Steffen Freund (born 19 January 1970) is a German former professional football player who played as a defensive midfielder in both the German and English top flights. He was capped 21 times for his country and played a significant part in Germany's UEFA Euro 1996 winning campaign. He is currently working for Tottenham Hotspur. His son, Niklas plays for SV Empor Berlin as a goalkeeper.
|Full name||Steffen Freund|
|Date of birth||19 January 1970|
|Place of birth||Brandenburg, East Germany|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Playing position(s)||Defensive Midfielder|
|Tottenham Hotspur (coach)|
|BSG Motor Süd Brandenburg|
|–1988||BSG Stahl Brandenburg|
|1988–1991||BSG Stahl Brandenburg||57||(0)|
|2003–2004||1. FC Kaiserslautern||9||(0)|
|2004||→ Leicester City (loan)||14||(0)|
|2012–2014||Tottenham Hotspur (assistant)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Freund started his career at Stahl Brandenburg, coming through their youth system. He has said that the Stasi made an unsuccessful attempt to recruit him as an informer during his time at the club. In 1991, he was transferred to FC Schalke 04 and he established himself as an important midfield player. Schalke were forced to sell Freund due to financial reasons in 1993 to Borussia Dortmund where he stayed until 1998. During his time at Dortmund, he won the league twice in 1995 and 1996 and gained a Champions League medal in 1997, but was left out of the squad for the final altogether.
In December 1998, Freund transferred to English Premiership club Tottenham Hotspur. During his time with the London club, he won the League Cup in 1999, starting in the center of midfield in Spurs's 1–0 win over Leicester City. He stayed at the club until 2003, and despite never scoring a goal in 131 appearances across all competitions, he became a firm fans favourite at the club for his heart, work ethic and commitment. On 4 December 2009, Freund was inducted into the Tottenham Hotspur hall of fame alongside Darren Anderton.
Between 1995 and 1998, he won 21 caps for the German national team. He won UEFA Euro 1996 with Germany, where he missed out on a place in the final because of an injury in their semi-final win over England. He also appeared at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, where Germany fell at the quarter-final stage to Croatia; Freund was an unused substitute in the match.
On 5 December 2007, he was named as a new assistant to Nigeria coach Berti Vogts for the time of the African Nations Cup. He then resumed his work as assistant to German U20-manager Frank Engel. In May 2009 he finished his coaching badges and on 17 July 2009 he was appointed manager of the German U-16 team signing a two-year contract. A year later he began managing the German U-17 team leading them to a runners up medal at the 2011 UEFA European U-17 Football Championship and a third place at the World Cup in Mexico. He then started working with the new generation of U-16 players. On 11 July 2012, Freund was appointed assistant head coach of Tottenham Hotspur. On 5 August 2014 he was appointed International Technical Coordinator. On 21 April 2017, while on Sky Sports, Freund stated that he was not interested in getting back into coaching. He instead was enjoying the freedom from pressure which he was experiencing as a pundit.
In 2006, he appeared alongside Boris Becker in a special England v. Germany edition of the popular panel show They Think It's All Over. At the start of the 2011–12 season, Freund began working as a pundit for Eurosport's coverage of the German Bundesliga and Sky Deutschland. He is also a co-commentator for the English world feed of the Bundesliga.
- Bundesliga: 1994–95, 1995–96
- DFB-Supercup: 1995
- UEFA Champions League: 1996–97
- Intercontinental Cup: 1997
- Crossman, Steve (4 June 2015). "Champions League final: Steffen Freund - How I resisted the Stasi". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
- Arnhold, Matthias (14 April 2016). "Steffen Freund - Matches and Goals in Bundesliga". RSSSF. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
- "Steffen Freund, Tottenham Hotspur and the changing role of central midfielders". The Guardian. 19 October 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
- "Freund joins Kaiserslautern". BBC Sport. 1 August 2003. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
- "Leicester 0 Spurs 1". Spursodyssey. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
- "1999 League Cup Final". lcfc.com. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
- "Pair Join Hall Of Fame". tottenhamhotspur.com. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
- Arnhold, Matthias (14 April 2016). "Steffen Freund - International Appearances". RSSSF. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
- "Germany 0-3 Croatia". FIFA. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
- "Club Announcement: Steffen Returns". Tottenham Hotspur. 11 July 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
- "DFL Co-commentator profile: Steffen Freund". Bundesliga. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
- "Hall of Fame – 41 Legends". Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. 20 November 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2018.