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Freiburg have confirmed the signing of Germany defender Matthias Ginter, who will join from Borussia Monchengladbach at the end of the season.
Ginter came through the Freiburg academy and made his Bundesliga bow for the club at the age of 18 in January 2012, scoring the winner against Augsburg.
He went on to make 81 appearances for Freiburg before joining Borussia Dortmund in 2014 and played 102 times across three seasons, helping them to a DFB-Pokal triumph in 2017.
Ginter switched to Gladbach ahead of the 2017-18 season and established himself as a key player in defence, and has made 46 appearances for Germany.
However, it was confirmed earlier in the season that the 28-year-old would not be signing a new deal with Gladbach, and Freiburg announced on Wednesday that he will be making a return to his first club.
"I wanted to do something special in my career, and there's nothing more meaningful to me than a return to my home," Ginter said.
"The development the club has undergone, as well as the potential in the team and the discussions with the club over the last weeks have been great. To find something like that in my hometown, especially nowadays, is extremely rare. It was just a perfect fit all round."
Ginter could well be playing in the Champions League next season, with Freiburg sitting in fourth place after a superb season.
They have won three of their last four Bundesliga games – drawing the other one against Gladbach – and hold a one-point advantage over RB Leipzig and a three-point lead over sixth-placed Cologne, while they are three behind Bayer Leverkusen, who they face in a potentially huge clash in the final game of the league season after a contest with seventh-placed Union Berlin on Saturday.
That will not be the last match of Freiburg's campaign, however, as they also have a DFB-Pokal final against Leipzig to look forward to on May 21. It will be their first appearance in the final of the competition.