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Lothar Matthäus
Lothar Matthaeus 2002.jpg
Personal information
Full name Lothar Herbert Matthäus
Date of birth 21 March 1961 (1961-03-21) (age 48)
Place of birth Erlangen, West Germany
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
FC Herzogenaurach
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1979–1984 Borussia M'Gladbach 162 (36)
1984–1988 Bayern Munich 113 (57)
1988–1992 Internazionale 115 (40)
1992–2000 Bayern Munich 189 (28)
2000 MetroStars 16 (0)
National team
1979–1983 West Germany U-21 15 (2)
1979–1981 West Germany B 4 (1)
1980–2000 Germany 150 (23)
Teams managed
2001–2002 Rapid Wien
2002–2003 Partizan Belgrade
2003–2005 Hungary
2006 Atlético Paranaense
2006–2007 Red Bull Salzburg
2008–2009 Maccabi Netanya
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Lothar Herbert Matthäus German pronunciation: [ˈloːtaɐ̯ maˈtɛːʊs], (born 21 March 1961 in Erlangen, West Germany) is a German former football player and now manager, last managing Israeli club Maccabi Netanya.



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 Erlangen, Bavaria. 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 Bavaria.[1]

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 Siro. 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.

Matthäus scores on a penalty kick against Bulgarian goalkeeper Borislav Mihaylov in the 1994 World Cup quarterfinal

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 USA, 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.

Matthäus looks on in disbelief at Teddy Sheringham's equaliser after being substituted in the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final.

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 Munich on 8 March 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 States. 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.[2]

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.[3]


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.

Inheriting a team at the top of the league table, Matthäus achieved the immediate goal by steering Partizan to the 2002-03 league title in convincing fashion, at one point even extending the lead over the second-placed rivals Red Star Belgrade to 19 points. Still, his finest hour with the club came in August 2003 when Partizan eliminated favourites Newcastle United in the Champions League 3rd qualifying round to reach the 2003–04 competition's group stage. Following the first leg 0-1 loss at home, the cause seemed lost, however Partizan improbably triumphed 0-1 away at St. James' Park, 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 of the first galáctico era, 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. He apparently told them that he's doing so for personal reasons.[4] Club spokesperson said Matthäus would clear everything up at a press conference that he scheduled for Monday (two days later), but it was already widely speculated through reports in the Hungarian press that the German had agreed terms with Hungarian Football Federation to coach their national team.[5] Next day, the rumours proved true as he officially signed the contract in Budapest and also got introduced to the media gathered at the Kempinski Hotel Corvinus.[6]

Four months after leaving Belgrade, in mid-April 2004, the row over terms of Matthäus' contract with Partizan was opened with both parties publicly going back and forth at each other. It began with Matthäus, by now Hungarian national team head coach, giving a detailed interview to Serbian press in which he accused Partizan club leadership of breaching the additional terms of his contract.[7] It became known on that occasion that his initial contract with Partizan that was finalized on 1 January 2003 included a base garanteed part as well additional premium clauses giving him between 5-10% from players' transfers and shirt sponsorships (as well as Champions League bonus incentives). Matthäus said that after none of that was honoured he gave up on asking for his percentages of the Danko Lazović and Zvonimir Vukić transfers as well as Superfund shirt sponsorship deal due to "not wanting to upset the team atmoshere during Champions League qualifying", but instead pushed for the additional terms to be renegotiated. After succesfull CL qualification, the additional terms were in fact renegotiated with Partizan's general secretary Žarko Zečević so that both parties agreed to put the previous additional terms out of effect and instead now give Matthäus 15% of the Igor Duljaj's (club's best young asset at the time) future transfer abroad as well as to allow Matthäus to leave the club any time he wanted without penalties. Duljaj was sold to Shakhtar Donetsk in January 2004 for US$4 million, and Matthaus claimed Partizan failed to pay him the agreed percentage ($600,000 or €469,500). The club responded two days later in a lengthy press release saying that they don't owe him any money.[8] One day after that, Matthäus decided to sue Partizan for the amount of US$600,000 before Sports Arbitration Court in Lausanne, Switzerland.[9]

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. The opening 3-0 loss away at Croatia in early September was somewhat offset four days later by the 3-2 hard fought home win versus Iceland. A month later, Matthäus' Hungary faced another important test away from home, this time at Sweden. And once again it finished in disappointment with another demoralizing 3-0 loss. Before the winter break, Hungary managed to beat the minnows of the group Malta thus finishing the fall part of the qualifying in fourth place with six points, mathematically still within striking distance of the leading trio.

