Under pressure from long-time Bundesliga teammate at Bayern Munich, Germany World Cup midfielder BASTIAN SCHWEINSTEIGER, 1.FC Koeln’s new first choice goalkeeper MICHAEL RENSING secures a high ball during the Billy Goats 3-2 victory over the Bavarians at the RheinEnergieStadion in Cologne this past weekend. (Martin Meissner/AP)
Former Germany U-21 international goalkeeper MICHAEL RENSING spent five years with Bayern Munich’s first team training to replace since-retired Germany World Cup shot-stopper OLIVER KAHN as first choice between the sticks for the Bavarians but something happened to the 26-year-old on the way to football greatness.
After just one season as the starter for Bayern Munich, Rensing was quickly removed by in-coming Dutch trainer LOUIS VAN GAAL in favor of HANS-JOERG BUTT very early into the 2009-10 campaign. And so, the native of Lower Saxony found himself right back where he started — on the bench. Worse still, by the end of last term, the stock of young THOMAS KRAFT had risen so much that Rensing was given his release by the Bavarian club this past summer.
The out-of-contract goalkeeper subsequently attracted the attention of a few 2.Bundesliga sides but decided to hold out for first division football. No such offers were forth coming for the player capped 18 times for Germany at the U-21 level . So, in November, Rensing traveled to England for trials with Leicester City of the Football League Championship (old second division) and impressed sufficiently.
But the wages with the formal contract offer were not to the German’s satisfaction and so the Bayern Munich man remained on the unemployment line.
Meanwhile, the goalkeeping for Bundesliga low-riders 1.FC Koeln had left much to be desired in the first half of the domestic season. Colombia international FARYD MONDRAGON fashioned one of the worst save percentages (62.96%) among all first choice shot-stoppers in the German top flight. 22-year-old Croatian MIRO VARVODIC was even less reliable and conceded more goals (13) than shots saved (10) over the course of his five starts for 1.FC Koeln in the Herbstmeisterschaft of the Bundesliga.
Rensing was signed by die Geissboecke (Billy Goats) on December 21, three days after the final Bundesliga match prior to the Winterpause, a 3-0 loss at Schalke 04 Gelsenkirchen, and one day prior to 1.FC Koeln’s 2-1 loss to 2.Bundesliga club MSV Duisburg in the DFB Pokal.
Overall, one-time Germany U-21 international goalkeeper MICHAEL RENSING made 53 appearances for Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga and played 80 games for the Bavarian side in all competitions over the course of seven seasons before his release this past summer. (Associated Press)
Ten days after the signing of the former Bayern Munich first choice, Mondragon had his contract terminated by 1.FC Koeln. The 39-year-old Colombian veteran had made 106 first-team appearances for die Geissboecke after arriving from SK Galatasaray Istanbul in the summer of 2007. In short order, Mondragon crossed the Atlantic Ocean to sign on with Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer.
Rensing, meanwhile, has been Nummer Eins with 1.FC Koeln ever since and has recorded two wins and a draw in his first four games of this Bundesliga season for trainer FRANK SCHAEFER’s side since the conclusion of the Winterpause.