Paul Stalteri played one season with the
Toronto Lynx and was seen by a scout from Werder Bremen. He
was bought by Werder Bremen from the Toronto Lynx in
November 1997. He played with the Werder Bremen reserves
from 1997 until 2000. On August 12th 2000 Paul made his
debut with the Bundesliga team in the first game of the
season against Cottbus. Paul went on to score in this game,
making him the first Canadian to score in the Bundesliga.
His success continued on in the Bundesliga when Werder
Bremen was crowned Bundesliga Champions and German Cup
winners in 2003/2004. He is the first Canadian
international to win a major league title. When we
consider that Werder Bremen is only the 4th club (in
Germany) to win the
double in the last 100 years, it makes that feat all the
made the decision to leave Werder Bremen and joined
Tottenham Hotspur FC for the 2005/2006 season. He
played 56 games for Tottenham and scored 3 goals. He
went on loan to Fulham FC for the second half of the
2007/2008 season to help Fulham avoid relegation. He
played a total of 13 games for Fulham and the team were able
to avoid relegation. In January 2009, Paul joined
again with the task of helping the team avoid relegation.
They were again successful and remained in the Bundesliga.
Paul has a total of 55 Premiership appearances.
Along with 170 Bundesliga appearances.
The Journey: Paul's trial with
Werder Bremen up to his memorable debut
The Double: How the pieces of the
puzzle fit together in the 2003/2004 season
Photo Gallery - Winning The Double
with Werder Bremen
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At 20 years
old I flew to Bremen for a tryout under coach Wolfgang Sidka.
Unfamiliar with Germany, it was an experience filled with
many new experiences and emotions. I knew that it might
have been my only opportunity to get a contract with a big
European team and I had to seize the opportunity. The
Toronto Lynx season had ended in early September, making it
nearly two months without having touched a soccer ball. It
was mostly a mental obstacle to overcome as I came to one of
the top-flight clubs in Germany.
person I met when I landed in Bremen was coincidentally
Thomas Schaaf, who at the time was the coach of the reserve
team in Bremen. Although he was not the coach of the first
team at that time, I am sure that he was leading the
campaign for the club to sign me after having watched me for
my entire trial. After a successful trial, the club
signed me to a one-year contract, with an option for a
second year. I was both thrilled and stunned for many
reasons. Having learned during my trial that the club
usually signs one player in a hundred, I guess I was really
lucky to have impressed them. Over the past seven years,
having personally witnessed how many players come and go on
trials, it really is one of the most difficult challenges a
footballer has to get through.
So I guess I
can say that 1997 was one of the most important and decisive
years in my career. At the time I was a person who did not like change,
but 1997 taught me to welcome changing circumstances into my
life. Early in the
year I had already decided to leave Clemson University and
sign with the Toronto Lynx. Even though I decided not to
return to Clemson, I did not end my academic pursuits. I
had my credits transferred from Clemson to York University.
In the summer before I was to begin the new academic year, I
played in the first year of my professional career with the
Toronto Lynx. After having struggled with that decision,
and being happy with being back in Canada, I was presented
with the opportunity to go on trial in Bremen. It was a
decision that was made very quickly and after travelling to
London, Ontario to meet the scout, my trial was confirmed
and the dates were set. Within 3 ½ weeks from receiving the
call, I had left Toronto and signed with Bremen and moved
into my new apartment.
The next two
and a half years were very important. In time, I learned
what it took to actually become a successful professional
athlete. I learned what type of dedication it took to take
that next step in football. During that time period, I
learned how to be a more tactical footballer.
I played one
and a half years with the reserves, when my coach, Thomas
Schaaf was promoted to head coach of the first team. At the
beginning of 1999 Frank Neubarth was awarded the coaching
position with our reserve side and I played an additional
year under him. In my years with the reserve team, I was a
key member of the team who was consistently in the starting
11. I played mainly in offensive positions.
took two and a half seasons of patience, in August of 2000 I
finally got the break I had been waiting for. The first day
of the season came and Ailton one of our top strikers picked
up a minor injury. We ironically became the best of
friends, and were roommates each time we stayed in a hotel
with the team. We still have a laugh about the fact that
the only game he missed due to an injury, from that point
until the end of his Bremen career, resulted in my big
break. Nevertheless, it was the break I had been waiting
for and nothing in the world was going to stop me from
taking it. I played upfront that day alongside Claudio
Pizarro. The game definitely had a Canadian touch to it.
