Friedrich Rediscovers His Fire in Chicago


Arne Friedrich, 33, is one of the most accomplished German players of the past decade -- which says quite a bit for someone hailing from a country at the forefront of the world’s game. His 82 German national team caps rank 18th all-time, and only five players who debuted in the 2000s for the three-time World Cup winner have more. Freidrich, who first played for Die Mannschaft in 2002, has started a pair of World Cup semifinals and a European Championship final and has captained Hertha Berlin, one of Germany’s biggest clubs.

A litany of injuries, including a slipped disc that required back surgery, and a rumored falling out with Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath left Friedrich pondering retirement. He had transferred to the 2008-09 Bundesliga champion in the summer of ’10 after...

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