Player Profile - Wolfgang Overath

Discussion in 'Germany' started by Gregoriak, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. Gregoriak

    Gregoriak BigSoccer Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2002
    Location:
    Bolzplatz
    WOLFGANG OVERATH

    [​IMG]


    Born: 29 September 1943 in Siegburg.

    Nickname: Zigeuner.

    Position: Inside left/playmaker.

    Caps:
    West Germany 81 (1963-1974) / 17 goals

    Domestic League Games:
    Bundesliga 409 (1963-1977) / 84 goals

    Domestic Cup Games:
    German Cup 59 (1963-1977) / 19 goals

    European Cup Games:
    71 (1963-1976) / 11 goals

    International Club Cup Games:
    Champions’ Cup 7 (1963-1964) / 1 goal
    Cup Winners’ Cup 8 (1968-1969) / 1 goal
    Fairs Cup/UEFA Cup 56 (1965-1976) / 9 goals

    European Footballer of the Year:
    1967 (20th), 1970 (5th), 1971 (18th), 1973 (18th)

    German Footballer of the Year:
    Never

    Clubs
    SV Siegburg 04 (1953-1962)
    FC Cologne (1962-1977)

    Trophies & Tournaments:
    World Champion: 1974
    World Cup beaten finalist: 1966
    World Cup third place: 1970
    German Champion: 1964
    German runner-up: 1965, 1973
    German Cup winner: 1968, 1977
    German Cup runner-up: 1970, 1971, 1973
    FIFA World XI: 1968


    Wolfgang Overath first caught the attention of the youth coaches of the German F.A. in 1958 at the age of 14 while he was playing for his hometown club Siegburg 04, a town south-west of Cologne. Soon Overath was picked to represent Germany at youth level. His first appearance in front of a big crowd came in the pupil’s international between England and West Germany at Wembley, when he impressed with his long passes that would become his trademark later in his career. At the age of 16, Dettmar Cramer put through that he would play at the UEFA Youth Cup with the 18-year-olds. Cramer wanted to show that there were not only mere athletes among German youth footballers but also accomplished technical players. In 1962, the 18-year-old Overath was already a very sought-after player, with many clubs trying to sign him (among them Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund and Kickers Offenbach). But Overath opted to sign for FC Cologne, as Cologne’s president Franz Kremer had a very good reputation and Cologne’s manager Zlatko Cajkovski was renown for being adept at intergrating young talents into his side. Additionally, Cologne was among the best sides in German club football at that time, having just won the German championship by beating Nuremberg 4-0. However a drawback for Overath was that he was not allowed to play in competitive games for his new club for exactly one year, as the German F.A. had a rule that disallowed players from amateur clubs that joined professional clubs to play for the professional club during the first year, a rule that was designed to protect amateur clubs from getting their best players bought out by bigger clubs. So Overath could only play in friendlies during the 1962-1963 season. He joined that fate with Wolfgang Weber, another promising talent that had joined Cologne from an amateur club. Both would spend the next 14 years together at Cologne and also the German national team. He left college to commence an apprenticeship at the Kaufhof department store together with his mate Wolfgang Weber.

    By August 1963, the German F.A. had finally established a professional nationwide league which replaced the various regional leagues that now became the second divisions. Overath immediately became a very important player in the Cologne side, with his gifted left foot, he played at the inside left position but also at times at outside left. Already in his first league game for Cologne, Overath impressed as a smart playmaker full of energy and wit, scoring one goal in the away game at Saarbrücken. During the next couple of weeks, Overath was one of the players of the new Bundesliga that continued to produce headlines in the sport papers. This publicity also meant that Overath soon had to deal with tight man marking in every game, something that would accompany him during the rest of his professional career and that often led Overath to complaining bitterly to the referees. This was one of Overath’s most well-known character traits, for all his brilliance as a footballer, he could never really control himself, as he was shorttempered, uncontrollable and sometimes choleric in nature. His constant arguments with referees gave him a somewhat negative image among not few football fans and the media. During his first professional season, FC Cologne was the club to beat in the Bundesliga, with players like the 1954 World Cup champion Hans Schäfer, center forward Christian Müller, outside left Heinz Hornig, goalkeeper Fritz Ewert, outside right Karl-Heinz Thielen, center half Leo Wilden and the full backs Fritz Pott and Anton Regh, Cologne possessed the most balanced side at that time. Cologne seemed at times unstoppable and ran away with the league title in sovereign fashion. In September 1963, Overath was for the first time called up to represent West Germany at senior level. The legendary manager Sepp Herberger was still in charge at that time and Overath’s great talent had not escaped him. In the game against Turkey in Frankfurt, Overath was subbed in after 69 minutes and immediately began to impress the spectators with his great vision, quick play, his great technique and his (soon trademark) through balls and long passes over 50 or 60 yards. Overath received standing ovations for his superb display during the last 20 minutes of the game. For the next game, Herberger decided to give the 20-year-old Overath the possibility to showcase his talents from the start of the game. Although West Germany lost 1-2 in Stockholm to Sweden, he was again one of the best players on the pitch. During the next ten years, Overath would remain a constant feature in Germany’s national side.

