Sebastian Prödl Biography
Sebastian Prödl was born on 21 June 1987, he is an Austrian professional footballer who plays as a defender for Premier League club Watford and the Austrian national team. A full international since 2007, he represented his nation at Euro 2008. Having started his career at Sturm Graz in 2006 he moved to Germany two years later where he played for Werder Bremen until 2015.
Sebastian Prödl Club career at Sturm Graz
Aged 19, Prödl began his professional career playing for Sturm Graz in the Austrian Bundesliga making his debut on 9 December 2006 in a 3–0 loss against SV Mattersburg. He scored his first Sturm Graz goal against Rheindorf Altach on 9 May 2007 in a 1–0 win. Prödl went on to make sixteen appearances and scoring once in his first season.
Prödl soon established himself in the first team at Sturm Graz and despite the international commitment and injury, He went on to score three goals in 27 appearances against SV Mattersburg, Red Bull Salzburg and Austria Kärnten. His performances soon attracted attention from Serie A and Bundesliga clubs. In response to the transfer speculation Sturm Graz placed a price tag of €5 million on him.
Sebastian Prödl Current Teams
- Watford F.C.
#5 / Defender
- Austria national football team
#15 / Defender
Sebastian Prödl Watford FC
On 1 June 2015, Prödl signed for Watford on a five-year contract after his contract at Werder Bremen had ended. He became Watford’s first signing on their return to the Premier League. Upon joining the club, he was given number five shirt ahead of a new season.
Prödl made his Watford debut in the opening game of the season, making his first start in a 2–2 draw against Everton. He remained as a first team regular at the start of the season until he was dropped to the bench in late October ahead of a match against Stoke City, and soon suffered a calf injury during international duty with Austria.
As the 2015–16 season progressed towards the end, Prödl would be often be in and out of both in the starting eleven and substitute bench. He scored his first goal for Watford in a 3–1 defeat to West Ham United on 20 April 2016. On the last game of the season, he scored his second goal of the season, in a 2–2 draw against Sunderland.
Despite being linked with a move to Serie A side Udinese, Prödl remained at the club and regained his first team place under the management of Walter Mazzarri. In a 3–1 win over Manchester United on 18 September 2016, he was praised for his performance and was named Man of the Match. In May 2017, he was named Watford’s player of the season.
Colney Chat with Sebastian Prödl
Sebastian Prödl regularly made unprompted visits to hospitals in Austria and Germany around the festive period to spread a bit of cheer, so he did not need to be asked twice when a member of Watford’s staff wondered if he would mind making a special visit to a sick Hornets fan in Great Ormond Street hospital around Christmas 2016.
“I benefited a lot in my career, I am healthy and a lot of people struggle so I thought it was a good idea to go and help,” said Prödl.
Little did he know what a profound effect the extraordinary brave young man he was about to meet would have on him.
The cheery child lying in bed was Ossie Robinson. He had been diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare childhood cancer of the nervous system.
“He was an inspiring lad, a good lad,” said Prödl. “I remember the first meeting he played jokes on me, which was very funny. He was so positive for someone so sick. The family were very inspiring and big role models in terms of being a parent. It was incredible to see.”
Prödl didn’t just leave things there. He couldn’t. It is not in his nature. He regularly visited Ossie in hospital, invited him and his family to watch a game at Vicarage Road in a box, spent time with them at the training ground and always asked for updates on his deteriorating condition.
“When he got really bad the parents called me and asked me if I would like to see him again,” said Prödl. “I went there and he was critical. I think I just helped him get a little bit more hope.”
Tragically, Ossie died on May 4. He was just 11.
“The club told me and it was hard, a sad time,” Prödl said. “It was hard for me as when you become friends it becomes even harder. It was a sad, sad moment when I heard the news.”
Prödl would have attended the funeral but Watford were travelling to an away game in Leicester.
“I wanted to go but I couldn’t,” he said. “I met his dad again at the stadium and told him Ossie is still a big part of the Watford family. The love he had for this club was amazing. He will be present all the time as long as I am here. He is omnipresent. I will always think of him.”
It was fitting that at the end of that season, Ossie should be posthumously named Supporter of the Season and Prödl crowned Graham Taylor OBE Player of the Season. There is a lovely poignant picture on Prödl’s Instagram account of him and Ossie’s parents with the awards.
“Thank you for all the support you have given to us and Ossie,” wrote Ossie’s godmother underneath. “I cannot thank you enough for the smiles you put on his face.”
