27. Dezember 1949, Kreuzstraßl
1968-1970 TSV 1860 München
1970-1981 FC Schalke 04
1981-1984 1. FC Köln
1984-1988 VfL Bochum
535 appearances, 268 goals (Bundesliga)
DFB-Pokalsieger: 1972, 1983
45 caps (32 goals)
Klaus Fischer did not merely score lots of goals throughout his career for 1860 Munich, Schalke 04, FC Cologne, VfL Bochum and the German national team, he scored lots of beautiful goals. Beauty by all means but not for beauty's sake. Fischer, a glassblower by trade from Zwiesel in Lower Bavaria, was not a bender of the ball who deliberately aimed for the top corner, not a dribbler who tried to beat as many opponents as possible before finishing, and not an outstanding marksman from distance. The beauty of his goals sprang from a certain pragmatism. Effectively, he perfected his speciality, the overhead kick, because he had to.
When Fischer, yet again hanging horizontally in the air with his back to goal, scored one of his most important goals in the 1982 World Cup semi-final against France, a goal that sent football connoisseurs all over the world into raptures, he said modestly: "There was no other way I could have put the ball in." There were no rebukes for the providers of the crosses, whom he held in special esteem: "I would never have been so successful without players such as Stan Libuda in my early days at Schalke 04 and later Rüdiger Abramczik." Nevertheless, their assists did not always come on a silver platter. If they lacked accuracy, Fischer would take it upon himself to go for goal in the most direct way possible. He became a master of his craft. Not just of overhead kicks.
When the Schalke idol dismantled Bayern almost single-handedly with four goals in a legendary 7-0 win at the Olympic Stadium in Munich in October 1976, he scored a diving header that almost saw him graze the turf with the tip of his nose. The ball had bounced just in front of him before it reached him. In situations like those, Fischer opted instinctively, and within a split second, for the option, the part of the body and the body position most likely to see him bundle the ball towards goal.
The decision he took in another situation, however, should have been a different one. By accepting a seemingly laughable amount of money as a young player in 1971, he was embroiled in the Bundesliga bribery scandal and banned from playing for more than 13 months. Nevertheless, Fischer went on to become the third highest scorer in Germany's top division. He was banned from the national team for even longer, five years in all, which is why he did not make his international debut until November 1977. He did so in customary fashion, however - by scoring twice. His haul of 32 goals in 45 international matches places him second behind Gerd Müller.
It was while playing for Germany that he scored his most prized goal (Goal of the Month, Goal of the Decade, Goal of the Quarter Century) against Switzerland in 1977. A bicycle kick of unparalleled beauty. The cross was likely not so good.