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Lothar Herbert Matthäus , (born 21 March 1961 in Erlangenmarker, West Germanymarker) is a Germanmarker former football player and now manager, last managing Israelimarker club Maccabi Netanya.

Introduction

In 1990, he was named European Footballer of the Year and World Soccer Player of the Year after captaining West Germany to victory in the 1990 World Cup. One year later, he was also named the first ever FIFA World Player of the Year.

He has played in five World Cups (1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998) more than any other outfield player, and holds the record for the most World Cup matches played (25 games). He also won Euro 80, and played in Euro 84, Euro 88, and Euro 2000. In 1999, he was again voted German Footballer of the Year. He is the most capped German player of all time, retiring with a total of 150 appearances (83 of them when the team was called West Germany) and 23 goals for the German national team. Matthäus is a member of the FIFA 100 – a list of 125 of the greatest living football players chosen by Pelé. Maradona said about Matthäus "he is the best rival I've ever had. I guess that's enough to define him" in his book Yo soy el Diego (I am the Diego).

During his career, he usually played as an Attacking Midfielder or Defensive Midfielder, although later in his career he played as a Sweeper. He was renowned for his perceptive passing, positional sense, and well-timed tackling, as well as his explosive shot.

Playing career

Matthäus was born in Erlangenmarker, Bavariamarker. Early in his career, he played in the midfield, before switching to the sweeper position in his 30s.

Matthäus spent his early playing days in the youth team of FC Herzogenaurach, a small town in Bavariamarker.

Matthäus started his professional career in 1979 with Borussia Mönchengladbach of the Bundesliga, for whom he played until 1984. Internationally, he won Euro 80 and also played two games at the 1982 World Cup, where West Germany reached the final, losing to Italy 3-1.

He then played for Bayern Munich from 1984-88, winning the Bundesliga twice and the DFB-Pokal. They also reached the European Cup final in 1987, leading 1-0 for most of the game until two late goals gave FC Porto the win.

By now, he also had a regular place in the national team for the 1986 World Cup, scoring the winner in the round of 16 against Morocco. In the final, despite his considerable play-making ability, he was assigned to mark Argentina's Diego Maradona. West Germany lost their second consecutive World Cup final 3-2.

At Euro 88, Matthäus captained the team and scored a penalty against the Netherlands (the eventual winners) in the semi-final to give his team a 1-0 lead, but Ronald Koeman leveled the score with a penalty, and then Marco van Basten slid in the winning goal in the final minutes.

Matthäus and Bayern teammate Andreas Brehme signed with Inter Milan of Serie A in 1988, winning the Scudetto in 1989 during their first season, and the Italian Supercup that year as well.

His immediate success in Serie A was a precursor to the national team which finally managed to triumph at the 1990 World Cup held in Italy. Six of West Germany's squad played professionally there and Matthäus played most of the World Cup games at Inter's home Stadio San Siromarker. West Germany was the best team of the tournament and one of the few to choose an attacking style of play; Matthäus led his squad from midfield and personally scored four goals, including two against Yugoslavia. West Germany reached its third consecutive final, which was a rematch against Maradona-led Argentina and this time Matthäus and his team emerged victorious 1-0 thanks to Brehme converting an 85' penalty. As captain, Matthäus had the honour of hoisting the final World Cup shortly before the German reunification in 1990. Both the (West) German team and state remained the same when the East Germans joined.

Matthäus continued to enjoy further success with Inter, winning the UEFA Cup in 1991 and being named FIFA World Player of the Year. In the 1991 UEFA Cup Final he scored a penalty in the first leg to help them to their victory over Roma. Returning to Bayern Munich in 1992, he won four Bundesliga titles, two DFB-Pokals, another UEFA Cup and reached a second European Cup final in 1999.

He was injured and unable to take part in Euro 92; though a reunified Germany made the final but lost 2-0 to surprise Denmark. At the 1994 World Cup hosted by the USAmarker, he captained the team but now operated as sweeper. He scored a penalty in the quarter-finals, which was also his record-tying 21st match, but the Bulgarians scored twice in three minutes to upset to defending champions. USA '94 was expected to be his last tournament, though he did not officially retire from international play. Matthäus was afterwards not called up for the national team, due to feuding with succeeding captain Jürgen Klinsmann and coach Berti Vogts. In his absence Germany won Euro 96 which was hosted by England.