    After the big success of his first professional season, becoming nothing less than the new great hope of German football, things slowed down a bit in the following season. Cologne had started as huge favorites to defend their league title but they only managed second behind totally unfancied Werder Bremen. In the European Cup, Cologne made it to the quarterfinal, beating Albanian champs Partizan Tirana and Greek representatives Panathinaikos Athens. The first real test came in February and March 1965, as Cologne had to face English champions Liverpool FC. Cologne only managed a goalless draw at home against Bill Shankly’s side, but then surprised everyone with a great performance at Anfield that also ended in a 0-0 draw, goalie Toni Schumacher (not related to Harald ‘Toni’ Schumacher, Cologne keeper of the 1970s and 1980s) had played the game of his life. A decision game had to be staged in Rotterdam, which again ended in a draw (2-2). Since penalty shoot-outs had not been invented at that time, a coin throw had to decide the winner but the drama had not yet ended. Incredibly, the coin thrown by referee Schaut from Belgium got stuck in the mud on the pitch without falling to either side! However the second coin throwfound a winner and Liverpool proved to be luckier with their side of the coin ending up on top. Overath’s buddy Wolfgang Weber had collided with an English player after only 20 seconds, was brought into the dressing room, the doc gave him a pain killing injection as no substituting was allowed in those days. Weber got back onto the pitch, playing the first half. During the half-time break, the Cologne medical staff made a test to find out if Weber could keep on playing: Weber climbed onto a table and then had to jump down again. If his leg didn’t break, it was determined, he could go on playing. As he didn’t collapse after the jump, it was decided that he could keep on playing in the second half as well. Despite the hellish pain, Weber kept on playing even in extra-time and incredibly almost scored a goal! After the game he was brought into the hospital and x-ray revelead that he had played with a broken fibula the whole game. Those were the days ...

    So while things didn’t work quite as planned for Cologne, Overath’s international career would soon reach a first peak. Having established himself firmly as the new playmaker in the (now Helmut Schön-supervised) German national team during the 1964-65 season, he would become one of Germany’s best players in the 1966 World Cup held in England. The German midfield in that tournament still has to be ranked as one of the finest in the country’s footballing history, with Serie A professional Helmut Haller on the right, Franz Beckenbauer at the center and Wolfgang Overath on the left. After the tournament was over, at the age of 22, Overath had to be rated as one of Europe’s finest midfield players, as he was an integral part of the team that almost won the World Cup at Wembley in the historic final vs. hosts England. Helmut Schön had played with a 4-3-3 during the World Cup, but during the next two years, he changed the system back to a 4-2-4. This meant that it was hard for midfield players to get a spot in the team. Most of the time, the midfield duo consisted of Overath and Beckenbauer which was an unfortunate situation for another newly emerged midfield talent, Mönchengladbach’s Günter Netzer. With Overath having played so well at the 1966 World Cup, Helmut Schön preferred him over the unproved Netzer. The only time both Netzer and Overath were playing together, the result was disastrous as Germany only drew 0-0 at Albania, a result that eliminated them from the European Championship! Although Schön had reintroduced the 4-3-3 by 1968, he usually only used Netzer when Overath was injured or out of form. During the next three years, Schön only “risked” to pair Netzer and Overath once, in the other 30 games during that period, it was either one of them, but mostly Overath.

