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Christian on the move

Defender Lell heads for Hertha Berlin

Christian Lell has parted company with double winners Bayern. The full-back is moving to relegated Hertha BSC Berlin, where he has signed a one-year deal, with an automatic two-year extension should the men from capital regain their top flight status at the first attempt. Lell’s contract with FCB was not due to expire until 30 June 2011. The terms and conditions of the transfer will remain undisclosed.

The 25-year-old’s departure means the loss to Munich of a genuinely local lad. Lell’s parental home is just a couple of hundred yards from Bayern’s Säbener Strasse headquarters and training facility, and he joined the club back in 1993 at the age of eight. Apart from a two-year loan spell with FC Köln (2004-06), the player pulled on FCB colours for fully 15 years. No member of the current squad has been with the club longer.

95 appearances for FCB

While at Bayern, Lell was a member of German championship winning sides at U-19 and U-17 level, finished top of the third division while with the reserves, and earned himself a full professional contract with the senior team. “That was a dream come true for me,” he told His honours include two domestic doubles (2008, 2010). He made a total of 95 first-team appearances (65 in the Bundesliga, 11 in the UEFA Cup, 10 in the Champions League, 9 in the DFB Cup), scoring two goals.

Lell’s last appearance came back in February in a DFB cup meeting with Greuther Fürth. The player himself requested a sabbatical after that. “I needed time away from the business of football, and the club was good enough to grant me that. I needed a good, long break,“ he recently explained. He will now seek a fresh start with Hertha BSC.