Born: 16 January 1983, Graz, Austria
Former Clubs: FC Karnten, Bayer Leverkusen, FC Aarau, Grazer AK, Spartak Moscow, Middlesbrough, Hannover 96, Vfl Wolfsburg

Austria international Emanuel Pogatetz signed for West Ham United on 28 January 2013, putting pen to a paper on a loan deal from Vfl Wolfsburg until the end of the season.

The 6'3 defender, who has 53 international caps to his name, is no stranger to English football, nor the Barclays Premier League, having spent five memorable seasons at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium.

Renowned for his committed, all-action defending, 30-year-old Pogatetz will add some more steel to West Ham's already sturdy back line.


Pogatetz made his West Ham United bow against Swansea City, albeit with a last-gasp substitute appearance. Just four days later he was back on international duty, turning out at the Liberty Stadium in a 2-1 defeat to Wales. The following Sunday, he would enjoy his first start in claret and blue, featuring as part of a back three as the Hammers suffered a 2-1 reverse at Villa Park.

International Career

The 6'3 tall defender has become a regular fixture for Austria at senior level since making his debut in a friendly with neighbours Germany in Leverkusen in May 2002. Pogatetz, who has netted twice in 53 international appearances, started all three group games when his native Austria played host to the 2008 UEFA European Championship finals.

Before West Ham United

Born in Austria's second-largest city, Graz, in January 1983, Pogatetz won the Austrian Cup with FC Karnten in his first season as a professional in 2000/01, earning a move to German club and then-UEFA Champions League regulars Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

Pogatetz spent four seasons with Leverkusen, during which time he was loaned to Swiss side FC Aarau, his hometown club Grazer AK and Russian outfit Spartak Moscow, where he played alongside future West Ham midfielder Radoslav Kovac and partnered now Manchester United star Nemanja Vidic in defence.

The versatile defender earned a move to the Premier League in June 2005, when one-time England manager Steve McClaren spent £1.8m to take him to Middlesbrough. Pogatetz made 158 appearances in five seasons at the Riverside Stadium, helping Middlesbrough to reach the UEFA Cup final in his first season on Teesside, only to miss the 4-0 defeat by Sevilla after fracturing his eye socket in a quarter-final victory over FC Basel.

During the 2007/08 season, Pogatetz was appointed Middlesbrough captain. Playing alongside future Hammers Gary O'Neil and Ahmed Mido, as well as ex-West Ham striker Jeremie Aliadiere, the Austrian helped Boro to maintain their top-flight status.

Middlesbrough, however, were relegated in 2009, but Pogatetz stayed loyal to the cause as they started life in the Championship. A recurrence, meanwhile, of his fractured cheekbone restricted his first-team appearances

Pogatetz was snapped up by Hannover in June 2010, helping the club to reach the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals in 2011/12 and totalling 72 appearances over two seasons. That prompted a move from Bundesliga rivals Vfl Wolfsburg, for whom he signed in the summer of 2012.