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Josef Dieter "Sepp" Maier (born 28 February 1944) is a Germanmarker former professional football goalkeeper.

Born in Mettenmarker, Bavariamarker, he spent the entirety of his professional playing career at Bayern Munich, winning the Bundesliga Championship four times and the European Cup three times in succession. Between 1966 and 1977 he played in an uninterrupted sequence of 422 matches, still a German national record. He was voted West German footballer of the year three times (1975, 1977 and 1978). His nickname was "Die Katze von Anzingmarker" ("the cat from Anzing") due to his incredible reflexes.

Maier was selected in the West Germany squad for four consecutive World Cup. In 1966 in Englandmarker, he was a non-playing deputy to Hans Tilkowski. At the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexicomarker, he was the undisputed starter and played all games (including the legendary 3-4 semifinal loss to Italy after extra time) save for the third-place match.

In the 1974 FIFA World Cup on home soil, at the top of his footballing abilities, he reached the peak of his international career as the Germans went all the way to the final with a legendary team that included the likes of Franz Beckenbauer, Berti Vogts and Gerd Müller. The greatest triumph came when Die Mannschaft defeated a Johan Cruyff-inspired Netherlands team 2-1 in the final in Maier's own hometown Munichmarker.

Four years later at the World Cup in Argentinamarker, slightly past his peak but still formidable, Maier delivered a strong performance but could not prevent his side's failing to advance past the second round. Maier also won the 1972 European Championship with West Germany and reached the final in 1976, losing to Czechoslovakia on penalty kicks. In all, he played 95 times for his country.

As well as his goalkeeping exploits, Maier was famous for his overlong shorts and outsize gloves, and, despite his undoubted talent, was seen in some circles as somewhat of a clown. Famous is his duck hunt in the Olympia Stadionmarker. While Bayern were pressuring the opponent's goal all the time, Maier got bored and a duck had somehow wandered into the stadium. As there were no shots on goal as yet, Sepp Maier went duck hunting instead of paying attention to the match. Needless to say, the duck escaped all the dives Maier made.

Maier's career was curtailed in 1979 following a car crash (self-inflicted while under the influence of alcohol) in which he sustained life-threatening injuries. After a near-complete recovery, Maier turned to coaching and has since been goalkeeping coach for both Bayern Munich and the German national side. In October 2004 his contract with the national side was terminated by coach Jürgen Klinsmann after Maier spoke out in favour of Bayern's Oliver Kahn over Jens Lehmann in a dispute over who should be the side's first-choice goalkeeper. Maier retired from Bayern Munich in 2008.

Career statistics



Honours



1963–64 Bayern Munich 4 0
1964–65 24 0
1965–66 Bundesliga 36 0
1966–67 31 0
1967–68 34 0
1968–69 34 0
1969–70 34 0
1970–71 34 0
1971–72 34 0
1972–73 34 0
1973–74 34 0
1974–75 34 0
1975–76 34 0
1976–77 34 0
1977–78 34 0
1978–79 34 0
1979–80 0 0
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