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Sebastian Prödl (born 21 June 1987) is an Austrian professional footballer who plays as a defender for Premier League club Watford and the Austrian national team. A full international since 2007, he represented his nation at Euro 2008.

Sebastian Prödl
AUT vs. LIE 2015-10-12 (135).jpg
Prödl with Austria in 2015
Personal information
Full name Sebastian Prödl[1]
Date of birth (1987-06-21) 21 June 1987 (age 30)[2]
Place of birth Graz, Austria
Height 1.94 m (6 ft 4 in)[2]
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Watford
Number 5
Youth career
1993–1997 SV Kirchberg
1997–2002 SV Feldbach
2002–2006 Sturm Graz
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2008 Sturm Graz 43 (4)
2008–2015 Werder Bremen 149 (10)
2010 Werder Bremen II 1 (0)
2015– Watford 54 (3)
National team
Austria U19 5 (0)
Austria U20 8 (1)
2007– Austria 50 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18:37, 24 May 2017 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 16:18, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Having started his career at Sturm Graz in 2006 he moved to Germany two years later where he played for Werder Bremen until 2015.

Contents

Club careerEdit

Sturm GrazEdit

Aged 19, Prödl began his professional career playing for Sturm Graz in the Austrian Bundesliga making his debut on 9 December 2006 in a 3–0 loss against SV Mattersburg.[3][4] He scored his first Sturm Graz goal against Rheindorf Altach on 9 May 2007, the only goal in a 1–0.[5] Prödl went on to make sixteen appearance and scoring once in his first season.

Prödl soon established himself in the first team at Sturm Graz and despite the international commitment[4] and injury,[6] He went on to score three goals in 27 appearance against SV Mattersburg, Red Bull Salzburg[7] and Austria Kärnten.[8] His performances soon attracted attention from Serie A and Bundesliga clubs.[9] In response to the transfer speculation Sturm Graz placed a price tag of €5 million on him.[10]

Werder BremenEdit

 
Prödl in training during his time at Werder Bremen

On 15 July 2008, Prödl moved to Germany to play for Werder Bremen for a transfer fee of €2.5 million, signing a contract until 2012.[11] Upon joining Werder Bremen, he said his aim at the club was to win trophies.[12]

Prödl made his Werder Bremen debut in the first round of the DFB-Pokal in a 9–3 win over Eintracht Nordhorn on 9 August 2008. A week later, he made his league debut for the club, in a 2–2 draw against Arminia Bielefeld.[13] He made his Champions League debut, playing as a right-back, in a 1–1 draw against Inter Milan on 1 October 2008.[14] By the first half of the season, he had appeared in 13 of 17 league matches, also playing in the unfamiliar right-back role in absence of Clemens Fritz.[15] In the last match of the first half of the season he injured his ankle which saw him out for two months.[16] On 7 March 2009, after making the bench in three matches, Prödl returned to the first team in a 0–0 draw against Hoffenheim.[17] He scored his first Werder Bremen goal in the second leg of the last 16 of the UEFA Cup in a 2–2 draw against Saint-Étienne, from which the club progressed winning 3–2 on aggregate.[18] Upon his return he reverted to centre-back going on to make a total of 22 appearances in his first season. Prödl formed a partnership with Naldo in central defence when they beat Bayer Leverkusen 1–0 in the DFB-Pokal Final.[19] He also featured in the UEFA Cup final, playing the full 120 minutes in a 3–2 loss against Shakhtar Donetsk.[20]

 
Prödl in his last season at Werder Bremen

In the opening game of the 2009–10 season, Prödl played as a centre-back in a 3–2 loss against Eintracht Frankfurt and was sent-off in the last minutes after a second bookable offence.[21] Soon after, he suffered a knee injury.[22] After three months on the sidelines, he appeared on the substitution bench and made his return to the first team coming on for Naldo in the 76th minutes of a 6–0 win over Freiburg on 21 November 2009.[23] He scored his first Werder Bremen league goal on 27 February 2010, in a 2–1 win over Mainz 05.[24] Prödl spent most of the season on the substitution bench making nine appearances for the club.

