“I won’t be leaving without a feeling of sadness,” said Salihovic after almost a decade in Kraichgau. However, he felt the time had finally come to decide whether he should end his career at TSG or make one final move. He began to consider his options a few months ago, but only now are the plans more concrete. Salihovic says his transfer to the Chinese Super League club is “a real adventure”, one that he is looking forward to.
Salihovic was a key figure in the TSG squad for nine years. He celebrated the club’s promotions right from the Oberliga through to the Bundesliga and became known around the league for his prowess from set pieces. “Sali” joined TSG in July 2006 from Hertha BSC. His most notable moment perhaps came when he demonstrated his strength of nerve to convert two penalties on the final day of the 2012/13 season, as TSG beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 to secure 16th place and a chance to enter the relegation play-offs. The performance turned the 30-year-old into a hero at TSG.
His name will stay closely connected to TSG, said director of football Alexander Rosen, who “understands” Salihovic’s decision to leave the club, but at the same time finds it “a strange feeling” that his name won’t be in the squad for the new season. On behalf of the whole club, Rosen thanked Salihovic for his “devotion, loyalty, commitment, as well as the impact, both on and off the pitch, that he always had.”
Sejad Salihovic made 171 appearances for TSG in the Bundesliga and, with 46 goals to his name, he is the club’s record scorer in the German top flight. He also scored five goals in 19 DFB Cup matches. He still plays internationally for Bosnia-Herzegovina. Salihovic’s contract was due to expire on the 30th June 2016.
Guizhou Renhe Football Club are based in Guiyang, the capital city of the Guizhou province with four million inhabitants. The club won the cup in 2013, as well as the Super Cup the year before. The team ended finished last season in sixth place. Sejad Salihovic will team up with former Germany international, Mike Hanke, who has been playing for Guizhou since last season.