- Height: 6'0"
- Weight: 192 lbs
- Date of Birth: January 11, 1974
- Hometown: Malsch, West Germany
- Position: Defender
Jens Nowotny was a German professional soccer player known for his strong defensive, passing, and tackling capabilities. However, what made Nowotny even more impressive was his ability to step up and play in the midfield.
Nowotny was born on January 11, 1974 in Malsch, West Germany. He began his soccer career at SV Spielberg in 1979 at only five years of age. He stayed at Spielberg until the age of eleven when he moved on to play for Germania Friedrichsthal. He stayed at Germania through 1990 before leaving to play at Karlsruher SC, and it was with Karlsruher that he made the leap from the youth ranks up to playing professionally.
Nowotny began his professional career at the age of 17 in July of 1971. However, he did not play at the Bundesliga (highest) level until 1992. Upon arriving at the Bundesliga, Nowotny made a total of 103 appearances with Karlsruher, scoring seven goals. He left Karlsruher at the end of 1996 and signed with Bayer Leverkusen in July of the same year.
Nowotny spent ten seasons at Bayer Leverkusen, making 231 Bundesliga appearances and scoring four times. He helped Bayer qualify for five UEFA Champions League competitions, making 34 total appearances and tallying one goal. He missed a great deal of time from 2002 to 2004 with a severe knee injury but was able to return to form afterwards. Unfortunately, Nowotny left Bayer in 2006 on less than friendly terms. He and the club went through a situation regarding money during the time Nowotny was injured; they were able to reach an agreement in 2005.
Nowotny’s next stop was at Dinamo Zagreb for the 2006-07 season. He had signed a three-year deal with the club, but Nowotny was injured yet again in August of 2006. Even though the injury was not as severe this time (no ligaments were hurt), Nowotny still required surgery.
In addition to his senior club career, Nowotny also won 48 total caps (appearances) for the Germany national team scoring one goal. He participated in both the Euro 2000 and the Euro 2004, and also in both the 1998 and 2006 World Cups.
Nowotny announced his retirement from soccer in January of 2007, following his second knee injury and subsequent surgery. He decided that he did not want to wait through recovery and the therapy that would follow.
Career Highlights, Awards, and Accolades:
- Eleven career goals
- Forty-eight career caps for the German national team
- Played in five UEFA Champions League events while at Bayer Leverkusen
- Played in the 1998 World Cup
- Played in the 2006 World Cup
- Played in the 2000 UEFA European Championship
- Played in the 2004 UEFA European Championship