Helmut Schön

        15. September 1915, Dresden; († 23. Februar 1996)


        1946–1950    SG Dresden-Friedrichstadt
        1948–1950    Sächsische Auswahl
        1949–1950    Auswahl der Sowjetzone
        1950              Hertha BSC Berlin
        1951–1952    SV Wiesbaden
        1952–1956    Saarland (Nationaltrainer)
        1956–1964    Deutschland (Co-Trainer)
        1964–1978    Deutschland 

        National Team:
        Weltmeister: 1974 
        Vize-Weltmeister: 1966 
        Europameister: 1972
        Vize-Europameister: 1976 

        After guiding West Germany to the European Championship title in 1972, he led them to the ultimate prize two years later, victory in the 1974 World Cup on home soil. Helmut Schön formed one of the best German teams of all time. With Sepp Maier, sweeper Franz Beckenbauer, midfield orchestrator Wolfgang Overath and marksman Gerd Müller as his spine, he ushered in a hitherto unprecedented era of success from the mid-1960s to the golden 1970s. Günter Netzer had his best years in the national team under the Dresden-born coach, who moved from the GDR to the Federal Republic in 1952. "We all enjoyed going to the national team," his long-time captain, Franz Beckenbauer, remembers. "We were street footballers. Schön let us play without tactical constraints. He always knew how to keep us happy."

        On arrival in in the West, Schön took his first job "abroad" when the Saarland, then autonomous, were looking for a national team coach. His side performed admirably in the 1954 World Cup qualifying competition, facing Sepp Herberger's West Germany, among others, who went on to lift the trophy. Schön thus recommended himself for a position with the German Football Association after the Saarland had been reintegrated as a sub-regional association. 

        As assistant coach to Herberger, under whom he had already scored an outstanding 17 goals in 16 international appearances as a player, he matured into the logical successor to the 'Boss'. The first major tournament under his stewardship proved to be a remarkable success, not only on the pitch. Despite the 'Wembley' goal, which remains disputed to this day, the national team returned from 1966 World Cup in England as fair losers in the final. Even in defeat, the players conducted themselves with decorum and earned huge respect in the land of the former wartime enemy, much to the credit of Der Lange [the Tall One], one of the nicknames he was known by. The second still chimes today, given that Udo Jürgens dedicated a song to the 'Man with the Cap' when he departed as national coach after the 1978 World Cup. The headwear was his trademark, humanity the secret of his extraordinary success.

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