FRANKFURT: Former Germany international defender Christoph Metzelder is to stand trial in April in Düsseldorf for possessing and disseminating images of child pornography.

Metzelder, who denies the charges, will be tried from the 29th, according to a court statement.

He is accused of sending 29 images of child pornography to an acquaintance via WhatsApp. An arrest warrant had not been issued against him because he was training with the national team when the investigation was opened, in September 2019 .

Bild later alleged that it was Metzelder’s partner, with whom he had been in a relationship for a year, who had denounced him after receiving at least 15 images of child pornography from him.

The 2002 World Cup runners-up played 47 games in central defence for Germany between 2001 and 2008. He spent most of his career in Germany, first at Dortmund (2000-2007) before moving to Real Madrid (2007-2010) and then returning to Germany at Schalke, where he ended his professional career in 2013.

Since then he has been running an advertising agency and has his own ‘Christoph Metzelder Foundation’ which supports projects for children and young people.