SINSHEIM, Germany (AP) — Hoffenheim has dropped former Germany goalkeeper Tim Wiese — for his own protection.
The relegation-threatened Bundesliga club said Thursday that it had signed Brazilian goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes on loan from Tottenham until the end of the season in the 31-year-old Wiese's place. "In Gomes we're getting a goalkeeper with a huge amount experience at the highest level nationally as well as internationally," Hoffenheim manager Andreas Mueller said. "He will play his part in ensuring Hoffenheim stays in the Bundesliga. I am certain of that."
Gomes, who is also 31, has played three games for Brazil, but was second choice behind American goalkeeper Brad Friedel and France international Hugo Lloris at Tottenham. Mueller said that Wiese was dropped because of the "inhumane" pressure he faced before each game not to make a mistake.
"He can't do it. That's why we have act according to our responsibilities," Mueller said in comments reported by German news agency dpa. "Tim doesn't have a chance in the current situation. No matter what he does, he doesn't have an opportunity to be assessed sensibly."
Hoffenheim coach Marco Kurz excluded Wiese from training for Saturday's visit of Freiburg "because I know this insane pressure and have to recognize the tell-tale signs of a player who can't handle it."
Hoffenheim is second from last in the Bundesliga after conceding 43 goals — 25 in the 10 games played by Wiese. Wiese joined the club from Werder Bremen last year to replace former club favorite Tom Starke, who left to become Bayern Munich's reserve goalkeeper.
Hoffenheim had already made five signings in the winter transfer window, while experienced defender Marvin Compper was kicked out of the squad for apparent motivational problems. Compper played 157 league games for the club, more than any other player, and has since joined Italian side Fiorentina.