Canadian Stalteri joins German club

September 14, 2009, 6:37 AM

THE CANADIAN PRESS

MONCHENGLADBACH, Germany — Canadian soccer captain Paul Stalteri is returning to Germany.

The 31-year-old fullback, who parted ways with Tottenham of the English Premier League over the weekend, has signed with Borussia Monchengladbach of Germany’s Bundesliga.

The Toronto native will join the club on Jan. 1, according to his official website.

Before joining Tottenham in 2005, Stalteri had a successful career in Germany with Werder Bremen.

Stalteri, who will play alongside fellow Canadian international Rob Friend in Monchengladbach, made 56 appearances for Spurs, scoring three times.

But he was one of several players who fell out of favour as the regime changed at Tottenham.

Things improved when Harry Redknapp succeeded Juande Ramos as manager earlier this season. Stalteri and others left out in the cold were absorbed back into the first-team squad. But Stalteri’s progress was slowed by an ankle ligament injury sustained Nov. 19 on international duty with Canada at a World Cup qualifier in Jamaica.

Stalteri’s contract at Spurs was to end at the end of this season. On Sunday, the club said on its website that the contract had been “cancelled by mutual consent.”

In an interview last week with The Canadian Press, Stalteri expressed his frustration at his year with Spurs — especially after the success of a stint on loan with Fulham at the end of last season.

“To be honest it was a difficult, difficult situation for three or four months here,” he said.

He hopes to be back at full fitness in a week.

Stalteri made 35 appearances in his debut season at White Hart Lane in 2005-06, but that number fell to 14 the next season. In 2007-08, he made six appearances for Spurs before being loaned out to Fulham where he played weekly.

Stalteri has played for Canada 73 times, including all six games in the recent round of World Cup qualification. Only Randy Samuel (82) and Mark Watson (78) have more caps for Canada.

Borussia Monchengladbach has won just three games this season and is last in the 18-team Bundesliga.

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