Host Ricky Sacks was joined by John Wenham from Lilywhite Rose and Tottenham Hotspur Paul Stalteri on this week’s Last Word On Spurs.
After being offered a scholarship at Clemson University in South Carolina, Paul left Canada to pursue his soccer career. Paul played one year for the soccer program at Clemson while maintaining a full academic schedule as well. He decided not to return to Clemson for a second year, and opted to stay in Toronto. He signed a three year deal with the Toronto Lynx, and enrolled at York Univeristy.
He played one season with the Toronto Lynx and was seen by a scout from Werder Bremen. He was bought by Werder Bremen from the Toronto Lynx in November 1997. He played with the clubs reserves from 1997 until 2000. In August 2000 Paul made his debut with the Bundesliga team in the first game of the season against Cottbus. Playing against Canadian team mate Kevin McKenna, both were the first Canadians to ever see action in the top German league. Paul went on to score in this game, making him the first ever Canadian to score in the Bundesliga. His success continued on in the Bundesliga when Werder Bremen was crowned Bundesliga Champions and German Cup winners in 2003/2004. He is the only Canadian international to ever win the Bundesliga title. To win the double, both the league title and the cup in that history making season makes that feat all the more impressive. He remained in Bremen for one more season and played his first Champions League game in September 2004 against Inter Milan. At the end of the 2004/2005 season he made the decision to leave the Bundesliga and signed a four year contract with Tottenham Hotspur FC.
Tell most fans it was over 10 years ago and they can’t quite believe it. In fact, even the hero of the night responded by saying ‘wow, really?’ It’s a night Spurs fans, certainly those present will never forget – that night at Upton Park in March 2007. That night where we came from 2-0 down to level at 2-2, only to go behind again five minutes from time. That night where Dimitar Berbatov curled home an exquisite free-kick to level again at 3-3 on 89 minutes. That night where Paul Stalteri – yes, full-back Paul Stalteri – found himself with an open goal to pop home the winner in injury time.
Now coaching Canada’s Under-17s, Paul was more than happy to look back with his over his career and what it was like to play for Spurs.
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