30 Apr Defender Christian Fuchs says next season will be his last with Leicester
Christian Fuchs has confirmed he will leave Leicester next year but wants a lasting legacy in the city.
The defender will return to his family in New York at the end of his contract in 2019 after four years with the Foxes.
Fuchs, who joined on a free from Schalke in 2015, extended his deal by a year in 2016 after Leicester’s stunning Premier League title win.
But next season will be his last at the King Power Stadium, with the MLS a possibility when he returns home.
“I promised my wife I would be coming home. I also want to see my children growing up, it’s good we have FaceTime because letters wouldn’t work,” the former Austria international told Press Association Sport.
“It was already a big decision extending my contract one more year but it was a good thing for the family.
“I’ve enjoyed my time in Leicester, I’ve had the biggest success here and I love the club.”
The Foxes have missed out on European football and boss Claude Puel, who only joined in October, has come under fire after two wins from 11 league games.
But Fuchs believes the Frenchman, who won Ligue 1 with Monaco in his second season at the club and took Lyon to the Champions League semi-final, needs time at Leicester.
“It’s the nature of football, everything is very short-term. I’m also a fan of consistency and not changing everything around again and again,” he said, before Saturday’s 5-0 defeat at Crystal Palace.
“You need to be given time, we had the same with the Austrian national team where consistency led to us going from 100-something in the world to the top 10.
“The problem with club football is the success has to be there tomorrow.”
Fuchs will end his European career having been told as a teenager he would never make it as a professional and is now helping the next generation with his Fox Soccer Academy.
Fuchs already has arms of the academy in New York and Austria and is launching phase two of his project – a scholarship programme for 16 to 19-year-olds – a couple of years after it took off in Leicester.
“It’s never going to be the case I’m completely done; I love the club, the city and appreciate the people. Maybe I want to build a bit of my own legacy here,” he said.
“From this guy who wasn’t good enough, I ended up a Premier League champion.
“I was scouted from some academies from Bundesliga teams and didn’t get good feedback.
“It fuels the motivation I have with the academy, that there’s a child who hasn’t been discovered yet or had the same problem of being told they weren’t good enough.”
He founded the academy with Heinz Griesmayer, who he worked with as a youth player at Austrian side Wiener Neustadt, and initially opened it for eight to 16-year-olds in Leicester after joining the Foxes.
It is now recruiting 25 players between 16 and 19-years-old to become its elite squad for a two-year scholarship.
It will offer games against professional clubs and the chance to enter the FA Youth Cup, as well as education opportunities like A-Levels and coaching badges, with Crystal Palace academy coach Mark Smith a key part of the set-up.
While his nurturing approach is paying off the former Austria international received an altogether different experience during his time with boyhood idol Dietmar Kuhbauer at ex-club Mattersburg.
He said: “I had an idol growing up, Didi Kuhbauer, and when I became professional I had a chance to work with him. He was the age I am now and I was 17 – I was afraid of him for five years.
“That doesn’t exist anymore but now I’m thankful for that because he built me up for what may come in the future. He saw my potential.”
For more information about the trials visit www.foxsoccer.academy