    ....................................[​IMG]

    During the same time, Cologne lost its dominant position in the Bundesliga. Although they still had an above average side, the team lacked the killer instinct necessary to remain at the verz top over a longer period. This was mostly explained by the typical character of people from Cologne, a “everything-will-work-out-fine-in-the-end” attitude that oftentimes shied away from hard work. With their happy-go-lucky attitude, FC Cologne could not really compete seriously with Bayern Munich and Borussia Mönchengladbach, the two sides that emerged in the late-1960s as the two dominant forces in German club football. This lack of proper attitude of his teammates was the source of annoyance to the ambitious Overath, whose goal always was to win every game by all means, even the most unimportant friendly. It was especially bitter for him to see less talented sides like Bremen and Brunswick win the championship as a result of their better work attitude. The only trophy Cologne won in those years was the German Cup in 1968 against second division side VfL Bochum. While Cologne was always among the top clubs after the 1964 championship, the 1968-69 season proved to be a traumatic one for the club and its best player, Overath. Troubled by injuries of several regular players (among them goalgetter Johannes Löhr, who was out for almost the entire season), Cologne had to fight off relegation to the very last day. Overath himself had to fight off a severe slip of form that for a while made him lose his starting place in the national side. But just in time Overath and his teammates got back to their form of old and it was Overath that saved the club from relegation when he scored the highly important 1-0 against direct competitors Nuremberg on the last day of the season. If Cologne had been relegated, Overath would have had to face either a season of second division football or he had to join another big club, most likely Bayern Munich. Since Overath was closely linked to the city of Cologne, he would probably have opted to stay at the club even if it had been relegated.

    The following season was the complete opposite. Overath was in tremendous form, he arguably never played as well as he did in 1969-70. Some even compared his performances to that of the great Alfredo di Stéfano. Overath was the heart of his club, he orchestrated the attacks, impressed with his visionary style of play, dribblings with the ball close to his left foot, then long passes sprayed across the pitch with the precision of a Swiss clockwork. His delicate left foot was at the center of attention whenever he was on the ball, playing almost every pass with the outside of his left foot, giving his passes an outstandingly subtle touch. He even used the outside of his foot for freekicks and corner kicks, giving the ball a great spin with that. His rival Günter Netzer also played a formidable season, but he found it a lot harder to adapt to the surroundings of the national team, something Overath never had any problems with. Then Netzer also had a falling out with German national team manager Helmut Schön in February 1970, Netzer even announced his retirement from the national side after he felt that he was unfairly criticised for his performance against Spain by Schön. Although they soon made up again afterwards, Netzer all the same missed the 1970 World Cup due to an injury. Thus the scene was set for Overath. Backed by his tremendous performances for Cologne, there was no doubt that he would be the main man in Germany’s midfield in Mexico. Overath played exceptionally well for Germany, becoming one of the best players of the tournament. He played a significant part in one of the most attack-minded German sides in World Cup history. After a bumpy start against minnows Morocco in the first game, Germany impressed with victories against Bulgaria (5-2), Peru (3-1) and reigning champs England (3-2 at extra-time). Then came the historic clash with Italy in the semi final at Mexico-City, which Germany lost quite unluckily 3-4. Overath himself made sure Germany would finish third with his goal against Uruguay in the third place match. In all of these games, Overath was among the best players, forming an incredibly well-tuned midfield tandem with Franz Beckenbauer. It did not come as a surprise when Overath was described as the tournament’s “Best player” by a Brazilian sports paper.

    Overath continued to play at a high level for Cologne in the 1970-71 season and he succeeded Uwe Seeler as captain of the German national team, however the early 1970s proved to be a difficult time for him. Germany manager Helmut Schön could no longer afford to ignore Günter Netzer, as the playmaker of the German champions Borussia Mönchengladbach was in tremendous form during those years and enthused every football fan in Germany with his inspired style of play. With Borussia Mönchengladbach now being the best side in German club football, more of Netzer’s teammates were called up by Schön which made the environment of the national team much more welcoming to Netzer than in previous years. With Berti Vogts, Jupp Heynckes, Herbert Wimmer and Rainer Bonhof as constant fixtures in the German national side of the early 1970s, Günter Netzer found it now easier to transfuse his great club performances over to the national team. So Helmut Schön faced a real dilemma. He had two outstanding playmakers available, one who had already proven his worth in two World Cups, and one who was the all-conquering, bright-shining star of the Bundesliga. Schön was certain that it should be possible to create a system in which both playmakers could plaz alongside each other, his hope also being spurred by the fact that Overath and Netzer were good friends outside of the pitch that had a good understanding. Helmut Schön arguably wanted to avoid a situation like in Italy where Valcareggi designed a job-sharing program between Sandro Mazzola and Gianni Rivera. By mid-November 1970 the time had come to once again try the experiment of having two classic playmakers in the same side. This experiment was only made possible due to Schön’s decision to move Beckenbauer out of the midfield back to his precious sweeper position which he always longed to play in. Germany played two games on the Balkans, the first one against Yugoslavia was lost 0-2 and neither Netzer nor Overath played particularly well. For the game against Greece four days later, Schön decided that he needed Beckenbauer in midfield, together with Netzer and Overath. After 36 minutes Overath had to leave the pitch due to an injury, but up to that point the new midfield had blend in quite well. Germany won 3-1, with Netzer and Beckenbauer both scoring a goal.

