Tobias Rau (born 31 December 1981) is a German footballer who plays for TV Neuenkirchen as a left back.
In a career blighted by injuries, he was forced to retire from professional play at only 27.
Rau was born in Braunschweig, Lower Saxony. After making his professional debut in the lower leagues with hometown club Eintracht Braunschweig, he moved to the professionals with VfL Wolfsburg.
Rau amassed 51 official appearances for the latter side. His Bundesliga debut came on 18 August 2001, starting and featuring 52 minutes in a 1–1 home draw against SC Freiburg.
In June 2003, Rau's solid performances caught the attention of powerhouse FC Bayern Munich. However, several serious injuries and stiff competition from Frenchmen Willy Sagnol and Bixente Lizarazu restricted his chances to 19 games across all competitions (with a further seven for the reserve team).
In the summer of 2005, Rau signed with Arminia Bielefeld, where he would also be a backup and suffer severely with injuries – only an average of eight league matches in four years – being released on 30 June 2009 before announcing his retirement on 6 July.
Rau returned to active in 2012, joining Kreisliga amateurs TV Neuenkirchen.
Rau played seven times for Germany, all in 2003. His debut came on 12 February in a friendly with Spain played in Palma, Majorca, and his only goal contributed to a 4–1 home defeat of Canada on 1 June.
In July 2009, shortly after retiring, Rau announced his return to school to start a career as a teacher despite having offers from clubs abroad and from the 2. Bundesliga.