Surprisingly, he was called up for the 1998 World Cup as a replacement for the injured sweeper Matthias Sammer. He was on the bench for Germany's victory over USA, but came in as a substitute against Yugoslavia and helped the team to a 2-2 draw. With this he became the second and to this day the last player to appear on five different World Cups, tying the record of Mexican goalkeeper Antonio Carbajal, and also setting a new record for World Cup game appearances with 22. He played in all the rest of Germany's matches until Croatia knocked them out in the quarterfinal, taking his total to 25.

The only major honour which eluded Matthäus, for competitions in which he played, was the UEFA Champions League. Famously, he came within 2 minutes of picking up a winners' medal in 1999, only to have his hopes dashed by Manchester United, who scored two last-minute goals in the final, after he was substituted in the 86th minute of play while the team was still leading 1-0. When the two teams went to collect their medals Matthäus removed his runners-up medal immediately after he received it - it was the second time he had been on the losing side in a final under similar circumstances; in the 1987 final, Bayern had been leading 1-0 most of the game until two late goals gave F.C. Porto the win. After Matthäus retired, Bayern would win the Champions League in 2001 and later that year the Intercontinental Cup. His last official match for Bayern took place in Munichmarker on March 8, 2000 and was a Champions League match against Real Madrid, which Bayern won 4-1.

During the 1999–2000 season Matthäus moved from Bayern to the MetroStars team of Major League Soccer in the United Statesmarker. He played in the USA from March to September 2000 and retired from professional football afterwards. He scored no goals during his time in MLS, and was largely considered a disappointment.

He earned his last three caps at the Euro 2000, his 150th cap being against Portugal, where Germany had a disastrous first round exit.

Coaching career

After ending his illustrious playing days, Matthäus started a coaching career, which has so far been much less distinguished. In his print interviews and other media appearances he has been clear about his goal and desire to coach in the Bundesliga. His hope was that taking coaching jobs abroad would lead to offers from Germany.

His first job head coaching experience was at Rapid Vienna. It lasted From September 2001 until May 2002 with mixed results.

FK Partizan

In December 2002 he was hired by Partizan Belgrade during mid-season winter break to replace recently sacked Ljubiša Tumbaković, signing a 2-and-half-year contract set to expire in summer 2005.

Matthäus achieved the immediate goal by steering the team to the 2002-03 league title in convincing fashion, but his finest hour with the club came in August 2003 when Partizan eliminated favourites Newcastle United in the 3rd qualifying round to reach the 2003–04 UEFA Champions League. Following the first leg 0-1 loss at home, the cause seemed lost, however Partizan improbably triumphed 0-1 away at St. James' Parkmarker, taking the tie to penalties. The penalty series brought further dramatic changes of momentum before Milivoje Ćirković's successful spot kick finally put Partizan through. Interestingly, Matthäus had his back turned to the pitch as couldn't bear to watch the drama of Ćirković's penalty. Though drawn in a tough group with powerhouse Real Madrid, eventual champions F.C. Porto, and Olympique de Marseille, Partizan played some inspired football that autumn, only narrowly missing out on the UEFA Cup spot. To this day it remains the club's only participation in the Champions League.

On Saturday 13 December 2003, right after finishing the final league match of the half-season (0-1 win away at FK Železnik) before the winter break, Matthäus abruptly resigned his post at Partizan by addressing the players and club leadership in private, telling them that he's doing so for personal reasons. Club spokesperson said Matthäus would clear everything up at a press conference that he scheduled for Monday two days later, but it was widely speculated at the time through reports in the Hungarian press that he already agreed terms with Hungarian Football Federation to coach their national team. The next day, the rumours proved to be true as he officially signed the contract in Budapestmarker and also got introduced to the media gathered at the Kempinski Hotel.