It was also my good friend and Canadian teammate Kevin
Mckenna’s debut for his club Energie Cottbus. Both of us
went down in the history books as the first Canadians to
play in the Bundesliga. Unfortunately the game did not go
as well for my buddy as it did for me. We came away the
winners, 3-1 and I made a little history again, being the
first Canadian to score in the league. Actually, I scored
another goal in the game that got called back, thanks to my
pal Kevin who fouled a player right before I scored, and the
referee for some strange reason did not play the advantage
and instead disallowed the goal. Not to worry, till this
day Kevin hasn’t lived down the fact that my tally is one
Reflecting back on that day,
I lived a dream of any young football player. My goal had
been reached and fulfilled, but immediately after the game,
my thoughts did not weigh heavy on the game that I had just
played, but rather on how much more I wanted to achieve.
One game and one goal were definitely not enough for me to
consider myself as having a successful career. I enjoyed
the experience, the thrill of the game, but that just left
me hungry for more!
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of the puzzle
Werder Bremen has given me many experiences that I as a
Canadian would never have had if I had not come to Europe to
pursue my football career. To become a professional athlete
is difficult and involves a lot of sacrifice, however to win
a Championship is something entirely on its own. It is what
all professional athletes work to achieve each season. I
realize that there are many great athletes that go an entire
career without winning a championship title, which is why
last year winning both the Bundesliga and the German Cup was
so important to me. No matter what or where my career takes
me winning those two titles will forever remain amongst the
greatest achievements in my career.
the last four seasons our team had many highs and lows. We
went on many winning streaks that usually lasted six months
or so then either the break in the season came or the season
ended. One of the biggest problems our team faced was
trying to put together the consistency it needed in order to
take us to the top. I believed for many years that we had
the quality of players to compete at the highest level and
throughout the last few years the team gained the necessary
experience to be considered title contenders.
their were a few key reasons as to why our team finally were
able to put together an entire season without any major slip
ups. We had, which I believe to be the best defence in the
league, although many experts considered Stuttgart to have
the best defence because they had the least number of
against goals. But considering the fact that we had an all
out attacking team and the fact that in the last two
meaningless games of the season we got 9 goals scored
against us there leaves no doubt in my mind that we had the
best back line in the league.
force was led by my good friend and my on the road roommate
for the last four years, Ailton. Believe it or not I told
him before the season started that if he concentrated every
game and remained focused that he would win the goal scoring
title which he has coveted for the past 6 seasons. I told
him he could easily score 25 goals. He even beat my
expectations which were already high, and scored 28 goals.
That was the highest mark anyone has reached in the league
for more than 20 years. Let us also not forget the fact
that we led in so many games this year in which he was
substituted, with sometimes 15, even as much as 30
minutes to go. Had he played every minute, there is no
doubt in my mind that he would have reached the 30 goal
mark or possibly even higher. When you talk about a winning
team there is always a great goal scorer who can score the
important goals, 14 times this years Ailton scored the first
goal of the game to put us up 1-0, another statistic where
he was the league leader.
We also had
the best combination of midfielders both defensive and
offensive. Frank Baumann a more silent, but yet crucial
role in stabilizing our midfield. Johan Micoud brought a
winning attitude that this team needed. He has the ability
to change a game in a split second, he plays with an
elegance and a slight arrogance that only the superstars
have. He makes the game look so easy at times. But what
makes him even more special, is his fighting attitude that
most playmakers shy away from, he never pulls out of a
tackle and is never shy whether it be in training or a match
to sort out another player. Jo is without a doubt the best
player I have had the privilege of playing with. It is hard
to say who wasn’t important, all the players on the field
played a very crucial part in our championship. As in all
championship teams, all the pieces fit together perfectly.
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played my last home game for Werder Bremen on May
against Freiburg. After 8 years in Bremen it was
a very emotional goodbye for me.
fans surprised me by having signs saying "Thank you
Paul" throughout the stadium.
wallpaper with championship and cup photos visit our
- Winning the Double
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Tottenham Hotspur FC
After a memorable 8 year stint with
Werder Bremen, Paul Stalteri decided to leave the Bundesliga
and joined Tottenham Hotspur FC of the English Premiership
in June 2005. Paul made
56 appearances for Tottenham and scored three goals.
His first season in 2005-2006 was by far his most successful
with Tottenham as he started 33 Premiership matches.
He went on loan to Fulham FC from February 1st to June 30th,
2008 and played in the final 13 games of the season for
Fulham and helped them to avoid relegation. In
December 2008, Paul agreed to cancel his contract with
Tottenham by mutual consent.
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