A Bayer 04 Leverkusen stalwart for the past seven seasons, Simon Rolfes is a defensive midfielder who also attacks with relish. A runner-up at UEFA EURO 2008, where he played two matches for Germany, he missed the 2010 FIFA World Cup through injury but has re-entered coach Joachim Löw's plans with some strong displays in 2011/12.
• Joined SV Werder Bremen in his late teens but could not break out of the amateur ranks, despite a spell at second division SSV Reutlingen 05.
• A bystander in Bremen's league and cup double triumph of 2003/04, he left for TSV Alemannia Aachen, where he enjoyed an impressive season in the second tier and the UEFA Cup, leading to recruitment by Leverkusen.
• Became a pivotal member of Rhinelanders' first XI from day one and scored his first Bundesliga goal in a local derby versus 1. FC Köln on 21 September 2005.
• Missed only three Bundesliga games in his first four seasons at Leverkusen and also helped the club reach the UEFA Cup quarter-finals two years running.
• Won his first cap for Germany against Denmark in March 2007 and went to UEFA EURO 2008, where he made his first two starts since that debut, in the quarter-final versus Portugal and the last four against Turkey.
• Career progress was halted by a serious knee injury in 2009/10, forcing him to miss the 2010 World Cup, but he was back to his best in the autumn of 2011, enjoying a successful debut UEFA Champions League campaign for Leverkusen and winning a recall to the national side for a succession of friendlies, including a 3-3 draw against Ukraine in which he scored.
UEFA European Championship: runner-up 2008
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