Center back who is famous for his international club career, including for the Bundesliga club VfB Stuttgart between 2006-2013. He captained the side in 2011 after leading them to the 2006-2007 Bundesliga crown.
He began playing soccer competitively at age 6. He made his professional debut for VfB Stuttgart II in 2005.
He has earned caps on defense for the German national team, and helped them to a 3rd place finish at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He signed with Spartak Moscow in 2013.
He was born in German to Turkish parents.
He and Mesut Ozil played as teammates of Turkish descent for the 2010 German national team during that year's FIFA World Cup.