Johannes Bitter returns to HSV Hamburg for the next season. On Monday, the second division handball team announced the transfer coup and officially presented the national goalkeeper. For the 38-year-old, returning to the Elbe is an affair of the heart.
“I’m really happy to be back here. Everyone knows how attached I am to Hamburg,” said Bitter, who is currently under contract with Bundesliga club TBV Stuttgart. The veteran signed a league-independent contract with the Hanseatic League until 2026. “As a player”, as managing director Sebastian Frecke emphasized with a laugh. Nevertheless, Bitter, who will be 43 years old at the end of the contract, will also take on internal tasks within the association for the next five years. “‘Jogi’ has so much experience that he can also help us there,” says Frecke.
“This handball location needs to be in the spotlight again.”
Bitter will probably make his HSV comeback in the Bundesliga. The Hanseatic League currently lead the second division and have good prospects of making the leap to the House of Lords. “This is a team that works extremely well,” said Bitter. However, he made it clear that the First League was not an obligation when he accepted. “Something new is emerging here, something good,” said the top goalkeeper. “Personally, it doesn’t really matter to me whether someone knocks on the gate again in a year, three or five years.”
Bitter wants to be part of the Hamburg handball spirit of optimism and should lead the young, inexperienced team. “I see that as a great challenge that I enjoy.”
After HSV bankruptcy to Stuttgart
The 38-year-old had already played in the Hanseatic city from 2007 to 2016. After the insolvency of the old HSV Hamburg, the 2007 world champion joined the Stuttgart team, for whom he had been active in the Bundesliga for the past five years.
FC Barcelona offer rejected
The return campaign is a coup for HSV, as Bitter also had an offer from the Spanish top club FC Barcelona on the table.
The goalkeeper could have earned a lot more there than at his ex-club. However, the private circumstances also spoke in favor of returning to the Elbe. Bitter’s family still lives in Hamburg and his dietary supplement company is based in Tangstedt.
Schwalb also returns
In terms of sport, the veteran also meets old companions at HSV Hamburg. With the current HSV trainer Torsten Jansen, Bitter not only won World Cup gold together.
The two triumphed with Hamburg in 2010 in the DHB Cup, won the German championship in 2011 and the Champions League in 2013.
The coach was Martin Schwalb, who is currently in charge of the Bundesliga team Rhein-Neckar Löwen.
The HSVH Vice President will give up his coaching job in Mannheim after the season and will return to the Hanseatic team as head of sports from the summer.
The Hamburger lead the second league sovereign. Martin Schwalb returns as head of sports (02/10/21) more
Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-268-7116