Werder Bremen’s Tim Wiese is the type of character who polarises public opinion. Somewhat more extrovert than Rene Adler and Manuel Neuer, his two younger fellow goalkeepers in the Germany squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, the Rhineland-born player is not afraid to say what he thinks, regardless how controversial. On the pitch, the 28-year-old barks out orders and gesticulates wildly as he orchestrates his outfield team-mates. His own fans love him for it; opposing fans are often provoked by his antics.
The 1.93m athlete has considerable international experience, having played regularly in European competition with the north German club, where he has been a key performer for many years. All the more surprising, then, that the keeper renowned for his spectacular saves had to wait until November 2008 before celebrating his international debut in a 2-1 friendly defeat to England in Berlin’s Olympiastadion.
Wiese learned the art of goalkeeping in the youth set-up of Bayer Leverkusen before spells with Fortuna Köln and Kaiserslautern en route to Bremen. His hero growing up was Oliver Kahn and his style of play is not unlike the legendary shotstopper: fast to react, strong in one-on-one situations and driven by an irrepressible will to win. The keeper, who enjoys horse-riding to relax, inspires fear in opposing strikers.
Perhaps Wiese would have appeared in a German shirt much sooner had it not been for two back-to-back cruciate ligament tears in 2004 and 2005. He had certainly impressed many with his consistent performances in the Under-21s. Now his dream of going to a FIFA World Cup is finally realised as he heads to South Africa as Germany coach Joachim Low’s third-choice keeper.