Hungary national team

A country once synonymous with world class football was trying to return its national team on the path of former 1950s glory, and Matthäus was given the task of qualifying for the 2006 World Cup. After being drawn in a tough group with Sweden, Croatia and Bulgaria that goal looked increasingly difficult. The campaign started in the autumn of 2004 and fairly quickly it became obvious Hungary were in over their heads. However, Matthäus was not fired until the end of the campaign, and was even offered Hungarian citizenship, which he at the time said he would accept. There's no word whether he actually did. After he left the Hungary post Matthäus was vocally critical of the Hungarian Football Federation, citing that it's "not contributing, but exploting Hungarian football" and that "it's not coincidental that the Hungarian bid for Euro 2012 didn't receive any votes".

Atlético Paranaense

On 11 January 2006, Matthäus signed a one-year contract to coach Atlético Paranaense of Brazilmarker. However, after only 7 matches in charge (5 wins, 2 draws) he quit the club in March 2006 citing the need to be closer to his family. The way he left the club raised some questions about his professionalism. Apparently, only 5 weeks after signing a contract he informed club officials about a need to rush back to Europe in order to deal with an urgent personal problem, but assured them he'd be back in 3–4 days. After missing for two weeks, he faxed in his resignation and never even went back to Brazil to pick up his personal belongings.

Red Bull Salzburg

On 19 May 2006, Matthäus was announced as coach of Red Bull Salzburg (formerly Austria Salzburg) for the 2006–07 season. Shortly, the club also signed Giovanni Trapattoni (incidentally Matthäus' former coach at Inter Milan) to be their director of football. In practice, this meant that Trapattoni and Matthäus essentially shared coaching duties.

Despite co-leading the team to the Austrian league title by a large margin, Matthäus would eventually be fired on 12 June 2007 by unanimous decision of the Red Bull Salzburg's board of directors.

Maccabi Netanya

On 13 April 2008, it was announced that Matthäus signed with Israeli side Maccabi Netanya to coach the club from the beginning of the 2008–09 season. On 29 April 2009 it was announced that Matthäus will not continue to a second season with the club due to poor results and his expensive salary.

In November 2009, he gave a lengthy interview to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in which he complained about what he sees to be inadequate treatment he receives in Germany as the former great. He also bemoaned the lack of coaching job offers extended to him in the Bundesliga. Matthäus said German clubs perceived him as being too much of a Bayern supporter and too closely linked with an influential Bild tabloid newspaper to give him a job.

Personal life

Matthäus has three children. He's been married 4 times.

During his first marriage that lasted from 1981 until 1992, wife Silvia gave birth to two daughters Alisa and Viola.

In 1994, he married Swiss model and TV presenter Lolita Morena with whom he had a son Loris. The marriage ended in 1999.

While coaching FK Partizan in Belgrade, he met Serbia socialite Marijana Kostić who became his third wife on 27 November 2003. It was her third marriage as well. By late 2007 the couple separated and she filed for a divorce. Their divorce became official in late January 2009 following the conclusion of a year-long court case in Salzburgmarker, Austriamarker (their last residence) over the division of assets.

In December 2008, 47-year-old Matthäus married 21-year old Ukrainianmarker model Liliana Chudinova. The ceremony was held in Las Vegasmarker. They met a year earlier at an Oktoberfest beer festival. They currently live in Tel Avivmarker, Israelmarker, where Liliana studies journalism in a local university there.

Club Playing Honours

Borussia Mönchengladbach
FC Bayern Munich
F.C. Internazionale Milano
Germany National Football Team


Individual



Career statistics



References

External links



1979–80 Borussia Mönchengladbach Bundesliga 28 4
1980–81 33 10
1981–82 33 3
1982–83 34 8
1983–84 34 11
1984–85 Bayern Munich Bundesliga 33 16
1985–86 23 10
1986–87 31 14
1987–88 26 17

1988–89 Internazionale Milano Serie A 32 9 7 3
1989–90 25 11 2 2
1990–91 31 16 3 1
1991–92 27 4 5 1

1992–93 Bayern Munich Bundesliga 28 8
1993–94 33 8
1994–95 16 5
1995–96 19 1
1996–97 28 1
1997–98 25 3
1998–99 25 1
1999–00 15 1

2000 NY/NJ MetroStars Major League Soccer 16 0
2001 0 0
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