Borussia Moenchengladbach Sign Martin Stranzl From Spartak Moscow


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Wearing the captain’s armband, Austria international MARTIN STRANZL of Spartak Moscow blasts a shot past the outstretched boot of Olympique Marseille’s France international midfielder MATHIEU VALBUENA (28) at the Grand Sports Arena of the Luzhniki Olympic Complex in the capital city of Russia. (Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images)
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Bottom club BORUSSIA MONECHENGLADBACH, by a wide margin the team with the worst defensive record in the Bundesliga, have announced the signing of Austria international MARTIN STRANZL from Russian side Spartak Moscow.

The 30-year-old defender, who has won 56 caps and scored three goals for Austria in his career, was purchased by Borussia Monechengladbach — who have given up an average of almost three goals per game — for a transfer fee thought by reports in the German media to be 800,000 Euros.

The creaky defense of die Fohlen conceded a whopping 47 goals in the 17 matches comprising the first half of this Bundesliga season — this eye-catching total was a full twelve goals more than the two teams with the second worst defensive record in the German top flight, both Werder Bremen and Vfb Stuttgart.

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France international striker LOIC REMY (11), who was purchased by Olympique Marseille from OGC Nice for 15.5 million Euros this past summer, is sent flying by the tackle of Austria international defender MARTIN STRANZL (3) of Russian side Spartak Moscow at the Grand Sports Arena of the Luzhniki Olympic Complex. (Grigory Dukor/Reuters)
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For Stranzl, who has never played professionally in his home country of Austria, the transaction represents a return to his footballing roots.

Stranzl made his pro debut as an 18-year-old with TSV 1860 Munich and played three Bundesliga games during the 1998-99 season; after six seasons with the Bavarian club, the Austria international transferred to Vfb Stuttgart to start the 2004-05 campaign.

With 140 games and five goals in the Bundesliga under his belt, Stranzl was sold by the Swabians to Spartak Moscow for 3.0 million Euros in March of 2006.

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With Argentina World Cup defender GABRIELE HEINZ (19) of French club Olympique Marseille watching, Austria international defender MARTIN STRANZL (3) of Spartak Moscow is mugged by Olympique Marseille goalkeeper STEVE MANDANDA (30) during the UEFA Champions League match in late November at the Grand Sports Arena of the Luzhniki Olympic Complex in the capital city of Russia. (Ivan Sekretarev/AP)

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