Torsten Frings

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Torsten Frings
Frings playing for Toronto at Rogers Centre on 7 March 2012
Personal information
Full nameTorsten Klaus Frings [1]
Date of birth (1976-11-22) 22 November 1976 (age 43)
Place of birth Würselen, West Germany
Height 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position(s) Central midfielder
Club information
Current team
SV Meppen (manager)
Youth career
1982–1988 Rot-Weiß Alsdorf
1988–1990 Rhenania Alsdorf
1990–1994 Alemannia Aachen II
Senior career*
1994–1997 Alemannia Aachen 57 (13)
1997 Werder Bremen (A) 1 (1)
1997–2002 Werder Bremen 162 (15)
2002–2004 Borussia Dortmund 47 (10)
2004–2005 Bayern Munich 29 (3)
2005–2011 Werder Bremen 164 (21)
2011–2012 Toronto FC 33 (2)
National team
1997–1998 Germany U21 6 (1)
1999–2000 Germany B 5 (0)
2001–2009 Germany 79 (10)
Teams managed
2016–2017 Darmstadt 98
2020– SV Meppen
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Torsten Klaus Frings (born 22 November 1976) is a German former footballer, and current manager of SV Meppen.


A former midfielder, throughout his career he played for several German clubs, namely Alemannia Aachen, Werder Bremen, Borussia Dortmund, and Bayern Munich, before ending his career with Canadian MLS side Toronto FC. At international level, he played 79 matches for the Germany national team since his debut in 2001, and represented his nation at two European Championships and two FIFA World Cups.

Club career

Early career

His professional career began at third division Alemannia Aachen before a move to Werder Bremen in 1996–97, helping the Weserstadion outfit to a German Cup final defeat of Bayern Munich in 1999 and tallying more than 160 Bundesliga appearances and 15 goals over five and a half seasons. [2] He also helped them win the 1998 UEFA Intertoto Cup, scoring the decisive goal in the final against FK Vojvodina. [3]

Borussia Dortmund

In 2002, a number of Europe's leading clubs were on Frings's trail prior to the World Cup but he opted for a four-year deal with Borussia Dortmund for a reported fee of €10 million, penning the contract two games into the competition. A regular in his first term at the Westfalenstadion, Frings also played 12 times in the UEFA Champions League, scoring home and away against Lokomotiv Moscow.

Frings's 2003–04 season only began on 30 January when he played against Schalke 04, his first game since damaging his knee against VfL Bochum in July. He took over from Tomáš Rosický in the playmaking role and scored four times in 16 games before signing a three-year contract with Dortmund's rivals, Bayern Munich.

Bayern Munich

Despite winning the domestic double with Bayern and making 29 Bundesliga and ten Champions League appearances, Frings never really enjoyed his football in Munich, and was played out of position by coach Felix Magath.

Werder Bremen

In June 2005, he rejoined Bremen for an undisclosed fee on a three-year deal, helping them past FC Basel into the Champions League group stage.

Toronto FC and retirement

On 29 June 2011, it was announced that Frings had reached an agreement to join Major League Soccer team Toronto FC as a designated player. [4] During the press conference in which Frings was presented to the Toronto media, the club also announced the signing of Danny Koevermans. [5] Frings made his debut for Toronto on 20 July 2011 in a 1–0 home defeat to FC Dallas. [6] On 29 July 2011, Frings made his CONCACAF Champions League debut against Real Estelí in which he was given the honour of wearing the captain's armband for Toronto. [7] Frings became the permanent captain of the club following Maicon Santos's transfer to Dallas.

On 27 June 2012, Frings scored his first MLS goal in a 3–0 away victory over Montreal Impact, blasting a free kick in the 52nd minute from 22 yards out. [8]

Frings missed the latter portion of the 2012 season after sustaining a hip injury which required arthroscopic surgery. [9] [10] Frings’ subsequent recovery progressed slower than expected, ultimately leading to his decision to retire from football in February 2013. [11] [12] [13]

Club president, Kevin Payne indicated that the team wanted to maintain a relationship with Frings "not just for next season, but for seasons to come." Frings himself said he wanted to return to the game as a coach. [14]

International career

Frings represented Germany at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Japan and South Korea, [15] where the German team reached the final, only to be defeated 2–0 by Brazil. [16] During the tournament, he was part of a controversial call when he prevented a goal with his hand on the goal line in the quarter-final match against the United States; [17] the referee deemed the handball involuntary, however. [15] Frings also took part at UEFA Euro 2004 and at the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup on home soil, winning a bronze medal in the latter tournament. [16]

Frings was later also called up to Germany's squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup on home soil. [16] On 9 June 2006, Frings scored Germany's fourth goal in a 4–2 win against Costa Rica in the opening match of the World Cup, with a powerful drive from more than 30 yards. [18]

Following Germany's penalty shootout victory over Argentina on 30 June 2006, Frings was fined and suspended by FIFA for two games (one of which is subject to a six-month probationary period) for his role in the brawl that broke out between the Argentine and German teams after the match. [19] After reviewing video footage of the brawl, FIFA's Disciplinary Committee determined that Frings had punched Argentine forward Julio Cruz and levelled punishment accordingly, even though Cruz himself had denied that Frings punched him; the second game of the suspension was made probationary due to the Committee's determination that Frings had been provoked into fighting. This suspension decision, announced by FIFA only the day before Germany's semi-final versus Italy on 4 July 2006, rendered Frings unavailable for the important match – which Germany subsequently lost; Germany finished the tournament in third place after defeating Portugal in the bronze medal match. [16]

The controversy of the decision was also sparked by the fact that Frings' role in the brawl had been widely accentuated in the Italian media after FIFA had already announced it closed its investigations against German players. Frings answered to the accusations in an interview: "This is all politics. The Argentinians attack us, I defend myself and the Italians get worked up. With this suspension, FIFA just wanted to show that Germany doesn't get special treatment as the World Cup hosts."

