Gelsenkirchen - Goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand will leave FC Schalke 04 at the end of the current campaign after the club reached the decision not to extend his contract.
'Thinking of the future'
Hildebrand has made 12 Bundesliga appearances this term, as well as four in the UEFA Champions League group stages, but lost his place in the team to Ralf Fährmann shortly before the end of 2013.
Sporting director Horst Heldt acknowledged the contribution Hildebrand has made at the club since his arrival on a free transfer in October 2011, adding that the club had made the decision with a view to the future. “Timo has been a very important part of our success the past two and a half years. We finished third and fourth in the Bundesliga, reached the last 16 in the Champions League and made it to the quarter-finals of the Europa League," said the 44-year-old.
“It is our job to make decisions that will benefit the club in the future. We have decided to make a change of goalkeepers and have communicated this to Timo and I'm positive that this won’t affect his dedication and performance for the club," Heldt explained.
Hildebrand made his name with VfB Stuttgart, whom he represented between 1999 and 2007, winning the Bundesliga title in his final season before joining Valencia CF that summer. He returned to Germany a year later and signed for 1899 Hoffenheim, before moving abroad again in 2011, this time to Sporting Clube de Portugal.
He was snapped up by the Royal Blues during the 2011/12 campaign and has gone on to make 58 appearances for the Gelsenkirchen club, of which 39 have come in the Bundesliga, 14 in European competitions and five in the DFB Cup. Hildebrand has also won seven caps for the German national team and was third-choice keeper at the 2006 FIFA World Cup.