Prödl is uncomfortable with any praise. “I did it for these people. I didn’t do it for myself. The focus should always be on Ossie — not me.”
The focus was definitely on Prödl at Wembley in May when he won the Player of the Season gong. He was proud as punch. Even John Barnes and Luther Blissett didn’t manage to win that one.
“I’m now more aware of what an outstanding and incredible award it was for me, more than when I received it,” said Prodl.
“I went straight to the national team and had to focus on different things. Now people come and say ‘Ah, you won the Player of the Season award’. People don’t forget. I honour it very much.
“The trophy is in my office. I don’t see it every day but now and then I see it and it reminds me. It means a lot to me because it proved I took the right decision to join Watford, it proves I am capable of being an important player in the Premier League.”
Prödl deserves an enormous amount of credit for joining Watford when he did in the summer of 2015. While other targets wanted to wait and see who was joining first and who the Head Coach was going to be, Prödl took a huge leap of faith and was the first through the door. Being a free agent and an international defender, he wasn’t short of offers but he chose Watford.
“I had a good feeling with the club,” he said. “I had a good meeting with Gino and I asked him to show me everything, the facilities, the club, the stadium. I slept on it but when I left the tour I had the feeling this was going to be my future. It was a big decision for me but my gut said it was the right decision and two-and-a-half years later, I still think it was a good decision.”
And he says that even though he could have joined Leicester and been part of the most unlikely title triumph in the history of English football. How soon did Prödl know he had made the right call?
“After the first game when we went to Everton,” he said. “We played a very good game, we drew against a very good side and I was able to show my qualities. That was the proof I took the right decision.”
Prödl took a while to find a landlord who would accommodate his cocker spaniel, but he eventually settled in Hampstead and formed a close bond with fellow NW3 residents Adlene Guedioura, Almen Abdi and Joel Ekstrand.
“We had dinner and it was convenient to go out for coffee because everyone lived close,” said Prödl. “We had walks and strolls around London. It was fun. Unfortunately these guys left but we keep texting each other and they became friends.”
Prödl’s decision to put down roots in London satisfied his long-held desire to live in a big city. He likes to explore and often spends his free time at exhibitions, art galleries and museums.
“It’s important that if I earn money in this country that you respect it, you learn the language, how people live, how they act and experience their culture,” he said. “It helps you form a good personality for life after football.”
He was also at the Anthony Joshua-Vladimir Klitschko fight, attended an NFL game at Twickenham and was court-side at the ATP World Tour Finals in 2016.
“I like sport events because I like to see other sportsmen, how they act and how they react, how they motivate themselves,” he said. “I’m fascinated to see how they get out of bad situations. I like Roger Federer. He plays so elegant and beats his opponent with pure class, pure style.”
There is a depth to Prödl you don’t find in many footballers. You only have to look at his Instagram account to see how well-travelled he is.
“I prefer places where there is culture,” he said. “I don’t see myself lying in Dubai on the beach in that new rich environment. I’d rather go to some places where you can experience some culture. I like Mexico, Italy, Spain, a couple of Greek Islands, Austria, the south of France. I like different cultures, different religions. It’s good to listen to their approach to religion, to life and be interested.”
He visited Ground Zero last summer. “Everyone knows exactly where they were when that happened,” he said. “It was my first day at Sturm Graz. They called me and asked me at 14 if I would join the Academy. I said yes and on the first training day this happened.”
Most of Prödl’s childhood was spent kicking a football around with his football-mad family. His elder brother Matthias played as a centre-forward in Austria’s lower leagues, his cousin Jakob Kicker is a goalkeeper and another, Viktoria Schnaderbeck, is the captain of the Austria team and a midfielder for Bayern Munich.
“Somehow we all managed to get into the football business,” said Prödl. “We always used to play in the garden at family events and birthdays. Maybe they showed me things to help me become a professional.”
Mattias retired at the end of the 2015/16 season and moved into the family business of manufacturing and designing high-spec kitchens.
“He choose his career over aiming for more in football,” Prödl said. “He’s not ready to take over yet but he’s in process of taking over. He’ll be successful. I am proud of the family business.
“My grandfather built it, my father managed to make it bigger and now it’s down to the next generation to do something the family can be proud of. I could see myself in the future being part of it. I’m good at managing so I think I could manage some parts of the company. I think I come after my dad in that respect.”
Family means a big deal for Prödl and he’s clearly very good around children. He took advantage of a free weekend last week to visit his goddaugther in Austria.
