Robert Enke appeared to have his life in order, having overcome the loss of his young heart-sickened daughter, became a favorite to be Germany’s national team goalkeeper for the 2010 World Cup and recovered from a mysterious bacterial infection which caused him to miss much of the start of the 2009-10 season. But the Hannover keeper suffered from depression for six years and on November 10, 2009 took his own life by jumping in front of a moving train.
Eastern Germany Start
Enke was born on August 24, 1977 in the East Germany town of Jena. He began his football career at SV Jenapharm Jena and then Carl Zeiss Jena before moving to tradition club Borussia Mönchengladbach. After two years as a backup, Enke finally was named a starter at Gladbach in 1999. The club was relegated the next season but he took his goalkeeping skills abroad to Portuguese club Benfica Lissabon and was later named as captain.
Barcelona Sight Of Downturn
In 2002, the keeper moved to Spanish giants FC Barcelona, where he would play just three games and ask to be sent on loan somewhere he could play. Enke landed at Turkish powers Fenerbahce Istanbul on loan and after a poor performance in his first game in Turkey, fans battered Enke with mobile phones, lighters and beer bottles. And the keeper immediately left the club. After half a year without a club, Enke latched onto CD Teneriffa of the Spanish second division. And in 2004, he returned to Germany and spent his final five seasons with top flight side Hannover. All told, Enke played 196 games for Hannover and Borussia Mönchengladbach.
German National Team
After playing for the German U21 national team from 1997-1999, Enke finally made his senior team debut in March 2007 in a friendly against Denmark. And he was a backup keeper at the 2008 European Championships in Austria and Switzerland.
Candidate For German Number One
Following the retirement of Jens Lehmann, Enke was considered one of the top candidates to man Germany’s goal for the future along with Rene Adler, Tim Wiese and Manuel Neuer. He stood between the posts for six of Germany’s 11 games during the 2008-09 season. His last cap came in the 2010 World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan on August 12, 2009 – a 2-0 victory on the road.