An arrival in 1999 from Borussia Dortmund to strengthen the midfield area. A tough tackling and hard-working player, Freund has won 21 caps for Germany, appearing in the Euro 96 tournament, but he got injured in the semi-final against England. This was an injury that kept him out of the Dortmund team for almost a year - missing out on the Champions League triumph, but returning to help the club to the World Club Championship. The sort of player others hate to play against as his tigerish attitude and non-stop running mean that you can rarely escape from him.
Freund started his football career in East Germany and played for his hometown club Brandenburg in 1989, staying for two seasons before being transferred to Schalke 04. The move brought him success with some solid performances in his two years there and he secured a move to Borussia Dortmund in 1993, who were riding high in the Bundesliga.
He featured strongly in the "engine room" of the George Graham team, as the manager bought him to strengthen the midfield and his ball-winning skills have really made a difference to that area of Tottenham's play. Sometimes get caught up in the passion of the play and has picked up some silly yellow cards for histrionics, which are unnecessary, but he was instrumental in providing a platform for Tottenham to win the Worthington Cup with his no-frills approach. In 1999-2000, it was hoped that he would become even more important as his experience in Europe will be invaluable, but the UEFA Cup run was short-lived.
Freund has continued to wind up the best in the Premier League. His contribution to the side is not obvious, but Tottenham do miss him when he is not there. Became a cult figure by sitting in the Lower East stand for the Arsenal game when suspended. Always histrionic, but it can be good fun watching him. Anyone who gets Roy Keane chasing him around the pitch has to be worth the entrance money.
His place in the Tottenham midfield has been in question among the fans, but his fierce enjoyment of winning for Spurs has won them over and his start to the 2000-2001 season was impressive. With his shirt thrown into the crowd after the home win over Everton and hitting the bar against West Ham, it was hoped it wouldn't be long before he and the crowd went ballistic when he scored !! However, it just didn't happen for the popular German.
With Glenn Hoddle's arrival, it appeared that Freund had dropped out of favour - his omission from the semi-final line-up a mystery. However, at the start of 2001-02, he was back in place and played very well for the club up until he was put out of the game for the rest of the season in the Worthington Cup semi first leg. His twisted knee meant surgery on his cruciate ligaments and his recovery was nearing completion as the 2002-03 season got underway. Steffen only made a few appearances in that season, as he struggled to get over another injury and Hoddle preferred to go with other players in midfield, leaving the back four somewhat exposed at times.
It was not that surprising that Freund was informed that he could find a new club, although without a straight replacement, it seemed to leave a hole in the midfield for a ball winner. There was some bitterness in his departure, with comments flying about between him and the club about a possible year long extension, which was allegedly retracted by Spurs, but in the end he returned to Germany to play for Kaiserslautern on a year long deal, before returning to England for a short time to play for Leicester City. At the end of this deal, Steffen retired from playing and took up a position as a football consultant, making regular appearances on British TV and also watching Spurs at White Hart Lane or away from home.
Latterly, Steffen took up a role as a football analyst on TV. At the end of 2007, he was named as the assistant to the Nigerian national team manager Berti Vogts, until the change in management after the African Nations Cup in February 2008. Steffen then concentrated on working in the German national set-up at youth level and gained a reputation for working with and developing younger players. With this in mind, he was brought back to White Hart Lane on 11th July 2012 as part of Andre Villas-Boas' coaching squad.
With a change in management, Steffen was side-lined somewhat under Tim Sherwood, then, with Mauricio Pochettino brining in his own backroom staff, Freund was given the role of International Technical Coordinator, which meant he was "responsible for the development of Club players on loan internationally, supporting the Club’s overseas football projects, academy partnerships and, drawing on his experience with international youth coaching, the identification of future talent."