“My niece is absolutely lovely,” said Prödl. “I’m just happy she knows me and she likes me. I don’t have so much time to spend with her – only now and then I have chance to go home. But I FaceTime a lot. She knows my face, she recognises me. I’m a very proud uncle.”
You would reckon the Prödl family are pretty proud of the human being and footballer Prödl has become, too.
Sebastian Prödl Fifa 2018
His overall rating in FIFA 18 is 76 with a potential of 76. Prödl has got a 2-star skillmoves rating. He prefers to shoot with his right foot.
His workrates are Medium / Medium. Prödl’s height is 196 cm and his weight is estimated at 97 kg according to our database. Currently, Sebastian Prödl is playing with number 5. His best stats are: strength 88, aggression 85, heading 82, stand tackle 79, marking 75.
Sebastian Prödl Instagram
Sebastian Prödl Werder Bremen
On 15 July 2008, Prödl moved to Germany to play for Werder Bremen for a transfer fee of €2.5 million, signing a contract until 2012. Upon joining Werder Bremen, he said his aim at the club was to win trophies.
Prödl made his Werder Bremen debut in the first round of the DFB-Pokal in a 9–3 win over Eintracht Nordhorn on 9 August 2008. A week later, he made his league debut for the club, in a 2–2 draw against Arminia Bielefeld. He made his Champions League debut, playing as a right-back, in a 1–1 draw against Inter Milan on 1 October 2008.
By the first half of the season, he had appeared in 13 of 17 league matches, also playing in the unfamiliar right-back role in absence of Clemens Fritz. In the last match of the first half of the season he injured his ankle which saw him out for two months.
On 7 March 2009, after making the bench in three matches, Prödl returned to the first team in a 0–0 draw against Hoffenheim. He scored his first Werder Bremen goal in the second leg of the last 16 of the UEFA Cup in a 2–2 draw against Saint-Étienne, from which the club progressed winning 3–2 on aggregate.
Upon his return he reverted to centre-back going on to make a total of 22 appearances in his first season. Prödl formed a partnership with Naldo in central defence when they beat Bayer Leverkusen 1–0 in the DFB-Pokal Final. He also featured in the UEFA Cup final, playing the full 120 minutes in a 3–2 loss against Shakhtar Donetsk.
In the opening game of the 2009–10 season, Prödl played as a centre-back in a 3–2 loss against Eintracht Frankfurt and was sent-off in the last minutes after a second bookable offence. Soon after, he suffered a knee injury.
After three months on the sidelines, he appeared on the substitution bench and made his return to the first team coming on for Naldo in the 76th minutes of a 6–0 win over Freiburg on 21 November 2009. He scored his first Werder Bremen league goal on 27 February 2010, in a 2–1 win over Mainz 05. Prödl spent most of the season on the substitution bench making nine appearances for the club.
In the 2010–11 season, Prödl became a regular starter following Naldo’s injury at the start of the season and formed a partnership in central defence with Per Mertesacker. He scored his first European goal on matchday 6 of the Champions League group stage in a 3–0 win over Inter Milan on 7 December 2010.
He scored his first league goal of the season on 27 February 2011 in a 2–2 draw against Bayer Leverkusen. Having suffered a knee injury and undergone surgery it was announced in March 2011 that Prödl would miss the remainder of the 2010–11 season. He ended season with 25 appearances.
At the start of the 2011–12 season, Prödl remained a regular starter. He scored his first goal of the season in a 3–1 win over Mainz on 29 October 2011. On 21 January 2012, during a match against Kaiserslautern, he was substituted off with an injury in the 29th minute. After a successful surgery, it was announced that he would be out for six weeks. Prödl made his return against Hannover 96 on 11 March 2012 scoring in a 3–0 win.
However, his return was short-lived as he suffered a hamstring injury which kept him out for two weeks. He made his return to the first team on 28 April 2012, in a 3–1 loss against Wolfsburg. Having made 16 appearances in the 2011–12 season, it was announced that Prödl had signed a new three-year contract with the club, which would keep him at the club until summer 2015.
After playing two matches of the 2012–13 season, Prödl suffered injuries first to his thigh and then his head. Upon his return, he scored his first goal of the season in a 4–1 win over Hoffenheim on 2 December 2012. On 23 February 2013, he was sent-off in the 44th minute of a match against Bayern Munich for a foul on Mario Gómez; Werder Bremen went on to lose 6–1. He was given a two-match ban for the red card. In a match against Fortuna Düsseldorf on 13 April 2013 he was appointed captain and played the full 90 minutes of a 2–2 draw. Prödl finished the 2012–13 season with 28 caps.
