Real Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur, FC Barcelona, Atlético Madrid – Stephan Lichtsteiner has already played against the biggest teams in Europe. Lichtsteiner was a first team regular at Juventus and made 259 appearances for the Old Lady. Now the right-back will get his first taste of the Bundesliga with Augsburg.
Stephan Lichtsteiner is already the tenth new addition to Augsburg’s squad this summer. The 35-year-old arrived at FCA on a free transfer and hopes to offer the team support in defence. FC Augsburg is Lichtsteiner’s first Bundesliga club, though his career includes stints at top clubs in France, Italy and England.
However, his illustrious football career began in his home country of Switzerland. Stephan Lichtsteiner grew up at FC Adligenswil before joining the youth team at FC Luzern. The now 35-year-old made the step up to professional football in 2001 with Grasshopper Club Zürich, where he made 89 appearances. Lichtsteiner celebrated a special milestone in 2003, when the then 19-year-old played his first match in the Champions League qualifying rounds against AEK Athens. Although victory against Athens eluded Zürich, it would not be Lichtsteiner’s last experience of Europe’s elite competition.
Transfer to Lille
Lichtsteiner left his Swiss home at 21 and made his way to France. He made 113 appearances for Ligue 1 club OSC Lille, scoring seven times and eventually establishing himself as one of Switzerland’s best defenders. He achieved direct Champions League qualification for the first time at Lille and played his first five games in the competition for the Ligue 1 side.
The most important chapter of Lichtsteiner’s career began in 2008 when the right-back moved to Italy’s Serie A. The Switzerland superstar played exactly 100 times for Lazio and attracted the attention of one of the largest clubs in Europe – Juventus. Lichtsteiner won seven league titles and four domestic cups in seven years with the Italian record champions, while also becoming a Champions League regular. He made 31 appearances for Juve in the competition, making it to the final in 2015, which the Serie A side lost 3-1 to Barcelona.
From Arsenal to Augsburg
Lichtsteiner left Italy in 2018 and headed for the Premier League. He signed a year-long contract with Arsenal and made 14 appearances. After his contract in London ended, he decided to come to the Bundesliga, and the Switzerland international (105 appearances, 8 goals) now strengthens the FCA defence. Lichtsteiner is excited about his new challenge with Augsburg: “The Bundesliga is an absolutely top league and, of course, as a Swiss I have always had an eye on Germany. FCA is an experience that I simply couldn’t refuse.”
FC Augsburg was recommended to Stephan Lichtsteiner by two friends – Alexander Manninger and Marwin Hitz. “I have only heard good things about the club from both of them. It was important for me to hear about the club from someone who had been here for a while. Now, I want to get to know my teammates as much as possible, on and off the pitch. I want to be fully integrated into the team by the first home game against 1. FC Union Berlin. After an unfortunate start to the season, that game is incredibly important and, of course, we really want to win!”