Germany's Waldemar Anton trains with the team, in Frankfurt, Germany,...

Germany's Waldemar Anton trains with the team, in Frankfurt, Germany, Monday June 24, 2024. Credit: AP/Federico Gambarini

DORTMUND, Germany — Champions League runner-up Borussia Dortmund made Germany defender Waldemar Anton its first signing of the offseason on Monday, leaving Stuttgart needing a new captain for its return to top-level European competition next season.

Anton played all but one Bundesliga game for Stuttgart last season as the team defied expectations to finish second in the league, behind only champion Bayer Leverkusen.

That helped earn him a call-up to Germany's squad for Euro 2024, where he played two games off the bench in the host nation's run to the quarterfinals.

“I wasn't originally planning to change clubs, but then came Borussia Dortmund,” Anton said in a Dortmund statement. “A top club that had just been in the Champions League final. That shows the potential in this club.”

Anton, who was born in Uzbekistan, is likely to team up in defense with Nico Schlotterbeck after the experienced Mats Hummels left last month when his contract expired.

Anton joins Dortmund on a four-year contract for an undisclosed transfer fee after four years at Stuttgart.

In January, he signed a contract extension through 2027 with Stuttgart, where he captained the team last season after midfielder Wataru Endo left for Liverpool.

Germany's Waldemar Anton heads the ball during a quarter final...

Germany's Waldemar Anton heads the ball during a quarter final match between Germany and Spain at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Stuttgart, Germany, Friday, July 5, 2024. Credit: AP/Manu Fernandez

Stuttgart, which last played in the Champions League in the 2009-10 season, is without both of its first-choice central defenders from last season after Hiroki Ito joined Bayern Munich last month. Forwards Serhou Guirassy and Chris Führich have also been reportedly linked with transfers.

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