    It was Netzer’s best game for Germany up to that point. Pleased with the outcome, Helmut Schön repeated the Beckenbauer-Netzer-Overath midfield combination for the next game, a Euro qualifier away in Albania. Netzer again impressed while Overath played average. Overath missed the next game due to an injury, the important away Euro qualifer at Turkey. Netzer was again the best player on the pitch and it probably dawned upon Helmut Schön that it was time to to give Netzer full command of the midfield. However Overath was still the captain of the national team and played very well for his club thus he could not just drop him. Thus in the next game, the return leg against Albania, Overath and Netzer were again playing together. Overath knew that it would become harder and harder for him to perform well in the national team, as there were now up to eight players from Borussia Mönchengladbach featured in the Germany roster. No surprise, Netzer continued to blossom under these circumstances, slowly but surely becoming the dominating player in Germany’s team. Against Albania, Schön experimented with a 4-2-4 formation, the midfield consisting of Netzer and Wimmer with Overath having to act as one of the forwards. This new role did not suit Overath at all and being a sensitive character, he became more and more unsure of his position in Schön’s team. In late-June 1971, Germany went to a tour of Scandinavia with three games. In all three games Overath and Netzer played together in midfield, but this was to be the last time Schön tried to play with the two playmakers for almost three years. The midfield of Borussia Mönchengladbach was simply in better form than that of any other German club and during the next 18 months, Netzer would be the unrivalled boss of the German midfield. In the coming season, Overath was plagued by a seriers of minor injuries but in March 1972 he suffered a more severe groin injurz which had to be operated and that put Overath out of action for some months. The last game Overath would be playing for Germany was in the disappointing 0-0 draw at home against Poland which Netzer had missed. Under Netzer’s guidance, Germany had won impressively in Poland with 3-1 and the public opinion was now firmly against Overath. Overath was to miss the next six games and thus also was not part of the 1972 European Championship winning side that impressed all of Europe in spring and summer of 1972. During Overath’s absense, the German national team had become a perfect symbiosis of Bayern Munich and Borussia Mönchengladbach, only two players were not part of these two clubs. Netzer had now become the face of German football (together with Beckenbauer) in a way Overath never had managed to. This was a very depressing phase for Overath, as his rival Netzer was getting all kinds of laurels for his outstanding performances while Overath was almost forgotten. A very bitter experience. At the end of 1972, it looked as if Netzer would remain Germany’s #10 for many years, but fate was now turning against Netzer. It was now the Gladbach playmaker that was more and more troubled by minor injuries and during all of 1973, Netzer would only be able to play one international game for Germany out of ten. Now Helmut Schön was forced to call up Overath once again, who himself was in no good form, but since he needed a playmaker for his side, there was no other option than Overath. However the football year 1973 started disastrously for Germany. In February, with Overath at the helm, Germany lost to Argentina in Munich with 2-3 (after having been down 0-3!). The media and fans were of course shocked and furious after that out-of-the-question performance. With Overath having made his comeback after an absense of over a year, the scapegoat was easy to pick. To the sensitive Overath, this was a disastrous development. Although he was back in spotlight much sooner than he ever expected, he now had to face being booed and whistled whenever one of his passes didn’t reach his man. Soon Overath was already whistled when his name mentioned over the speakers before the game even had started! Quite a hostile enrivonment, especially since Germany kept on struggling in all of their games in spring and summer 1973. The contrast to 1972 was very striking.

