Timo Hildebrand: A life at the limit – and beyond

07. June 2021 – Katharina Schlangenotto

Timo Hildebrand wants to talk. The former professional soccer player wants to talk openly about how life as a top athlete is not always a bed of roses. The book “Am Limit – Wie Sportstars Krisen meistern” (At the Limit – How Sports Stars Master Crises) has just been published. In it, Olympic champions, world champions and Champions League winners talk in exclusive interviews about their passion for sports on the one hand, but also about the darker side of being at the top. They report on performance pressure, burnout, pain, anorexia, depression, fears – nothing is alien to them. The famous ex-goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand is one of them. The book has received a lot of positive feedback. Parts of some interviews, including Timo Hildebrand’s, are available online.

Timo Hildebrand – Of victories and defeats

In his talks, 42-year-old Timo Hildebrand shares insights about victories and defeats and the fine line between superhero and loser. He talks openly about how it feels to be at the top and the bottom, how he has experienced victories, defeats, championships, relegation and getting back up again.

“The steep climb does a lot to a young person,” says Timo Hildebrand. “When you earn 20 million, that does something to you. So, of course, you’re already swimming in such a maelstrom: The world belongs to me! You probably only learn humility after your professional career, where else do I belong?”

Childhood on the football field

In the touching interview, he also talks openly about his own childhood, in which soccer, at that time the “ball field,” became a refuge for him. “My father was an alcoholic, there was a lot of quarreling in the family,” he says. “I think I found my replacement in soccer. It became my home.” At 16, he moved to VfB Stuttgart’s soccer boarding school and bit his way through until he made it to the pros. At 20, he played his first Bundesliga game.

When you watch and listen to Timo Hildebrand, the famous man touches something in you. Although classified as arrogant by some at the time, he now reveals himself to be a vulnerable and, in a way, wise man. Perhaps this is more the real Timo Hildebrand that he always was.

Noja and his magic goalkeeper gloves

The native Hesse (Germany) lives with his family in Stuttgart. He has published a story that he used to often tell his son Neo. It’s called “Noja and his magic goalkeeper gloves”, a sweet book, beautifully illustrated. The story is about six-year-old Noja, who would actually rather be a striker than a goalkeeper. Until his father gives him a pair of magic goalkeeper gloves for his birthday. “A book for all little soccer heroes who want to be really big one day. The most important thing is that you always believe in yourself,” Timo Hildebrand writes in the book’s foreword.

Timo Hildebrand is worth listening to. He touches and straightens out the partly crazy world. For this, he deserves a lot of respect and recognition.

Timo Hildebrand

Footballexpert, Investor & Entrepreneur