In the 2010–11 season, Prödl became a regular starter following Naldo's injury at the start of the season and formed a partnership in central defence with Per Mertesacker.[25] He scored his first European goal on matchday 6 of the Champions League group stage in a 3–0 win over Inter Milan on 7 December 2010.[26] He scored his first league goal of the season on 27 February 2011 in a 2–2 draw against Bayer Leverkusen.[27] Having suffered a knee injury and undergone surgery it was announced in March 2011 that Prödl would miss the remainder of the 2010–11 season. He ended season with 25 appearances.[28]

 
Prödl on international duty

At the start of the 2011–12 season, Prödl remained a regular starter. He scored his first goal of the season in a 3–1 win over Mainz on 29 October 2011.[29] On 21 January 2012, during a match against Kaiserslautern, he was substituted off with an injury in the 29th minute.[30] After a successful surgery, it was announced that he would be out for six weeks.[31] Prödl made his return against Hannover 96 on 11 March 2012 scoring in a 3–0 win.[32] However, his return was short-lived as he suffered a hamstring injury which kept him out for two weeks.[33] He made his return to the first team on 28 April 2012, in a 3–1 loss against Wolfsburg.[34] Having made 16 appearances in the 2011–12 season, it was announced that Prödl had signed a new three-year contract with the club, which would keep him at the club until summer 2015.[35]

After playing two matches of the 2012–13 season Prödl suffered injuries first to his thigh[36] and then his head.[37] Upon his return, he scored his first goal of the season in a 4–1 win over Hoffenheim on 2 December 2012.[38] On 23 February 2013, he was sent-off in the 44th minute of a match against Bayern Munich for a foul on Mario Gómez; Werder Bremen went on to lose 6–1.[39] He was given a two-match ban for the red card.[40] In a match against Fortuna Düsseldorf on 13 April 2013 he was appointed captain and played the full 90 minutes of a 2–2 draw.[41] Prödl finished the 2012–13 season with 28 caps.

In the 2013–14 season, Prödl scored in the club's first match without Thomas Schaaf, which Werder Bremen lost 3–1 to Saarbrücken in the first round of DFB Pokal.[42] In the opening game of the season against Eintracht Braunschweig, he provided the assist for compatriot Zlatko Junuzović to score the only goal in the game.[43] He then suffered a muscle injury which kept him out for two weeks.[44] By the 21 November 2013, his recovery was delayed by three weeks.[45] After making his return, Prödl captained four matches between 1 February 2014 and 1 March 2014. He scored two goals in two matches against Wolfsburg[46] and Hannover 96.[47] In March 2014, he stated he would let his contract run out in 2015 if his contract would not be renewed in the summer.[48] At the end of the season, Prödl had made 27 appearances helping the club avoid relegation and finish in 14th place.[49]

After missing two games at the start of the 2014–15 season due to a hamstring injury,[50] Prödl scored his first goal of the season on 12 September 2014, in a 3–3 draw against Bayer Leverkusen.[51] He then missed one match, due to injury, first suffering the flu,[52] then a hip problem.[53] His hip injury came after scoring his second goal of the season, in a 2–0 win over Stuttgart on 8 November 2014.[54] In a 5–2 defeat to Frankfurt, Prödl was substituted off in the first half and it was announced after the match that he would be out for six to eight weeks.[55] He scored on his return on 21 February 2015, in a 1–1 draw against Schalke 04.[56] During the season, he captained his team on five different occasions and made 22 league appearance scoring goals.

On 12 May 2015, it was announced that Prödl would leave Bremen at the end of the 2014–15 season, as his contract had come to an end.[57] The club previously offered him a new contract at the start of the season.[58] During his time at Bremen he scored 10 goals, playing predominately in the central defence role.

WatfordEdit

On 1 June 2015, Prödl signed for Watford on a five-year contract after his contract at Werder Bremen had ended.[59] He became Watford's first signing on their return to the Premier League. Upon joining the club, he was given number five shirt ahead of a new season.[60]

Prödl made his Watford debut in the opening game of the season, making his first start in a 2–2 draw against Everton.[61] He remained as a first team regular at the start of the season until he was dropped to the bench in late October ahead of a match against Stoke City,[62] and soon suffered a calf injury during international duty with Austria.[63] As the 2015–16 season progressed towards the end, Prödl would be often be in and out of both in the starting eleven and substitute bench. He scored his first goal for Watford in a 3–1 defeat to West Ham United on 20 April 2016.[64] On the last game of the season, he scored his second goal of the season, in a 2–2 draw against Sunderland.[65]