    ...............................[​IMG]

    The early 1970s also proved to be a disappointing time for FC Cologne. In 1970, they lost the German Cup final against second division side Kickers Offenbach and a year later they again lost a German Cup final, this time to more respected opposition, Bayern Munich. In 1973, the big Netzer vs. Overath showdown was set to take place, as Mönchengladbach and Cologne had both reached the German Cup final. In a thrilling game, which was probably the best ever Cup final, Overath had to leave the pitch after about an hour due to an injury. Günter Netzer had been sensationally placed on the bench by his coach Hennes Weisweiler, but when Netzer got into the game in extra-time, he struck the winning goal with a left-footed volley straight out of heaven. Netzer had again remained victorious (in his last game for Borussia Mönchengladbach)! With Netzer joining Real Madrid in the summer of 1973, the public opinion began to be a bit more critical of him, though. Netzer found it incredibly hard to adapt to Spanish football, he who could only really play good in his accustomed enrivonment had a really hard time at Real during his first season. His teammates were not really accepting him as the complete dominator like he was at Mönchengladbach (where his nickname was “King of the Bökelberg”). This was Overath’s big opportunity. With Netzer struggling most of the 1973-74 season, it wasn’t a hard choice to make for Schön to seriously try to get Overath back in his old playmaker role for Germany. Some weeks before the 1974 World Cup which was held in Germany, Helmut Schön as well as skipper Franz Beckenbauer made the decision to play with Overath in midfield and without Netzer. It had become obvious in the training camps in May that Netzer was not in good physical shape and that a recreation of the magic of the 1972 team was simply impossible. And with Bernd Cullmann and Heinz Flohe, Overath had now two teammates in midfield that would make things easier for him in the national team. And thus it came that Wolfgang Overath was for the third straight World Cup a permanent fixture in the German national team. Overath proved that Schön’s and Beckenbauer’s decision was in fact the right one, he may not have played his best ever World Cup (that was the 1970 one), but he played his midfield playmaker role still in an exceptional way, scoring two great goals himself. Overath’s confidence was constantly growing throughout the tournament, although the tournament itself was not without drawbacks. In the game against East Germany, which West Germany lost 0-1, Overath did not play too well and had to get substituted after 70 minutes. On came Günter Netzer whose name the crowd in Hamburg had chanted loudly during most of the second half. But once he was on the pitch even Netzer couldn’t do a lot and in the next game against Yugoslavia, Overath was back in the starting eleven. While he did not play outstanding against the Yugoslavians, the next game against Sweden would become his best ever World Cup performance for Germany. In a real thriller, Overath was one of the best players on the pitch. After Germany had managed to beat the fancied Dutch in the World Cup final in Munich, the time had come for Overath to quit the national side after eleven years. There was no better way to leave than as World Champion. In July 1974, Overath for a short time contemplated a move to Spain to join Atletico Madrid, but his wife eventually objected against such a move.

    In 1976, former Gladbach and FC Barcelona coach Hennes Weisweiler came to Cologne to finally help the club win the German championship once again. Weisweiler had a reputation of always getting in trouble with the big stars at his club (Netzer at Gladbach, Cruyff at Barcelona). The media was expecting that he and Overath would be a quarrelsome pairing and thus both men at first did their best not to let the impression arise that they could not work together. But Weisweiler was still suffering from the dishonor that he was inferior to a player (oh the shame!) - to Cruyff in Barcelona. Weisweiler wanted to restore his image by winning the German championship with Cologne. The laissez-faire attitude was something he immediately got out the Cologne players and the club started sensationally bz winning the first five games of the season. But then came a embarrassing defeat against lowly-ranked Tennis Borussia Berlin and soon Cologne was back on the old track. Cologne got into a crisis and the fans as well as the media demanded an explanation for that slump. What Weisweiler came up with was an easy explanation: “It’s Overath’s fault!“ Weisweiler was working on a concept in which Overath did not play a role anymore. His criticism of Overath was basically that the time of the great playmakers was over, that he needed players that fought, ran, covered and marked. Weisweiler knew that the sensitive Overath would have problems dealing with this kind of criticism. Overath was always dependent on this feeling that he was indespensable for FC Cologne, that nothing at the club could work without him in the center of things. Weisweiler however said: “When Overath plays a long pas over 40 yards forward, he is out of the game.” Overath would balk at joining the turmoil in the penalty box. Two days later it came to the final cut. Cologne lost 2-4 against Kaiserslautern at the Betzenberg. Overath wanted to leave the pitch after 65 minutes but Weisweiler decided he had to remain in the game. “I only wanted to clarify what he is still capable of. A pitz that so few people from Cologne were here.” From this moment on Overath and Weisweiler stopped talking to each other. The final humiliation that Overath had to endure came in the German Cup final in May 1977 against Hertha BSC in Hanover. Weisweiler substituted Overath before the start of extra-time. Overath had sworn that he would immediately quit his playing career if Weisweiler dared to substitute him after he refused to do so in the Kaiserslautern game. That moment had now come. In the repeat of the Cup final two days later, Overath was not part of the squad anymore. His professional career had finally ended at the same time his old rival Günter Netzer quit his playing career in Switzerland. Franz Beckenbauer was also leaving the Bundesliga joining New York Cosmos and thus all of a sudden the three dominating figures in German football were all gone at the same time. A year later Weisweiler in a way proved that he was correct about ousting Overath since he led Cologne to win the double.

