After a disappointing end to his run at VfB Stuttgart, Holger Badstuber has said goodbye to the Bundesliga and is reportedly headed to Switzerland. According to Bild, Badstuber will be joining FC Luzern for the upcoming season on a one-year contract.
Badstuber fell out with management during his final year at Stuttgart. He was subsequently banished from the first team and sent to the club’s reserve side in the Regionalliga Südwest where he did make 28 appearances.
Bayern fans will remember the 32-year-old as one of the club’s best young prospects, and it appeared at the time that he would rise alongside David Alaba and Thomas Müller as a great player for Bayern. If you were unable to see Badstuber in the early 2010s when he first began appearing with the first team, it’s hard to describe exactly how good he was. The possibility existed that he would’ve grown to become a club legend.
However, continuous leg injuries completely derailed Badstuber’s career. The first occurred on December 1, 2012. The second on May 19, 2013 forced him to miss the entire 2013-14 season. He finally returned to the field for Bayern in a friendly on July 18, 2014 — 594 days after the injury. Then, on September 13, 2014 Badstuber injured his thigh keeping him out for the rest of the calendar year. He would return from that injury in the spring before rupturing his quadriceps on April 23, 2015 and would miss the rest of the season.
Badstuber would never fully recover.
Luzern qualified for third round qualifying in the new UEFA Europa Conference League and will be looking to push up further in the Swiss Super League than last season’s fifth place finish.
Badstuber won’t be the only German at Luzern, as the club already boasts both former Stuttgart and Union Berlin man Christian Gentner and former Kaiserslautern goalkeeper Marius Müller.
He posted this video to Twitter earlier today as he said said goodbye to the Bundesliga. The video is a stark reminder of just how good Badstuber was (and, quite frankly, how great he could have become) had injuries not ravaged his legs stealing years off his career.
Die Entscheidung ist gefallen.— Holger Badstuber (@Badstuber) July 11, 2021
Ich habe eine neue Herausforderung im Ausland angenommen. Damit endet für mich ein emotionales Kapitel.
Danke Bundesliga, danke Fans. Es war mir eine Ehre! #HB28 pic.twitter.com/CRe2KOvdkz
Personally, my love for Badstuber knows no bounds. There have been few things in this sport for me as painful as watching him suffer to play the sport that he loves. I’m still convinced that had he remained healthy during those seasons that Bayern would’ve won multiple Champions League trophies in addition to their Bundesliga and DFB Pokal crowns (and Germany would have more than the 2014 World Cup to their name). He was one of the finest players to ever come out of Bayern’s youth system, and it’s a damn shame that we were never able to see him flourish.
Good luck at Luzern, Holger. You deserve the world.