As the qualifiers resumed in late March 2005, Hungary hosted Bulgaria in what was pretty much a must win match for Matthäus' squad, however they only managed a draw right at the end with the goal coming in 90th minute for a 1-1 final scoreline. As Croatia and Sweden both won on the same occasion, the leading duo of teams now tangibly separated themselves from the pack of chasers, all of which meant that in order to qualify Hungary would have to win all its remaining fixtures and even get some outside help in terms of favourable results elswehere. Such improbable scenario failed to materialize and they ended up in fourth place with 14 points from 10 matches, well behind Croatia and Sweden who earned 25 and 24 points, respectively. Somewhat unexpectedly, Matthäus was allowed to finish out the campaign behind the bench, 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, accusing it in November 2007 of "not contributing, but exploting Hungarian football" and citing that "it's not coincidental that the Hungarian bid for Euro 2012 didn't receive any votes".[10]

Atlético Paranaense

Matthäus signed a one-year contract to coach Brazilian club Atlético Paranaense from the city of Curitiba on 11 January 2006. However, after only 7 matches in charge (5 wins, 2 draws) from the start of the 2006 Paraná state championship he quit the club in March 2006 citing the need to be closer to his family. The way he left 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 on 20 March and never even went back to Brazil to pick up his personal belongings.[11] Some ten days later, Atlético put out a release mentioning that Matthäus ran up R$13,000 (US$5,915) in phone charges that the club wanted him to pay.[12][13] The club even posted the bill on their website.[14]

Red Bull Salzburg

On 19 May 2006, only two months following the bizarre Brazilian episode, Matthäus was announced as coach of Red Bull Salzburg (formerly Austria Salzburg) for the upcoming 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.[15] 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.[16]

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.[17]

Personal life

Matthäus has three children.[18] 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 Serbian 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 Salzburg, Austria (their last residence) over the division of assets.[19]

In December 2008, 47-year-old Matthäus married then 21-year old Ukrainian model Kristina Liliana Chudinova. The ceremony was held in Las Vegas. They met a year earlier at an Oktoberfest beer festival. They currently live in Tel Aviv, Israel, where Liliana studies journalism in a local university there.[20]

Club Playing Honours

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


Career statistics

Club performance League Cup Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Germany League DFB-Pokal Total
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
Italy League Coppa Italia Total
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
Germany League DFB-Pokal Total
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
USA League Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Total
2000 NY/NJ MetroStars Major League Soccer 16 0
2001 0 0
Total Germany 464 121
Italy 115 40
USA 16 0
Career Total 595 161


  1. ^ Heike Faller. "Rein fußballerisch betrachtet" (in German). Die Zeit. Retrieved 1 November 2007. 
  2. ^ "Lothar Matthaus". Retrieved 1 November 2007. 
  3. ^ "Matthäus dementiert Kontakt zu Partizan Belgrad" (in German). 
  4. ^ "Lotar Mateus podneo ostavku" (in Serbian). Glas javnosti. 14 December 2003. Retrieved 9 November 2009. 
  5. ^ "Zeitungen: Matthäus kehrt zu Partizan Belgrad zurück" (in German). 
  6. ^ "Lotar Mateus juče u Budimpešti promovisan u novog selektora reprezentacije Mađarske - Da li je Efenberg bio u pravu?" (in Serbian). Glas javnostidate. 15 December 2003. Retrieved 9 November 2009. 
  7. ^ "Lotar Mateus progovorio o razlozima odlaska iz Humske i nameri da čelnike Partizana tuži u FIFA i UEFA: Dajem im tri dana fore" (in Serbian). Glas javnosti. 15 April 2004. Retrieved 24 January 2010. 
  8. ^ ""Partizan ništa ne duguje Mateusu"" (in Serbian). B92. 17 April 2004. Retrieved 24 January 2010. 
  9. ^ "Mateus definitivno tužio FK Partizan" (in Serbian). B92. 18 April 2004. Retrieved 24 January 2010. 
  10. ^ "Matthäus: Mindenki mondjon le!" (in Hungarian). Sport Géza. 3 November 2007. Retrieved 26 January 2009. 
  11. ^ Andrew Downie. "Same as the old boss …". ESPNsoccernet. Retrieved 1 November 2007. 
  12. ^ "Mateus ostao dužan Brazilcima" (in Serbian). B92. 1 April 2006. Retrieved 24 January 2010. 
  13. ^ "Atletico Paranaense says Matthaeus owes nearly US$6,000 in phone bills". AP Worldstream. 31 March 2006. Retrieved 24 January 2010. 
  14. ^ "Matthaeus owes nearly $6,000 in phone bills". NewAgeDesk. 2 April 2006. Retrieved 24 January 2010. 
  15. ^ "Matthaus to coach Maccabi Netanya". 13 April 2008. Retrieved 26 June 2008. 
  16. ^ "Vertrag von Matthäus in Netanja wird aufgelöst" (in German). Retrieved 30 April 2009. 
  17. ^ "I am an idol and should be treated like one, says Lothar Matthaeus". Guardian. 8 November 2009. Retrieved 9 November 2009. 
  18. ^ Karlsson, Emil (5 January 2009). "Matthäus har gift sig – igen" (in Swedish). Aftonbladet. Retrieved 5 January 2009. 
  19. ^ Mijatović, M. (11 February 2009). "Mateusovi se razveli posle godinu dana suđenja" (in Serbian). Blic. Retrieved 11 February 2009. 
  20. ^ "Ukrainian becomes forth wife for German football legend". Russia Today. 4 January 2009. Retrieved 29 April 2009. 

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