Christian Gratzei


Gratzei started his football career in 1987 at the age of six years with DSV Leoben. He stayed with this team through all age-classes until 1998, when he gave his debut as a pro footballer in Austria’s second highest league. In 2001 Gratzei moved on to play for the amateur team of the GAK. 2002 locar rivals Sturm Graz traded for Gratzei and used him also in their amateur team. When Franco Foda was promoted to head coach of Sturm Graz he also promoted Gratzei to the Bundesliga team. On 8 March  2003 Gratzei gave his debut at Austria’s highest football level, playing against SC Bregenz. Since February 2007 he is the No. 1 goalie of SK Sturm.

On 1 February 2008 Gratzei was enlisted to the national team roster for the first time and was also a member of the extended team roster for the European Championships 2008 in Austria. He was voted best goalkeeper of the season 2007/08 by club presidents, coaches and managers in April 2008. On 14 October, Gratzei tended the national team’s goal for the first time, as Austria lost 3-1 away to France, replacing keeper Helge Payer in the second half. Gratzei was again voted best goalkeeper of the season in 2010/11, the same year he won the Austrian Championship with Sturm Graz.