Experienced keeper Tom Starke is to join Bayern from Hoffenheim. The 31-year-old agreed terms with Germany's biggest club on Wednesday 16 May 2012 and has signed a three-year contract, keeping him in Munich until 30 June 2015.
“We're delighted Tom Starke will be joining us for the new season," commented FCB director of sport Christian Nerlinger, “he's an experienced Bundesliga professional who is calmness personified, and who perfectly fills the gap left by Jörg Butt’s retirement. We're looking forward to Tom being here."
“I'm looking forward to the huge challenge at Bayern," commented the 1.94 m (6 ft 4 in) goalkeeper, “I think it's fantastic to be competing for trophies one more time in my career, and especially to be part of the Champions League action."
Following the contract signing formalities, fcbayern.de spoke to Tom for the first time.
fcbayern.de: Tom, welcome to Bayern. What are your first impressions?
Tom Starke: First of all, thanks for the warm welcome, which I've had from everyone here today. I felt very much at home straightaway, and I'm really impressed with what I've found here. We had an extremely good training facility in Hoffenheim, but what I'm seeing here is another level again.
How did you feel when the call came in from Christian Nerlinger?
This is the best club in Germany and one of the three best in the world. It's a great honour to be called by one of those clubs. I'm very proud, and I feel it's confirmation of my good performances in recent years.
What tipped the scales in Bayern's favour?
My time in Hoffenheim came to a very abrupt end, so I first had to seriously ask myself if I was prepared to accept second-choice status. But after talking to Christian Nerlinger, the matter was settled for me personally. I was determined to come here, and I'm pleased it's worked out.
How do you see your role in the coming season?
Football is a team sport, and I'm a part of the team. I'll place myself completely at the team's disposal, which is very important, even as goalkeeper number two. I believe we can achieve a lot next season, and I'm looking forward to it.
Which of the current players do you already know?
I spoke to Jörg Butt for a long time. I know him from our time together in Leverkusen [2001–2006]. And David Alaba, who was in the team with me at Hoffenheim, spoke about Bayern in glowing terms.
You're not part of Saturday's Champions League final, but will you still be rooting for the team?
My son and I spent a long time trying to get tickets – and now it's worked out, I'll be at the stadium, and obviously I'll be watching the match with completely different emotions and desires. I'm crossing my fingers for Bayern, and I hope we'll send out a clear signal.