Tim Wiese takes the blame in one of his final matches at Hoffenheim in January 2013
Earlier this summer, we reported how former Germany goalkeeper Tim Wiese had effectively stopped playing and instead morphed into a bodybuilding beefcake, despite still officially being registered with Hoffenheim.
Wiese, only 32, was part of Germany’s squad at the 2010 World Cup, and joined Hoffenheim from Werder Bremen in 2012, but he fell out of favour during the 2012-13 season.
Despite having a contract until 2016, he was released by Hoffenheim in January this year after it was revealed that he had turned into an Arnold Schwarzenegger-style ‘Mr Universe’, utterly unsuited to playing professional football.
Wiese was completely unrecognisable, and was roundly mocked by fans for his transformation. He appeared to not give a damn, joking that he would “soon be so wide the ball cannot go past”.
Six weeks later, however, he has admitted that his body change initially came about as he tried to deal with the pressure of abuse from supporters – and that once he started pumping iron, he couldn’t stop.
“I had to get all the Hoffenheim problems out of my head, and so I dealt with it this way,” Wiese said.
“I tried to break down all the negatives – I don’t want to join a bodybuilding championship, I was just enjoying myself, having fun.”
Wiese now and in his prime
Wiese – who went from World Cup star to outsized muscle-man in just over three years – explained just what was causing him so much grief.
“When I came to Hoffenheim, we thought we could challenge for European places. Then everything backfired.
“And every time we lost, it seemed it was my fault; I was being analysed and criticised, not the team. It was all about me.
“Despite my experience and confidence, I had never faced this before. It culminated in a fan protest at the club’s office – a fan protest, just against me!
“There were only a few of these fans, but this made me feel deeply unwanted, and I would never wish this on another player.
“It was like being in a horror movie. The pressure was inhuman. I could not play freely.”
The saddest thing is that Wiese had rejected an offer to be Iker Casillas’ number two at Real Madrid, as he felt starting at Hoffenheim would represent a better chance of challenging for an international place.
“Hindsight is easier than foresight,” he mused. “There was no way past Casillas at the time.”
Ironically, Casillas himself lost form and confidence and ended up playing second fiddle at Real these past two seasons.
Wiese blames no-one but himself though, admitting his form dropped and that he made the wrong decision when leaving Bremen, where he had spent seven productive years.
“No, it’s my fault, no-one else’s. I’m professional enough to have clarified this with myself.
“I have to deal with the fact that I haven’t played for one and a half years.”
Will he return to the pitch? Wiese admits he does not know the answer – he would need to lose about two stones in weight to regain his agility. Certainly it would be some story though.
- Sports & Recreation
- Tim Wiese