Lothar Matthäus

        21. März 1961, Erlangen

        1978-1979 1. FC Herzogenaurach
        1979-1984 Borussia Mönchengladbach
        1984-1988 FC Bayern München
        1988-1992 Inter Mailand
        1992-2000 FC Bayern München
        2000 NY/NJ Metro Stars

        464 appearances, 121 goals (Bundesliga)
        115 appearances, 40 goals (Serie A, italien)
        16 appearances (Major League Soccer, USA)

        Deutscher Meister: 1985, 1986, 1987, 1994, 1997, 1990, 2000
        DFB-Pokalsieger: 1986, 1998
        UEFA-Pokalsieger: 1991, 1996
        Italienischer Meister: 1989

        National Team:
        150 caps (23 goals)
        Europameister: 1980
        Vize-Weltmeister 1982, 1986
        Weltmeister 1990

        Lothar Matthäus is Germany's most-capped player, having made 150 international appearances. An impressive tally that deserves additional respect, given that the 1990 World Cup winner had two lengthy injuries to overcome, a cruciate ligament tear and a ruptured Achilles tendon. In 1995, he also fell out of favour with Germany coach Berti Vogts and was not recalled until the 1998 World Cup in France three years later. Matthäus represented his country across a 20-year period.

        His first cap came at the 1980 European Championship in Italy, which ended with Germany lifting the trophy. Between 1982 and 1998, he took part in five World Cups, making a total of 25 appearances. Another record. He is the only German to date to be voted World Footballer of the Year, something he achieved twice in a row, in 1990 and 1991. He also won the German Footballer of the Year award twice, the second time at the age of 38 in 1999. In 2001, Matthäus became the fourth player to be named honorary captain of the German national team.

        His outstanding qualities were most evident in the run-up to his famous goal in the first World Cup group game against Yugoslavia in 1990. With his incomparable dynamism, Matthäus carried the ball from the back through midfield towards the opposition goal, ghosting past several opponents at pace before eventually unleashing a shot from just outside the penalty area. A laser-like drive, unstoppable for the Yugoslavia goalkeeper. Matthäus's game was no-frills, powerful, fast. Even at an advanced age for a footballer, he was capable of outrunning most opponents. Not for no reason did his hometown club, FC Herzogenaurach, sign him up for one last competitive fixture at the age of 57. After spells at Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bayern Munich (twice), Inter Milan and the New York Metro Stars, a magnificent career ended with a 3-0 win at the place where it all began 50 years earlier.

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