Despite being linked with a move to Serie A side Udinese,[66] Prödl remained at the club and regained his first team place under the management of Walter Mazzarri. In a 3–1 win over Manchester United on 18 September 2016,[67] he was praised for his performance and was named Man of the Match.[68] In May 2017, he was named Watford's player of the season.[69]

International careerEdit

In 2007, he was called to play for Austria. He served as captain of Austria's U-20 national team at the 2007 U-20 World Cup[70] in Canada where he helped his team to a fourth-place finish. After the tournament was over he was the only Austrian voted into the U-20 World Cup line-up by Italian magazine Gazzetta dello Sport.[71]

After being called up to the national team for the first team in May 2007,[72] Prödl made his senior debut for Austria on 30 May 2007 against Scotland.[73] On 26 March 2008, Prödl scored two goals in an international friendly against the Netherlands. On 12 June 2008 during the Euro 2008 Austria vs. Poland game he was fouled in the 92nd minute in the penalty area and the referee, Howard Webb, awarded Austria a penalty kick, resulting in their only goal of the tournament.[74]

Personal lifeEdit

Prödl's cousin Viktoria Schnaderbeck is also a footballer who plays for Bayern Munich.[75]

Career statisticsEdit

ClubEdit

As of match played 15 May 2017[76]
Club Season League Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Sturm Graz 2006–07 Austrian Bundesliga 16 1 0 0 16 1
2007–08 Austrian Bundesliga 27 2 0 0 27 2
Total 43 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 43 3
Werder Bremen 2008–09 Bundesliga 22 0 0 0 8 1 30 1
2009–10 Bundesliga 9 1 0 0 2 0 11 1
2010–11 Bundesliga 25 1 2 0 8 1 35 1
2011–12 Bundesliga 16 2 0 0 16 2
2012–13 Bundesliga 28 1 1 0 29 1
2013–14 Bundesliga 27 2 1 1 28 3
2014–15 Bundesliga 22 3 2 0 24 3
Total 149 10 6 1 0 0 18 2 173 13
Watford 2015–16 Premier League 21 2 3 0 24 2
2016–17 33 1 1 0 34 1
Total 54 3 5 0 0 0 0 0 57 3
Career total 246 16 10 1 0 0 18 2 274 19

International goalsEdit

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 26 March 2008 Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna, Austria   Slovenia 2–0 3–4 Friendly
2. 3–0
3. 8 October 2010 Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna, Austria   Azerbaijan 1–0 3–0 UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying
4. 15 October 2013 Tórsvøllur, Tórshavn, Faroe Islands   Faroe Islands 2–0 3–0 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
Correct as of 7 October 2015[77]

ReferencesEdit

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  2. ^ a b "Premier League Player Profile Sebastian Prödl". Barclays Premier League. 2016. Retrieved 7 February 2016. 
  3. ^ "Dank Schutti-Goldtor überwintert SVM auf Rang zwei" (in German). SV Mattersburg Official Website. 12 December 2006. Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "Sturm-Spieler Sebastian Prödl übernimmt Verantwortung: Kapitän und Führungsspieler" (in German). News.at. 13 July 2007. Retrieved 4 October 2016. 
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  63. ^ "Sebastian Prodl is out for three weeks with a calf injury but Valon Behrami could be fit for Watford's trip to Aston Villa". Watford Observer. 24 November 2015. Retrieved 4 October 2016. 
  64. ^ "West Ham United 3 - 1 Watford". BBC Sport. 20 April 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2016. 
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  69. ^ Walker, Ron (23 May 2017). "Sebastian Prodl wins Watford player of the season award at Wembley ceremony". Watford Observer. Retrieved 24 May 2017. 
  70. ^ Sebastian PrödlFIFA competition record
  71. ^ "U20-Teamkapitän Prödl unter besten WM-Spielern: Argentinier Aguero siegt leider!" (in German). news.at. 23 July 2007. Retrieved 4 October 2016. 
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  76. ^ "S. PRÖDL". Soccerway. Retrieved 15 May 2017. 
  77. ^ Football PLAYER: Sebastian Prödl

External linksEdit