“Without him, I wouldn’t be where I am today”

Theodor Gebre Selassie on Thomas Schaaf, a special landmark, and his future

Werder’s vice-captain has played a total of 263 Bundesliga matches in green and white (nordphoto).
First Team
Friday, 26.03.2021 / 15:16

The number 263 may look like any other number to most people, but it has a special meaning for Theodor Gebre Selassie - it’s the number of appearances the former Czech international has made for Werder. This total takes the club vice-captain above Werder icon Thomas Schaaf, who brought Gebre Selassie to Bremen back in 2012. “It’s definitely something special,” said the right-back in a press conference on Friday.

Gebre Selassie continues to be very grateful to Schaaf, as he made clear to the media. “Without him, I wouldn’t be where I am today. It’s a strange feeling to have overtaken him in Werder’s all-time appearance makers list.” Nine years have passed since the Czech moved to Werder, and it’s been an intense and often tiring ride with plenty of ups and downs with the Green-Whites.

Gebre Selassie ahead of Baumann, Schütz, and Pizarro

[Translate to Englisch:] Thomas Schaaf legt den Arm und Theodor Gebre Selassie.
Thomas Schaaf was Theodor Gebre Selassie’s first coach at Werder (nordphoto).

“I’m very thankful to have spent all this time at the top level without serious injury,” said the 34-year-old, who moved up to sixteenth in the all-time appearances list with his last outing against Wolfsburg. Some of the iconic names below him include Thomas Schaaf, Frank Baumann, Arnold “Pico” Schütz, and Claudio Pizarro.

Will this total continue to grow after this summer? Gebre Selassie was reluctant to answer this question for the moment. “A decision has been made, but I want to keep it to myself for now. We still have lots of tough challenges ahead of us this season and that's where the focus should be, not on my personal future.” As with the last 263 matches, Gebre Selassie is continuing to put the team above himself entirely, the mark of a true leader.


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