Theodor Gebre Selassie

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Not to be confused with Haile Gebrselassie.
In this name, the family name is Gebre Selassie, not Selassie.
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 29)
Place of birth Třebíč, Czechoslovakia
Height 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Right 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)
2005–2006 Velké Meziříčí (loan) 8 (0)
2007–2008 Slavia Prague 11 (0)
2008–2012 Slovan Liberec 97 (8)
2012– Werder Bremen 120 (8)
National team
2007–2008 Czech Republic U-21 6 (0)
2011– Czech Republic 34 (1)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18:13, 14 May 2016 (UTC).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 6 September 2015

Theodor Gebre Selassie (born 24 December 1986) is a Czech football defender who plays for German club Werder Bremen and the Czech Republic national football 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 the 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]

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]

After playing all four of the Czech Republic's matches at UEFA Euro 2012, Gebre Selassie was signed on 22 June by Werder Bremen of the German Bundesliga on a four-year deal.[1] On 24 August 2012, Gebre Selassie 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.

Gebre Selassie made only 18 starts in the 2013–14 season, but did come on as a substitute 11 times. He did score his only two goals of the season in the final three matches. Gebre Selassie missed the first 8 games of the 2014–15 season with an ankle injury, but after coming on as a substitute in his first appearance of the season, Gebre Selassie 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, Gebre Selassie picked up a concussion following a nasty 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]

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,[8] 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.[9] During the tournament, he received attention from some of Europe's most successful clubs.[10] 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.[11]

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.[12]

Career statistics[edit]


As of 5 June 2016
Czech Republic[13]
Year Apps Goals
2011 7 0
2012 12 1
2013 8 0
2014 1 0
2015 4 0
2016 4 0
Total 36 1

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list the Czech Republic's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 12 October 2012 Stadion města Plzně, Plzeň, Czech Republic  Malta 1–0 3–1 2014 World Cup qualifier


Slavia Prague
Slovan Liberec


  1. ^ a b c d Palmer, Justin (22 June 2012). "Czech defender Gebre Selassie joins Bremen". Reuters. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  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. ^ "Gebre Selassie close to Bremen move". ESPNSTAR. 17 June 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  9. ^ "Watchdog says Russia fans abused Czech Selassie". The Times. 9 June 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  10. ^ Petrák, Michal (29 May 2012). "Euro 2012: Czech Republic profile – Theodor Gebre Selassie". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 
  11. ^ Volynsky, Masha (15 October 2012). "Czechs beat Malta in World Cup qualifier". Radio Prague. Retrieved 8 January 2014. 
  12. ^ Farrell, Dom (5 June 2016). "Czech Republic 1-2 South Korea: Yoon and Suk down 10-man Czechs". Retrieved 11 June 2016. 
  13. ^ "Theodor Gebre Selassie". National Football Teams. Retrieved 5 March 2014. 

External links[edit]