After a long career in German football, the 31-year-old has been sold to the Chicago Fire of the MLS.
|Rafael Czichos, FC Köln||Photo: Sandro Halank, Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA 3.0|
The 31-year-old departs 1. FC Köln following a 13-year-career exclusively spent in German football. Czichos made over 320 appearances in German professional divisions, including 111 for his current club. He started all but one of Köln's league matches this season.
"We lose a very important person and a top performer," head-coach Steffen Baumgart remarked on a statement issued on the club's website, "You don't like to let a person like that go. I nevertheless respectfully accept Rafa's decision to embark upon this path. It's a courageous move and I wish him nothing but the best for his future in Chicago."
"I decided together with my family to fulfill a dream and move to the U.S. for the next three years," Czichos said in his own statement, "Leaving Köln is not easy for me after three and a half emotional and successful years. I'm very proud and thankful for this time. The promotion in 2019 was something very special to me."
Rafael Czichos wechselt mit sofortiger Wirkung in die MLS und schließt sich @ChicagoFire an.— 1. FC Köln (@fckoeln) January 2, 2022
Lieber Rafa, vielen Dank für 111-mal Herzblut für den #effzeh, den Aufstieg in die Bundesliga und deinen wichtigen Treffer in Kiel! 🙏
Alles Gute in der MLS, mach et jot! 🔴⚪ pic.twitter.com/LduN2Bzp9v
Another piece to the puzzle.— Chicago Fire FC (@ChicagoFire) January 2, 2022
Welcome to Chicago, Rafa! #cf97