In the 2013–14 season, Prödl scored in the club’s first match without Thomas Schaaf, which Werder Bremen lost 3–1 to Saarbrücken in the first round of DFB Pokal. In the opening game of the season against Eintracht Braunschweig, he provided the assist for compatriot Zlatko Junuzović to score the only goal in the game. He then suffered a muscle injury which kept him out for two weeks. By 21 November 2013, his recovery was delayed by three weeks.
After making his return, Prödl captained four matches between 1 February 2014 and 1 March 2014. He scored two goals in two matches against Wolfsburg and Hannover 96. In March 2014, he stated he would let his contract run out in 2015 if his contract would not be renewed in the summer. At the end of the season, Prödl had made 27 appearances helping the club avoid relegation and finish in 14th place.
After missing two games at the start of the 2014–15 season due to a hamstring injury, Prödl scored his first goal of the season on 12 September 2014, in a 3–3 draw against Bayer Leverkusen. He then missed one match, due to injury, first suffering the flu, then a hip problem. His hip injury came after scoring his second goal of the season, in a 2–0 win over Stuttgart on 8 November 2014.
In a 5–2 defeat to Frankfurt, Prödl was substituted off in the first half and it was announced after the match that he would be out for six to eight weeks. He scored on his return on 21 February 2015, in a 1–1 draw against Schalke 04. During the season, he captained his team on five different occasions and made 22 league appearances, scoring three goals.
On 12 May 2015, it was announced that Prödl would leave Bremen at the end of the 2014–15 season, as his contract had come to an end. The club previously offered him a new contract at the start of the season. During his time at Bremen he scored 10 goals, playing predominately in the central defence role.
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Sebastian Prodl: Watford defender discusses connection with Vicarage Road club
Loyalty is a quality which many a modern footballer has become distanced from as the pull of pastures new regularly prove too alluring to ignore. Add to the equation the frequency with which club’s part company with players in search of improvements, and a nomadic existence is often the norm in the professional game.
For Sebastian Prodl, however, loyalty could not be held in higher regard as he prepares to enter his fourth season with Watford. The defender’s stance is backed up by a career which saw him spend seven years at Werder Bremen before arriving at Vicarage Road in 2015.
He has grown in stature since that move – winning the Hornets’ Player of the Year award in 2017 – and believes he has a connection with the club. “I have lived my football life always trying to be loyal to people and clubs. I was long-term with my team in Germany,” Prodl said.
“I am now three years with Watford, which is not as common in football these days and I think I have been loyal to the club. “I am able to identify with the club, the philosophy and the supporters and I think the supporters know about me as well – how I feel and how I handle myself.
“I think I am becoming one of the established players, not only because of my age but also because of the experience I have collected.” Prodl may be settled at Watford, but that hasn’t prevented interest from elsewhere arriving, despite a relatively disjointed 2017/18 season for the 30-year-old.
Scouts from West Ham, Crystal Palace and even Arsenal were in attendance as Prodl and his Austrian team mates ended a 32-year wait to beat Germany on Saturday. All three club’s are thought to have kept an eye on Prodl, who says he has little intention of leaving Watford even if he can’t say exactly what the future will hold.
“I didn’t even know when the transfer window opened and I have three years left on my contract at Watford,” Prodl said. “I heard about clubs watching me but at the moment I am not focused on that. I will try to finish well with my country then reflect on my season.
“After that I will make a plan for the future and at the moment I have no intention to change anything. My mood at the club is pretty good.” While Prodl retains a positive outlook on his relationship with Watford, it is fair to say he struggled at points last season.
Injury limited him to 23 appearances in all competitions and he was in and out of the team under Javi Gracia. The Spanish head coach took over with a club in crisis in the wake of Marco Silva’s tumultuous tenure. He managed to steady the ship and Prodl feels leading Watford to within touching distance of the Premier League top 10 represented a successful start to life at Vicarage Road.
Gracia’s reward is the opportunity to carry his work into next season – a decision which pleased Prodl. “We had a big chance last season to get the top 10 and missed it. The fact the club is able to believe and dream of reaching the top 10 shows how much the club has grown,” he said.
“Everyone is looking forward to having the same manager and having some ideas from the manager already before pre-season starts. “That is a positive thing and he came into the Premier League and had to perform straight away, which made it difficult.
“To give him a pre-season can help and is good for the players.”
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