Christian Fuchs (German pronunciation: ; born 7 April 1986) is an Austrian professional footballer who plays as a left back for English club Leicester City.
He began his senior career as a teenager at 1. Wiener Neustädter SC before signing his first professional contract at 17 with SV Mattersburg, challenging for the Austrian Football Bundesliga title and taking part in European competitions. In 2008, he left for Germany, signing for VfL Bochum. After a season on loan at 1. FSV Mainz 05, he signed for FC Schalke 04 in 2011, where he contested the UEFA Champions League but suffered a serious knee injury. In 2015, he signed for Leicester, winning the Premier League in his first season at the club.
A full international for a decade starting from his debut in 2006, Fuchs earned 78 caps for Austria, making him their eighth-most capped player of all time. He played for the nation at UEFA Euro 2008 and UEFA Euro 2016, captaining them for the first time in 2010 and on a permanent basis from 2012.
Born in Neunkirchen, Lower Austria, and his father was an amateur goalkeeper. He began as a forward at local team SVg Pitten before moving to 1. Wiener Neustädter SC at the age of 11. At the age of 15, while still an amateur and at mainstream school, Fuchs played for their senior team. When he was 17, he signed his first professional deal at SV Mattersburg, a team who despite coming from a town of 6,000 drew league record average crowds of 17,000, came third in the Austrian Football Bundesliga and played in European competition.
Prior to UEFA Euro 2008, he joined the German side VfL Bochum. He later described it as a useful move to play regularly while attracting attention from bigger teams. In 2010, he was signed on loan by 1. FSV Mainz 05, a newly promoted team who ended the season in the top five.
On 3 June 2015, Leicester City announced the signing of Schalke 04's Christian Fuchs on a free transfer, signing a three-year deal with the Foxes effective from 1 July. In his first season, Leicester finished as champions on odds of 5,000–1, making Fuchs the first Austrian to receive a Premier League winners' medal since Arsenal's Alex Manninger in 1998.
Prior to signing for Leicester, Fuchs had an offer to play in the United States, where his family live, but he turned it down for financial reasons. He said in March 2016 "My intention is to play in the US. I have come for three years. I decided that I would sign one last contract in Europe, when I left Schalke, then go to the US."
Fuchs made his debut for Austria on 23 May 2006 in a friendly match against Croatia, replacing Stefan Lexa for the final six minutes of the 1–4 loss at the Ernst-Happel-Stadion in Vienna.
He was part of Austria's squad as they co-hosted UEFA Euro 2008 alongside neighbours Switzerland. He made only one appearance in the group stage elimination, playing the entirety of the 1–0 loss to Germany in their last match of the tournament.
On 11 August 2010, in the absence of regular skipper Marc Janko, Fuchs captained his nation for the first time in a 0–1 friendly loss to the Swiss in Klagenfurt. That 17 November, he scored his first international goal, equalising in a 1–2 home friendly loss to Greece.
Fuchs received the armband on a permanent basis at the behest of manager Marcel Koller on 13 August 2012. He played all 10 games as they qualified for UEFA Euro 2016, the first time they did so, and featured in every minute of the group stage elimination in France. Afterwards, he retired from international play with a total of 78 caps, declaring "I am very proud of the 10 years that I have spent with the national team. I did everything with passion and, as I said, I am very, very proud."
| || || |