Emir Spahic grateful to Hamburg after three-month head-butt ban

Emir Spahic has thanked Hamburg for giving him a second chance after the defender was sacked by Bayer Leverkusen for his involvement in a pitchside brawl.

Spahic, 34, had his contract at Leverkusen terminated in April after a fight with the club's security staff at their DFB Pokal match against Bayern Munich.

The Bosnia-Herzegovina international was also handed a three-month ban by the German Football Association before Hamburg offered him a one-year deal earlier this month.

Spahic said fellow Bosnian and former Hamburg star Sergej Barbarez was vital to the move.

"It was important to me that during this hard time I had encouragement and people on my side," Spahic told kicker.

"And it was important to me that I could continue my career in the Bundesliga... I have to be grateful to Hamburg."

Spahic, a former Lokomotiv Moscow and Montpellier player, had joined Leverkusen from Sevilla in 2013.