Loyal Langerak reveals he turned down Bundesliga clubs

Australia goalkeeper Mitch Langerak has revealed how he turned down the chance to remain in the Bundesliga, opting to stay loyal to relegated Stuttgart instead.

Langerak

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The 27 year-old gloveman, who signed a three-year deal at the Mercedes-Benz Arena just over 12 months ago, was approached by a number of top-flight German clubs after Stuttgart’s second demotion in their history was confirmed at the end of last season.

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But the former Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper’s commitment never swayed as he pledged his continued allegiance to a club, which kicks off its bid to bounce straight back out of the 2.Bundesliga to the top-tier at home against St Pauli on Tuesday (AEST).

"There was interest at the end of last season to go elsewhere, but I made an immediate decision and told the club that I would stay, and wanted to stay, and that my mind hadn’t changed at all," said Langerak, who has been conformed as Stuttgart’s first choice after the sale of main rival Przemyslaw Tyton to Deportivo La Coruna.

"There were options in the Bundesliga, and other places, but directly after the season I had, there was no hesitation in confirming that I wouldn't be one of the players going.

"This is a Bundesliga club and one of the biggest in Germany and we deserve to be back up there again.

"We're all positive that we will accomplish that this year. So many things went wrong last year … it was a disastrous time. It's tough on the city, the fans and the plan is to go straight back up."

"I was very happy to stay, and there’s a great wave of optimism and positivity around the club (under new coach Jos Luhukay) ... it’s night and day from how it was last year.

"We have a lot of international players, players with experience and we probably have the best squads in the league and it's up to us to bring it all together."

While 2015-2016 was a calamity for Stuttgart, it was a personal "disaster" for Langerak, who got injured almost immediately after arriving at the club, suffering hamstring and then knee problems – which limited him to just two games all season and seven months on the side-lines.



"When I left Dortmund, I came to play ... that’s why they brought me here, but I got injured very early on and ended up needing surgery to sort it out," he said.

"I wasn’t really fit until February, and it was hard to come in, after being injured for so long ... so for me personally it was also a bit of a disaster last season, and obviously for the club it was a massive disaster overall."

Langerak's desire to maintain the battle with Mat Ryan for the Socceroos number-one spot shows no sign of wavering, with the keeper declaring: "The Socceroos are a always a huge big part of my goals ... It's something I always want to be involved in.

"There are a lot of good keepers with the national team and good club form will always get recognised.

"It's nothing you ever take for granted and it's still a big honour every time I get called up."

Langerak is justifiably proud of his five seasons at Dortmund, and said: "I started over 35 games at Dortmund, and not too many people can say they played that many games for one of the biggest cubs in the world. We won a lot of things together.

"But when the chance came to join Stuttgart, it was the perfect opportunity and it was one I wanted to take.

"Dortmund weren't overjoyed, but I wanted to leave and it was best for me to take this next step up."


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4 min read
Published 1 August 2016 at 7:08pm
By EXCLUSIVE: David Lewis