Christoph Tobias Metzelder (pronounced [ˈkʁɪstɔf toˈbiːas mɛˈt͡sɛldɐ]; born 5 November 1980) is a German former footballer who played as a central defender.
Most of his professional career, which was spent mostly at Borussia Dortmund, was blighted by injuries. He did manage, however, to collect nearly 50 caps for the German national team, appearing with it at two World Cups and Euro 2008.
Metzelder also played three seasons apiece for Real Madrid and Schalke 04, amassing Bundesliga totals of 178 games and four goals over the course of one full decade.
Metzelder was born in Haltern, North Rhine-Westphalia. In the summer of 2000 he signed with Borussia Dortmund from lowly SC Preußen Münster, and he was an instant success. At the end of his first season in the Bundesliga he won his first cap for Germany, playing the second half of a 5–2 friendly win in Hungary on 15 August 2001.
The second season at Dortmund brought him the 2002 national title and 14 matches with Germany, all the way to the 2002 FIFA World Cup final with the latter. However, he missed the entire 2003–04 campaign due to an Achilles tendon injury, and only took part in 16 league contests in the following season.
After over two years out of the national squad, Metzelder was called by new boss Jürgen Klinsmann for a friendly with China, in October 2005. He also scored his first two league goals, in 1–1 draws against 1. FSV Mainz 05 and Hamburger SV, and would be Germany's undisputed starter at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, partnering with SV Werder Bremen's Per Mertesacker.
On 18 April 2007, after failing to renew his contract at Borussia, Metzelder transferred to Real Madrid at the end of the season on a free transfer. In February 2008, after managing to be injury-free in the first months of his Spanish adventure, he had surgery on the sole of his foot, resulting in him missing nearly two months of action; on 11 May, after having already missed the UEFA Champions League round-of-16 clash against A.S. Roma, he returned and played the full 90 minutes against Real Zaragoza (2–2 away draw).
Despite his lack of playing time, Metzelder featured in all of Germany's matches at UEFA Euro 2008, again partnering Mertesacker. In 2008–09's La Liga, he was the main beneficiary of a 10-match suspension handed to Real's Pepe; after a stellar performance in a 4–2 win at Sevilla FC he also started in the 2–6 home defeat at the hands of FC Barcelona, for a career-best – in Spain – 12 games.
Metzelder left Real Madrid after his contract expired on 30 June 2010.
On 27 April 2010, prior to the end of the campaign, Metzelder announced his return to Germany, agreeing on a three-year contract with FC Schalke 04, with which he had already played youth football 15 years earlier. His first two league games with the club, the first of the 2010–11 season, ended with 1–2 losses, against Hamburger SV and Hannover 96, respectively.
Metzelder appeared in ten complete matches in the season's Champions League, in an eventual semifinal run. He added five in the domestic cup victorious campaign, including the semifinals against FC Bayern Munich (1–0 win) and the final against MSV Duisburg (5–0).
In May 2013, 32-year-old Metzelder announced his retirement from professional football at the end of the season.
Metzelder's younger brother, Malte, was also a footballer (and a centre back), and both played for Borussia Dortmund.
He has one daughter, Emma (born 17 October 2009), with girlfriend Julia Gödicke.
- Borussia Dortmund
- Bundesliga: 2001–02
- DFB-Ligapokal: Runner-up 2003
- UEFA Cup: Runner-up 2001–02
- Real Madrid
- La Liga: 2007–08
- Supercopa de España: 2008
- DFB-Pokal: 2010–11
- DFL-Supercup: 2011: Runner-up 2010
- FIFA World Cup: Runner-up 2002; Third place 2006
- UEFA European Championship: Runner-up 2008
- Bravo Award: 2002