    To many, Wolfgang Overath is still the best German midfield player that ever was, better than even Fritz Walter or Günter Netzer, Bernd Schuster or Lothar Matthäus. Overath possessed a number of great attributes like no other German midfielder did. He was a superb playmaker, but was also someone able to work very hard for others. The 1966 World Cup was the best example, when Overath did a lot of covering for Beckenbauer and Haller. In 1970 he was the dominant player in Germany’s squad, even overshadowing one Franz Beckenbauer. And in 1974, he was willing to subordinate himself to the dominant Bayern block. Overath was gifted with a superb technique, but at the same time he was an aggressive warrior that used the worst curses and insults on the pitch and that was capable of committing some nasty fouls. He could hit accurate passes over 50, 60 yards, but was also used as a special marker for other players (like in 1968 when he had to cover Rivelino in the World XI). Overath was arguably the best tournament player that ever was. He participated in three World Cups and did not miss one minute.


    League Statistics per Season
    Season - Club - Games – Goals
    1963/64 FC Cologne.....Bundesliga........30 / 09
    1964/65 FC Cologne.....Bundesliga........27 / 09
    1965/66 FC Cologne.....Bundesliga........30 / 03
    1966/67 FC Cologne.....Bundesliga........33 / 06
    1967/68 FC Cologne.....Bundesliga........29 / 09
    1968/69 FC Cologne.....Bundesliga........34 / 06
    1969/70 FC Cologne.....Bundesliga........29 / 12
    1970/71 FC Cologne.....Bundesliga........26 / 04
    1971/72 FC Cologne.....Bundesliga........25 / 06
    1972/73 FC Cologne.....Bundesliga........30 / 03
    1973/74 FC Cologne.....Bundesliga........31 / 05
    1974/75 FC Cologne.....Bundesliga........34 / 04
    1975/76 FC Cologne.....Bundesliga........27 / 02
    1976/77 FC Cologne.....Bundesliga........24 / 06

    International Club Games
    1963/64 FC Cologne.....Fairs Cup..........06 / 02
    1964/65 FC Cologne.....EC I.................07 / 01
    1965/66 FC Cologne.....Fairs Cup..........05 / 02
    1967/68 FC Cologne.....Fairs Cup..........04 / 01
    1968/69 FC Cologne.....EC II................08 / 01
    1970/71 FC Cologne.....Fairs Cup..........06 / 00
    1971/72 FC Cologne.....UEFA Cup.........04 / 00
    1972/73 FC Cologne.....UEFA Cup.........05 / 00
    1973/74 FC Cologne.....UEFA Cup.........07 / 01
    1974/75 FC Cologne.....UEFA Cup.........10 / 03
    1975/76 FC Cologne.....UEFA Cup.........04 / 00
    1976/77 FC Cologne.....UEFA Cup.........05 / 00


  2. unclesox

    unclesox BigSoccer Supporter

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    Wow. I have to admit it's a bit depressing knowing now that Ovarath retired because of Weisweiler. I never knew of their relationship. My all-time favorite player and perhaps my all-time favorite coach... not getting along. :(
    But as you say, Weisweiler proved he was correct by winning the liga and pokal the following season.
    Still, a shame that both Ovarath and Wolfgang Weber, long servants to the club who both retired after the 76-77 campaign, missed out by one season on possibly ending their careers as Bundesliga champions.

    Great job as always, Gregoriak. Very much appreciate it. :cool:
    Repped.
  3. Gregoriak

    Gregoriak BigSoccer Supporter

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    Overath could have gone on playing professionally for at least another two or three years. He in fact had an offer from the NASL and was seriously considering it. His wife was not willing to move to America, so Overath had to face leaving his wife and kids behind for the time the NASL season was running. His wife consented to that solution but Overath then decided not to make the NASL move as he feared it would ruin his marriage.
  4. RONALDO......LEGEND

    RONALDO......LEGEND New Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Firstly I must say i'm still young, well I never saw WC's from 30s to 86s live, but I have made an effort to look for past WC games. Two games that impressed me from past WCs, were Germany vs Italy WC70 and France vs Germany WC82, only one player impressed me in Germany WC70 team, that was Wolfgang Overath-What a Player, I love Franz'Kaiser' but from now on my favourite Germany player of all time is WOLFGANG OVERATH. His passes, vision, movement and dribling plus his amazing left foot, only if that Short against Italy that strike the upright in the Second half went in:(.


