Ermin Bičakčić and TSG part ways

Ermin Bičakčić and Bundesliga football club TSG Hoffenheim's successful time together is coming to an end after nine years. The 33-year-old defender and TSG have mutually agreed not to extend his contract, which expired in June 2023.

"Ermin was and is an absolute figure of identification at TSG. For almost a decade, he represented much of what the fans love thanks to his irrepressible desire, his immense fighting spirit and his unshakeable mentality. Following numerous trusting talks that always remained constructive, it ultimately became clear that the role we'd envisaged and our proposal were not 100% in line with the visions that Ermin had for the end of his career. We would've liked to continue with him, but we respect his decision," said TSG managing director Alexander Rosen, adding: "Even after his serious injury, we could count on him at the end of last season he was there whenever he was needed. He was an emotional leader and a role model in terms of his professionalism, which is among the reasons why we've already held initial talks with him about a possible future at TSG after his playing career. Ermin will certainly be back," said Rosen, who regrets "that he was not able to bid a proper farewell to the TSG fans. Rosen therefore declared: "That will be made up for as soon as possible and we're even thinking about a testimonial match in due course, perhaps even together with Sebastian Rudy."

Bičakčić was granted a new one-year contract last summer, despite the then 32-year-old having an injury that had not yet healed and finding himself in an extreme health situation. At certain points, Ermin was closer to hanging up his boots than he was to making a cameo appearance in the Bundesliga, according to Rosen. "But he never gave up and we always stood by him. Ermin has paid this trust back. What will stay with us is a sense of great gratitude for his indefatigable commitment on the pitch and beyond. Ermin is a piece of TSG's Bundesliga history," the TSG managing director said.

"I have a great deal to thank TSG for. I've matured into an established Bundesliga player and an international here. I love this club and its fans, have felt the great respect that they have shown me from the first day to the last and would like to say thank-you with all my heart," said Bičakčić, who continued: "A big thank-you also goes to the TSG management, in particular Alexander Rosen, for the open, constructive and above all friendly talks in recent weeks. Ultimately, however, the envisaged role and the proposal from TSG did not quite match my expectations and my sporting ambitions, so even though it was extremely difficult for me on an emotional level, I had to gratefully decline TSG's offer. I had a long period of suffering, so I still feel the fire in my belly. Nonetheless, this club and in particular the fans will always remain in my heart. They have always given me a lot of strength and energy in the past, especially during my long period of suffering when I was seriously injured. I am incredibly grateful for this support from the club and the fans, which cannot be taken for granted. In the thrilling final stretch of last season in particular, I just soaked it all up. Every training session, every game and especially those incredible happy moments in the matches against Eintracht Frankfurt and Union Berlin when we were able to secure our place in the division. TSG and its fans will always be a part of my life and I am sure that sooner or later, in a different role, our paths will cross again."

Then a Bosnia and Herzegovina international, Ermin Bičakčić arrived in the Kraichgau from Eintracht Braunschweig following the World Cup in Brazil in the summer of 2014. The Hoffenheim fan favourite has played 130 games in the Bundesliga, three matches in the Champions League, one game in the Champions League qualifiers, two games in the Europa League and seven ties in the DFB-Pokal for TSG. Bičakčić has made 35 appearances for the Bosnia and Herzegovina national team.

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