre Selassie was a fixture in Skrypnyk's lineup at right back during the 2015–16 campaign, making 33 starts in the Bundesliga, as well as playing the full-time in all 5 of the club's DFB-Pokal fixtures during their run to the semi-finals. On 8 November, he picked up a concussion following a collision with goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald toward the end of a match at Augsburg,[6] causing him to miss their next match against Wolfsburg. Gebre Selassie scored his only goal of the season on 5 March against Hannover 96, also tacking on an assist in the 4–1 victory.

After Werder lost their first 5 matches of the 2016–17 season, including a first round upset in the DFB-Pokal to third tier Sportfreunde Lotte, resulting in the sacking of Skrypnyk, Gebre Selassie scored a stoppage time winner against Wolfsburg to give the club their first points of the season, after Lennart Thy had equalized five minutes prior in the 2–1 victory.[7] During the season, he made 30 league appearance scoring 5 goals.[8]

In July 2017, Gebre Selassie extended his contract with Werder Bremen.[8]

In February 2019, he made his 200th Bundesliga appearance for the club.[9]

International career[edit]

In May 2011, Gebre Selassie received his first call-up to the Czech Republic national football team. On 4 June, he became the first player of African descent to play for the country,[10] making his debut as a half-time substitute for Ondřej Kušnír in a goalless draw against Peru at the Kirin Cup at Matsumotodaira Football Stadium in Matsumoto, Japan.

Gebre Selassie was later given the number 2 shirt in the Czech squad for UEFA Euro 2012. He was allegedly the target of racist chanting from Russia fans during the Czech Republic's match against Russia, which ended in a 4–1 victory for Russia.[11] During the tournament, he received attention from some of Europe's most successful clubs.[12] He started all four of the Czechs' games, as the side won its group before eventually losing to Portugal in the quarter-finals.[1] He scored his first senior international goal on 12 October 2012 in a 2014 World Cup qualifier against Malta, opening a 3–1 victory in Plzeň.[13]

On 5 June, in a warm-up game for UEFA Euro 2016 at the Eden Arena, Gebre Selassie was sent off for two bookings in a 1–2 loss to South Korea.[14]

In May 2019, Gebre Selassie announced his retirement from the national team.[15]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of 27 May 2019[16]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season Division League Cup[nb 1] Europe[nb 2] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Slavia Prague 2007–08 Czech First League 9 0 9 0
2008–09 2 0 1 0 3 0
Total 11 0 0 0 1 0 12 0
Slovan Liberec 2008–09 Czech First League 21 1 21 1
2009–10 17 2 4 0 21 2
2010–11 29 0 29 0
2011–12 30 5 4 0 34 5
Total 97 8 4 0 4 0 105 8
Werder Bremen 2012–13 Bundesliga 27 1 1 0 28 1
2013–14 29 2 1 0 30 2
2014–15 26 3 2 0 28 3
2015–16 33 1 5 0 38 1
2016–17 30 5 1 0 31 5
2017–18 32 3 4 0 36 3
2018–19 32 3 4 0 36 3
Total 209 18 18 0 0 0 227 18
Career total 317 26 20 0 5 0 324 26

International[edit]

Source:[17]
Czech Republic
Year Apps Goals
2011 7 0
2012 12 1
2013 8 0
2014 1 0
2015 4 0
2016 6 0
2017 5 2
2018 7 0
2019 2 0
Total 52 3

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list the Czech Republic's goal tally first.[17]
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 12 October 2012 Stadion města Plzně, Plzeň, Czech Republic  Malta 1–0 3–1 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
2 26 March 2017 San Marino Stadium, Serravalle, San Marino  San Marino 4–0 6–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
3 10 June 2017 Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo, Norway  Norway 1–0 1–1 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification

Honours[edit]

Slavia Prague

Slovan Liberec

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Palmer, Justin (22 June 2012). "Czech defender Gebre Selassie joins Bremen". Reuters. Retrieved 22 June 2012.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b Kennedy, Paul (21 June 2012). "Gebre Selassie: 'I am glad I am different'". Soccer America Daily. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  3. ^ Petrák, Michal. "Euro 2012: Czech Republic profile - Theodor Gebre Selassie". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  4. ^ "Dortmund do it the hard way". Sky Sports. 24 August 2013. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  5. ^ "Theodor Gebre Selassie agrees Werder Bremen extension". Pulse NG. 18 February 2015.
  6. ^ "Sorge um Gebre Selassie" [Worry about Gebre Selassie]. Kreiszeitung (in German). Mediengruppe Kreiszeitung. 9 November 2015.
  7. ^ Rehnert, Malte (24 September 2016). "Werder feiert den ersten Sieg – 2:1 gegen Wolfsburg" [Werder celebrates the first victory – 2:1 against Wolfsburg]. Kreiszeitung (in German). Mediengruppe Kreiszeitung.
  8. ^ a b "Baumann verkündet: Gebre Selassie bleibt Bremer". kicker Online (in German). 11 July 2017. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  9. ^ "Gebre Selassie: Jubiläum als "echter Werderaner"". kicker Online (in German). 25 February 2019. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  10. ^ "Gebre Selassie close to Bremen move". ESPNSTAR. 17 June 2012. Archived from the original on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  11. ^ "Watchdog says Russia fans abused Czech Selassie". The Times. 9 June 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  12. ^ Petrák, Michal (29 May 2012). "Euro 2012: Czech Republic profile – Theodor Gebre Selassie". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  13. ^ Volynsky, Masha (15 October 2012). "Czechs beat Malta in World Cup qualifier". Radio Prague. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  14. ^ Farrell, Dom (5 June 2016). "Czech Republic 1-2 South Korea: Yoon and Suk down 10-man Czechs". Goal.com. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  15. ^ ""Es war mir eine Ehre": Gebre Selassie tritt aus Nationalelf zurück". buten und binnen (in German). Radio Bremen. 21 May 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  16. ^ "T. Gebre Selassie". Soccerway. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  17. ^ a b "Theodor Gebre Selassie". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman. Retrieved 5 March 2014.

External links[edit]