Frings was also called up to Germany's Euro 2008 squad, which reached the final of the tournament only to be defeated by Spain, [16] but was later not included in the team for the 2010 World Cup by German coach Joachim Löw. [20] He played his last international match on 11 February 2009 in a 0–1 home defeat against Norway. [21] [22] In total, he earned 79 caps for Germany. [23]

Style of play

Frings was an all-action, well-rounded and versatile midfielder. He was capable of playing anywhere across the midfield, although he was most comfortable in the centre, running deep from his own team's box to the opposition's box, due to his work-rate, vision, solid first touch and passing with either foot, despite his lack of notable pace. [24] [25] [26] He was usually deployed as defensive midfielder, however, where he excelled due to his tough tackling playing style. [16] [24] A large, tenacious and physically strong player, and a vocal presence on the pitch, he also excelled in the air and was capable of playing as a defender, as a centre-back or sweeper, due to his organisational abilities, knowledge of the game, and fighting spirit on the pitch. [15] [24] [27] [28] In addition to his defensive attributes, Frings was also known for his leadership on the pitch, as well as his explosive, powerful shot from distance. [24] [25] [27] [28]

Coaching career

Werder Bremen

After ending his playing career, Frings became a youth coach at Werder Bremen. [29] Werder Bremen Ex-CEO Klaus Allofs stated that "he can learn the coaching profession for us from the bottom up." [29] On 25 October 2014, after Werder Bremen fired head coach Robin Dutt, Bremen youth coach Viktor Skrypnyk was appointed as the head coach with Florian Kohfeldt, Christian Vander, and Frings all amongst Skripnik's coaching staff. He received a coaching license from the German FA after a 10-month coaching course [30] in March 2015. [31]

Darmstadt 98

On 27 December 2016, Frings was appointed as the head coach of Darmstadt 98. [31] [32] [33] Frings took over a team in last place and five points below the relegation playoff spot. [13] His first match was a 0–0 draw against Borussia Mönchengladbach. [34] Darmstadt 98 finished the 2016–17 season on the last place and was relegated to the 2. Bundesliga. On 9 December 2017, Frings was relieved of his duties as Darmstadt's head coach. [35] His final match was a 1–0 loss to Erzgebirge Aue on 8 December 2017. [36] He finished with a record of nine wins, eight draws, and 19 losses. [33]

SV Meppen

He was appointed as the new head coach of SV Meppen on 14 July 2020. [37]

Personal life

Frings is married to Petra and they have two children, Lisa-Katharina and Lena Alina. [38] His hobbies include spending time with his family and riding his motorcycle. [38]

Career statistics


Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Alemannia Aachen 1994–95 Regionalliga West 600060 [2]
1994–95 32123212 [2]
1996–97 191191 [2]
Werder Bremen II 1996–97 Regionalliga Nord 1111 [2]
Werder Bremen 1996–97 Bundesliga 15000150 [39]
1997–98 2822030332 [40] [41]
1998–99 23343123399 [42] [43]
1999–2000 333409020483 [44]
2000–01 3012050371 [45]
2001–02 3361020366 [46] [47]
Borussia Dortmund 2002–03 Bundesliga3162012210468 [48]
2003–04 164000010174 [48]
Bayern Munich 2004–05 Bundesliga293608121455 [49]
Werder Bremen 2005–06 2834110120445 [50]
2006–07 331006121413 [51]
2007–08 111002010141 [52]
2008–09 30450130484 [53]
2009–10 30660944510 [54]
2010–11 3261061397 [55]
Toronto FC 2011 MLS 1300060190 [56]
2012 2023020252 [57] [58] [59] [60]
Career totals493654041051311564984


Germany [61]

International goals

Scores and results list Germany's goal tally first. Score column indicates score after each Frings goal. [62]

127 March 2002 Ostseestadion, Rostock, GermanyFlag of the United States.svg  United States 4–14–2 Friendly
29 May 2002 Schwarzwald-Stadion, Freiburg, GermanyFlag of Kuwait.svg  Kuwait 1–07–0
327 May 2004Schwarzwald-Stadion, Freiburg, GermanyFlag of Malta.svg  Malta 4–07–0
415 June 2004 Estádio do Dragão, Porto, PortugalFlag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 1–01–1 UEFA Euro 2004
59 February 2005 Merkur Spielarena, Düsseldorf, GermanyFlag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 1–02–2Friendly
612 October 2005 Volksparkstadion, Hamburg, GermanyFlag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China PR 1–01–0
727 May 2006Schwarzwald-Stadion, Freiburg, GermanyFlag of Luxembourg.svg  Luxembourg 2–07–0
89 June 2006 Allianz Arena, Munich, GermanyFlag of Costa Rica.svg  Costa Rica 4–24–2 2006 FIFA World Cup
97 February 2007Merkur Spielarena, Düsseldorf, GermanyFlag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland 3–03–1Friendly
102 June 2007 Max-Morlock-Stadion, Nuremberg, GermanyFlag of San Marino.svg  San Marino 3–06–0 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying

Managerial statistics

As of matches played on 24 October 2020
Darmstadt 98 27 December 2016 [31] [32] [33] 9 December 2017 [35] 3698194261−19025.00 [33] [34] [36]
SV Meppen 14 July 2020present7205914−5028.57



Werder Bremen

Bayern Munich

Toronto FC




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