Name: Lothar Herbert Matthaus
Born: March 21st 1961, Erlangen, West Germany
Height: 1,74 m 5tf 8 1/2in
Position: Central Midfielder
It´s difficult to choose the top skills of Matthaus because what made him so special was that he had so many qualities in the defensive and attacking aspects of the game, he was so complete and versatile, that I can only highlight his middle distance shooting ability, the leadership and influence inside the field and the mental coolness as he never failed at the big moments.
1990 – World Cup Winner (West Germany);
1989 – Italian Serie A Winner (Inter Milan);
1991 – Uefa Cup Winner (Inter Milan);
1996 – Uefa Cup Winner (Bayern Munich)
Between 1985 and 2000 – 7 times Bundesliga Winner (Bayern Munich)
When I look back to Matthaus career, I believe he must feel a clear conscience. He gave so much of him to play for so many years, reaching some longevity records, changing positions in the field from central midfield to sweeper, that he couldn´t really manage his playing career better than he did. He was an example of love and dedication to the game. To retire at 39, after being on the spotlight since 18, it is remarkable. Yes, he achieved lots of glory, and the most valuable trophy that exists, the World Cup, in 1990. He won championships in two of the most important leagues of the world and he won European club competitions also twice, but he didn´t reach the European Champions crown. Two finals lost, both with Bayern, and we must say, fairly. He was one of the best ever, and played on the best years of Maradona and Gullit, so it´s without doubt something to be proud, making an impact in such a golden era.
First time I remember of seeing his name was on the Euro 84 stickers collection I did and he played on a complicated name team, Borussia Moenchengladbach. He didn´t have any impact on that competition, so I don´t remember hearing of him until 1986 World Cup. His name was already well known at the time and he was the star of the National Team already. I remember him scoring a long range goal against Morocco in the tournament and his face of pain on the final against Argentina after marking Maradona in the final.
When I started to knowing Lotthar better and admire him was during Euro 88, played on his home soil West Germany. He scored an important Penalty at the semi final against Netherlands and I noticed his leadership and influence on the team was well recognized. He didn´t qualify to the final but the best was yet to come.
Bayern Munich and then Inter Milan success with Matthaus as the commander was well known worldwide and he had a reputation at the time of a complete and winner player. But it was on 1990 Italy World Cup that he gave me great memories. I was a big fan of the Germany team at the time, and I look forward with anticipation of the Yugoslavia game, the first of West Germany into the tournament. And what a start by Matthaus, he scored twice with amazing shots outside the area, one with his left foot and other with the right after a fantastic run. It was a sign that he was really in good shape. Playing really well and being nuclear to the team, he drove West Germany to the title. Very well deserved, I can clearly remember him and the cup, a perfect combination, on that Summer night in 1990.
An excellent 1990/91 Uefa Cup run with Inter Milan, beating Roma at the final, was another memory I have from him. And an excellent goal scored for Bayern Munich after a corner kick, I will never forget. He played other major competitions, but with no impact and it was sad to see him, now as a sweeper, to get a retirement from national team after a 3-0 defeat to Portugal on Euro 2000. But one year before in 1999 he lost the Champions League final, in the last minutes of the game against Man Utd, after he was already subbed off, it´s unforgettable his face on the bench, facing the loss.
A Lotthar Matthaus will not be defeated by his body, a Lothar Matthaus will decide his fate himself.”
|1979–1983||West Germany U21||15||(2)|
|1979–1981||West Germany B||4||(1)|