  5. Gregoriak

    Gregoriak BigSoccer Supporter

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    Thanks for that post. It appeared to me as if Overath is generally well valued in Brazil (at least back when he played). It was remarkable that a leading Brazilian sports paper declared Overath "Player of the Tournament" in 1970 when they could have picked a Brazilian player just as well. One of Overath's best performances for Germany btw was in a game vs. Brazil in May 1968 in Stuttgart. He was outstanding in that game and I guess he also impressed in Brazil.
  6. BongartzUndRivera

    BongartzUndRivera Member

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    Again thanks for this great post Wolfie.

    Overath,among to many seems to be the most underrated player ever, but I don't think he was really ever rated low...it was just that there were so many well known great players at that time, but again never was he ever rated to a low ranked player even until when he hung up his boots.

    Exactly! He had a fierce charcater, but never was he selfish on the pitch.
    I sometimes wondered if Netzer was in top form at the WM74, could Netzer have played well along with Kaiser & co.? In case Netzer was in, maybe Wimmer & Heynckes might have had more roles, but remember folks that Overath didn't need Cullmann or Flohe to go along with the rest of Der Mannschaft.

    I used to like Netzer more of the flashiness he had brought, but Overath would be the player if I had to choose for a team.
  7. dor02

    dor02 Member

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    I saw the Italy-West Germany semi-final from Mexico 70 last night and I tried to concentrate on Overath's game. I was quite impressed with his play. Wherever he was on the field, he would dictate play with his passing. He made some effetive dribbles and even created a few chances. Wolfgang was very calm on the ball to despite getting a few rough tackles from Cera, Rosato and co.

    To go a bit off topic, Jurgen Grabowski also played well in that classic.
  8. BongartzUndRivera

    BongartzUndRivera Member

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    Indeed! I would also like to 'request' Gregoriak to write about Gabi as he was not only a right winger, but also a great central creative midfielder with Frankfurt.
  9. Gregoriak

    Gregoriak BigSoccer Supporter

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    If there really is one underrated player from the 1960s and 1970s it is indeed Jürgen Grabowski. Nobody really seems to rate him outside of Germany?
  10. Gregoriak

    Gregoriak BigSoccer Supporter

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    Regarding Overath being underrated or not.

    Back in 2004 a renown group of posters staged the "Draft of Drafts" - groups of people had the task to draft the best players from history and currently to form the best team possible. One of the groups selected Overath after a while and the response by the other participants was overly negative.

    You can check the thread here. In post #620 Overath gets selected and over the next three pages that selection is being discussed by the others:

    http://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showthread.php?t=100986&page=16&highlight=Overath

    I was not around at the time of that draft, only got to read it half a year later. I was really surprised to see his selection being criticized like that. Since then I have a feeling that Overath may be a bit underrated by the international football community? If these people did rate him low, how about others less interested in football past?
  11. unclesox

    unclesox BigSoccer Supporter

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    From my standpoint, it's very ironic that Jürgen Grabowski's name should come up on this thread.
    I began following the sport in 1978, a year after Overath retired. I had heard of his name but never really saw any footage of him.
    The first time I saw him play was when "Soccer Made In Germany" showed Grabowski's 1979 farewell jubilee between Eintracht Frankfurt and the 1974 World Cup side (which included Uwe Seeler for the occasion). In that game, Overath made a crossfield pass that literally stopped - not just landed, but stopped - at the feet of his attended teammate. Even Toby Charles (the commentator) laughed and said, "Just look at that pass!"
    From then on I began finding more films of his play and he eventually became my all-time favorite player. The fact that he's left-footed (as I am) and played for my favorite club side helped a bit as well. ;)
  12. BongartzUndRivera

    BongartzUndRivera Member

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    How about in Germany?
    I mean I've a lot about Overath being overshdowed by Beckenbauer's fame, but never heard anyone saying much about Grabi...

