After nine years in the Wolfsburg jersey, Koen Casteels will leave the club at the end of this season. Both sides have agreed not to renew the goalkeeper’s contract, which runs until 30 June 2024. The 31-year-old Belgium international, who joined VfL in January 2015, has been the Wolves’ number one for seven years and was also captain of the team in the 2021/22 campaign.
“The time has come for me to say goodbye after nine years at VfL Wolfsburg and take on a new challenge,” explained Casteels. “I gave this decision careful consideration and I’m looking forward to what comes next. Now, though, I will put 100 percent of my focus on the current season and achieving the best possible with VfL.”
VfL managing director Marcel Schäfer said: “Koen has consistently produced outstanding performances for years and over time has become a face of our team. We can now already look back on a very successful time together, but we still have a full season ahead of us and I’m sure that Koen will once again play a big part in us achieving our goals. I also hope he can then achieve his dream of taking part in the European Championship next year.”
Casteels moved to Wolfsburg from Hoffenheim in January 2015 but spent the second half of that season on loan at Werder Bremen. Casteels returned to the Wolves for the 2015/16 campaign and was initially the number two goalkeeper behind Diego Benaglio. He made his competitive debut on 1 August 2015 in the Supercup, which VfL won on penalties against Bayern Munich. Since the 2016/17 season, he’s been the Green-and-Whites’ undisputed first-choice keeper. The 1.97-metre-tall stopper played his 216th Bundesliga game for VfL at Hoffenheim on Saturday, and his 252nd in all competitions. Casteels has five caps for the Belgium national team.