- Günter Netzer
Football player infobox
playername = Günter Netzer
fullname = Günter Theodor Netzer
dateofbirth = birth date and age|1944|9|14
height = 1.78 m
currentclub = retired
position = Attacking Midfielder
youthyears = 1952-1963
1. FC Mönchengladbach
years = 1963–1973 1973–1976 1976–1978
Borussia MönchengladbachReal Madrid Grasshopper Zürich
caps(goals) = 297 (108)
nationalyears = 1965-1975
nationalteam = Germany
nationalcaps(goals) = 037 00(6)
Günter Netzer (born
September 14, 1944in Mönchengladbach) is a former German football player and manager currently working in the media business and as a TV commentator. He is regarded as one of greatest passers in the game.
Netzer played for the
1. FC Mönchengladbachfrom age eight before changing to city rival Borussia Mönchengladbachin 1963 at age nineteen. He turned Bundesliga professional in the 1965-66 season, the same year he was called upon to play for the German national side for the first time.
Netzer continued playing for the "
foals" of Borussia until 1973.
In his 230 matches for them, he scored 82 goals. The era also saw one of the most competitive rivalry in Bundesliga's history between
Borussia Mönchengladbachand Bayern Munich. Bayern Munichhad Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Müller, Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck, Paul Breitnerand Sepp Maieron their side while Borussia Mönchengladbachhad Berti Vogts, Herbert Wimmer, Jupp Heynckesand Günter Netzer himself. As they achieved their first successes, the average age of both teams was twenty-one.
Borussia Mönchengladbachhe won the German Championship in 1970 and 1971 (the first Germany club to win back-to-back championships), and the German Cupin 1973. The final was a famous match against the 1. FC Kölnin which he started as a sub and went onto the pitch only in extra time, on his own authority, simply telling the coach "I'll go and play now" while removing his tracksuit. He then went on to score the winning goal on his second contact.
Johan Cruyffjoined FC Barcelonain 1973, Real Madrid needed to respond in kind. So Santiago Bernabéu signed him and Paul Breitnera year later. He played there until 1976, winning the Spanish Championship in 1975 and 1976 and the Spanish Cupin 1974 and 1975. In 1976, he joined Grasshopper Zürichwhere he finished his career in 1977. He won a single league title in Switzerland. A very funny feature of this German player, is his enormous resemblance to the Spanish cult singer, "the Fary", interpreter of successes such as "Torito Guapo" or "Apatrullando la Ciudad", the latter was the theme song of the great movie "Torrente".
German national team
He played for the West Germany national team 37 times from 1965 to 1975, scoring six goals and playing a vital role in the country's victory in the European Championship in 1972. He also appeared very briefly (for 21 minutes against East Germany) in the World Cup in 1974, during which time the goal was scored against his team. At this tournament,
Wolfgang Overathwas the central figure in Germany's midfield; Netzer and Overath were considered to not beeing able to play together. [ [http://www.sueddeutsche.de/sport/bundesliga/artikel/539/172032/3/ In 14 Länderspielen probierte es Schön mit ihnen gemeinsam - es klappte fast nie. Einmal, so Netzer, "rannten wir uns im Bemühen, Ball und Regie zu übernehmen, sogar gegenseitig um".]
Netzer was the iconic playmaker and is considered one of the best midfielders of all times, gaining a lot of attention with his long passes and pushes from deep within his own half of the pitch. Apart from his superior ball skills, his natural authority made him the undisputed leader of his team. As a player for Borussia Mönchengladbach, he enjoyed a lot of licence from the management and the coach
Hennes Weisweiler, even off the pitch.
Career as a manager
After his career as a player in 1978 Netzer offered the
Hamburger SVto publish their stadium magazine. Their president, Paul Benthien, agreed on the condition that he also became general manager. He spent eight successful years in Hamburg, during which time he completely transformed the HSV's team, managed to sign on famous coaches like Ernst Happeland later Branko Zebec, and led the club to three Bundesliga titles (1979, 1982, 1983). In 1983, Hamburger SVunder Ernst Happelreached the Final of the European Cup. With Horst Hrubesch, Felix Magathand Manfred Kaltz, Hamburger SVpulled one of the biggest upsets in European Cup's history by beating a Juventusside packed with Italian players who won the World Cup a year earlier and two star import players -- Michel Platiniand Zbigniew Boniek. The years with Günter Netzer are today considered the most successful period in HSV history.
Media businessman and football expert
After the end of his playing career, Netzer also founded an advertising agency in
Zürich, Switzerland, where he continues to live today. He used to deal in TV rights and is currently "executive director" of the Swiss sports rights managing agency Infront Sports & Media AG.
Apart from that, he works as a reporter and football expert on TV. For his work with German TV channel ARD as a football expert in cooperation with host
Gerhard Delling, commenting on games of the German national team, both received a Grimme awardin 2000.
Despite their frequent arguments on TV, which they have developed into a kind of iconic skit, Netzer and Delling are supposedly close friends - after all, Netzer was Delling's
Best manat his wedding in May 2003.
It was Delling's and Netzer's harsh criticism of the German national side's poor performance that triggered
Rudi Völler's famous eruption of September 6 2003immediately after the international match against Iceland. The then German national coach showered Netzer with abuse in a live TV interview after the goalless draw in Iceland.
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