    Those who for who hasn't watched Overath...what eles can I say, but to ask them to watch a match of his...
  13. Gregoriak

    Gregoriak BigSoccer Supporter

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    Cool story. It was this game that made everyone realize that Overath could have easily gone on playing right into the early 1980s. He was still fit and his talent had of course not diminished. It was a shame Weisweiler axed him at Cologne. I think the foremost reason why Cologne won the title in 1978 was not Overath's leaving but the fact that Weisweiler managed to get the leisurely attitude out of the Cologne players. He did not have to do that with Overath as he was always very ambitious and professional.

    That farewell game was in 1980, btw.;)
  14. Gregoriak

    Gregoriak BigSoccer Supporter

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    He is of course worshipped by Eintracht fans but you're right, compared to Netzer or Overath, Grabowski gets close to no attention or publicity these days.

    The ZDF tv channel some months ago compiled a "Our best footballers" countdown. It was based on votes. Grabowski finished 34th.

    You can check the Top 100 here:

    http://www.zdf.de/ZDFde/download/0,1896,2003376,00.pdf

    In my opinion still active players should have been excluded as they always finish up higher than they actually deserve.
  15. RONALDO......LEGEND

    RONALDO......LEGEND New Member

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    Its the same game that made me bump this thread broe. He played great in that game. You right about Grabowski also.

    There is another guy who camed on wearing 20 was nicknamed Stanley Mathews Lubaski or something he had talent but I dont know much about him. I was impress by Seeler also, his work rate, arial strength and was technically sound.
  16. unclesox

    unclesox BigSoccer Supporter

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    Ah, you're right. For some reason I always think of that match as having been played in '79 but I just looked at some old program guides I saved from back then and it was indeed in '80.
    Actually, as I look at this guide it mentions that in that game someone named Guenther Wienhold played in goal, replacing Maier in the second half. He wasn't in the '74 squad, was he? I thought it was Nigbur and Kleff. Never heard of Wienhold. You know anything about him, Gregoriak? Played for Freiburg, apparently.
  17. Gregoriak

    Gregoriak BigSoccer Supporter

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    Günter Wienhold was the keeper of Eintracht Frankfurt in the mid-1970s.

    [​IMG]

    He was a young and promising keeper that managed to break into Eintracht's starting XI in the 1974-75 season, replacing the aging Dr. Peter Kunter. He was one of the best keepers of the 1975-76 season but then suffered a very serious (I think it was even life-threatening) injury in March 1976 at a Bundesliga game at the Bökelberg. If I recall correctly he crashed against the post or something like that and had to get subbed out after 14 minutes. That was the end of his Bundesliga career. He never recovered fully and remained a bench player during his last two years at Eintracht.

    That's why he was invited to play in Grabowski's farewell game, as a nice gesture acknowledging that this nasty injury ended his promising career as a goalie. He however managed a comeback in the 2nd Bundesliga at Freiburg during the 1980s.
  18. Gregoriak

    Gregoriak BigSoccer Supporter

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    Reinhard "Stan" Libuda, one of the best right wingers in Germany's football history.

    [​IMG]

    He had an awesome game against Bulgaria in that World Cup and was also very good against Peru. He didn't play too well against England in the quarterfinal that's why Grabowski got into the starting XI vs. Italy in the semifinal. Libuda is a downright legend in Germany.

    Uwe Seeler's was 33 years old in Mexico 1970 and before the World Cup everyone thought he could not possibly perform well in the heat of the Mexico noon games. It was also criticized to have him in the team when Germany already had a world-class center forward in Gerd Müller. But Helmut Schön decided that a player of Seeler's calibre could not be done without and thus he withdrew Seeler from the striker position and added him to the midfield. Seeler excelled in that role. Against Italy, he played alongside Müller in attack during the second half. Uwe Seeler together with Fritz Walter and Franz Beckenbauer is the biggest legend of German football.
  19. BongartzUndRivera

    BongartzUndRivera Member

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    Yeah, I agree. I have no problems on "most" of the players who were chosen on the list, but the ranks are totally crap (at least for me).


    Grabi wore numero 20 and Stan wore numero 14.;)

    P.S. "Lubaski"? There was a brliillient Polish forward in the 70's called Włodzimierz Lubański. He was the star of the Gold Medal winning Polish NT in 1972, bigger then Gadocha or Lato. Though he made it to the WM78....with a serious injury (broken leg) and a bad medical staff...he never was the same...
  20. dor02

    dor02 Member

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    How the f*u*c*k did Ballack get number 3? Who on earth would rate Kehl and Friedrich ahead of Karl-Heinz Forster?

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