Kiessling retired at the end of the 2017/18 season, having spent 12 years with Leverkusen, earning six Germany caps in that time.
How did Kiessling get by on his fitness tests? Five key things to know…
- Stefan Kiessling signed for Bayer Leverkusen in 2006, after impressing with his first club Nuremburg.
- The forward became just the second player in the club’s history to finish a season as the Bundesliga’s top scorer in 2012/13.
- Kiessling retired at 34 after no longer being able to perform at his physical peak.
- And despite never looking off pace throughout his career, Kiessling has admitted his wife used to take some of his fitness tests.
- Kiessling scored 162 goals in 444 games for Bayer Leverkusen across all competitions.
While physical fitness was never Kiessling’s strength in his playing career, the German forward never looked off the pace in matches and always managed to find himself in the right place at the right time for Leverkusen.
And the retired forward has now revealed that he had a little help from his wife Norina in passing pre-season fitness tests.
“I never did one hundred percent of the exercises in the preparation periods, not once,” he told Sport Bild, as reported by the Mirror.
“You get a heart rate monitor on which all runs are saved.
“As my wife is very athletic, she did some racing with the wristband according to my specs.
“She did it so well that nobody noticed.”
During his career Kiessling made six appearances for the German national team, two of which came in the 2010 World Cup, though the Bayer Leverkusen striker did not manage to score.
Kiessling’s career break down
Kiessling started his senior career with Nuremburg having progressed through their youth academy, making his first-team debut in April 2003. The German went on to score 17 goals in 77 games for Nuremburg, drawing interest from the likes of Arsenal and Bayern Munich, though he would opt for Leverkusen.
In his first season with Leverkusen, Kiessling scored eight goals and continued to grow from there with 16 in the next campaign including seven in the Uefa Cup helping the club reach the quarter-finals.
Kiessling broke the 20-mark for the first time during the 2009/10 season, with 21 goals in the Bundesliga as Leverkusen finished fourth and qualified for the Europa League.
But his best return came in 2012/13, as the German scored 25 goals in 34 Bundesliga matches to finish as the division’s top scorer beating competition from the likes of Robert Lewandowski.
The goals and playing time would eventually die down for Kiessling with just eight appearances in his final season, suffering with injury problems which resulted in his retirement in the summer.