Bundesliga News

Köln defender Czichos heads to USA "in pursuit of a dream"

By Peter Weis   @PeterVicey

FC Köln confirmed the departure of veteran central defender Rafael Czichos on Sunday evening. 

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
Rafael Czichos, FC Köln Photo: Sandro Halank, Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA 3.0
Not exactly in line with the wishes of his current Bundesliga club, Rafael Czichos will be headed stateside for the next phase in his career. Köln confirmed his sale to the Chicago Fire of America's MLS on Sunday evening.

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."

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