Günter Netzer

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Günter Netzer
Günter Netzer.jpg
Günter Netzer (2005)
Surname Günter Theodor Netzer
birthday September 14, 1944
place of birth Munich GladbachGerman Empire
size 178 cm
position midfield player
Years station
1952-1963 1. FC Mönchengladbach
Years station Games (goals) 1
1963-1973 Borussia Monchengladbach 297 (108)
1973-1976 real Madrid 85 00(9)
1976-1977 Grasshopper Club Zurich 26 00(3)
National team
Years selection Games (goals)
1965-1975 Germany 37 00(6)
1 Only league games are given.

Günter Theodor Netzer (born September 14, 1944 in Munich Gladbach , today Mönchengladbach ) is a former German professional footballer who played for Borussia Mönchengladbach for ten years and for Real Madrid from 1973 for three years . With the German national soccer team he was European champion in 1972 and world champion in 1974 at the finals in his own country.

Netzer is still considered one of the best midfielders in the history of the Bundesliga. In the early 1970s Netzer was one of the league's biggest stars and the first player to attract attention with an extravagant lifestyle.

Today Günter Netzer is a media entrepreneur, until after the 2010 World Cup he worked as an expert for ARD alongside sports presenter Gerhard Delling for 13 years .


At the age of nine, Netzer joined 1. FC Mönchengladbach . In the following years he played in the Niederrhein Association in several youth teams . In 1963, the 19-year-old signed a professional contract with the then regional league club Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Career in the club

Borussia Monchengladbach

Netzer soon earned a regular place in the regional league team and rose to the Bundesliga with her in 1965 . After the Gladbachers had established themselves in the top German division, they dominated the Bundesliga under coach Hennes Weisweiler in the following years alongside FC Bayern Munich . In this "foal elf" with Berti Vogts , Herbert Lektiven , Jupp Heynckes and Wolfgang Kleff , Netzer was the central figure in the offensive game as midfield strategist, who often gave the game decisive impulses with long passes. Other strengths of the "classic playmaker" included free kicks and corners. Netzer, who was not considered an “unconditional fighter” and a strong player, had a teammate in the defensive midfielder Herbert Wimmer who took on these tasks for him. As the head and captain of the team as well as the extended arm of Weisweiler on the field, Netzer led Borussia to their first championship in 1970 . In 1971 , Borussia Mönchengladbach became the first club in the history of the Bundesliga to defend their title.

In the following season, Borussia Mönchengladbach lost the title to Bayern Munich, but Netzer played an outstanding round and was voted Germany's Footballer of the Year 1972 . With his long hair and his predilection for fast cars and attractive women, he stood out from the other players of his time at an early age. He also caused a stir with his statements about professional football: “On Saturday, eleven business people will be on the pitch, each of whom represents his own interests. They are looking for success together. "

At the end of the 1972/73 season Netzer announced his move to the Spanish top club Real Madrid . His last game for Gladbach was the 1973 DFB Cup final against local rivals 1. FC Köln . Coach Weisweiler initially renounced his playmaker. When it went into extra time when the score was 1: 1, Netzer switched himself in and after a one-two with Rainer Bonhof scored the 2-1 winning goal in his first action with a powerful shot in the left corner of the cross. Netzer had contributed to another title through this goal in his last game. He was also the first player to be named Footballer of the Year for the second year in a row.

real Madrid

Autograph session with Günter Netzer (1975)

The move from Netzer to Real Madrid was one of the most spectacular transfers of a Bundesliga player abroad. This was negotiated on June 12, 1973 by Borussia's manager Helmut Grashoff and Madrid's vice-president Raimundo Saporta . For Netzer's contract termination with Borussia Mönchengladbach a sum of 720,000 DM was agreed, which Real Madrid had to hold, plus the coverage of a loan of 80,000 DM that Netzer had taken out with Borussia. In Madrid Netzer received an annual salary of 295,000 DM, which was very high for the time.

At Real Madrid, Netzer was the first German player in the club's history. There he prevailed after teething problems, won the national cup with Real in 1974, the "double" of championship and cup in 1975 and the Spanish championship in 1976. He scored in 85 league games for the Royal nine goals. He then moved to Switzerland to the Grasshopper Club Zurich , where he ended his active career.

Career in the national team

After half a year in the Bundesliga, Netzer was nominated for the national team for the first time. He played his first international game on October 9, 1965 against Austria ; but he could not recommend himself for a regular place and was not considered for the 1966 World Cup . For the EM finals in 1968 , the DFB selection could not qualify, among other things by the 0-0 against Albania ( shame of Tirana ), in which Netzer was in the team. In 1970 Netzer was in the squad for the World Cup finals in Mexico , but injured himself shortly before leaving; Hennes Löhr moved into the squad for him . National coach Helmut Schön mostly relied on Wolfgang Overath from Cologne as a game designer - especially after the attempt to compete with both directors, which went down in German football history as a shame of Tirana. The rivalry between Netzer and Overath defined the early 1970s.

Netzer experienced the high point of his career in the DFB dress at the European Championships in 1972 , when the German team met England in the quarter-finals . You managed the first victory of a German national team at Wembley Stadium (3: 1, with Netzer scored the interim 2: 1 with a penalty). The press celebrated the birth of a new team ( Wembley-Elf (1972) ) with director Netzer as the link between Gerd Müller in attack and libero Franz Beckenbauer in defense. The Soviet Union was beaten 3-0 in the final, and (West) Germany became European champions for the first time in 1972.

At the 1974 World Cup in his own country, national coach Schön again preferred Overath. Netzer, who moved to Real Madrid in 1973 and was out of shape for the World Cup, played only one game that was to remain his only one at a World Cup. In the 1-0 defeat against the GDR , he was substituted on for his Cologne rival Overath after 70 minutes, but could not give the game a decisive turn. Germany became world champion in the end, but Netzer later stated that he did not feel like world champion, as he had only come to one mission.

In the 1-1 draw against Greece on October 11, 1975, Netzer played the last of his 37 international matches (6 goals). His disregard for the following game against Bulgaria caused him to resign. Netzer is one of the 42 players who have played in the national team for more than ten years .

Style of play

Netzer was the embodiment of the classic playmaker and is still considered one of the best midfielders in the history of the Bundesliga. With wide passes and advances "from the depths of the room" he caused a stir on the field. In addition to an outstanding playing technique, he had a natural authority and was the undisputed leader of the team. During his active time at Borussia Mönchengladbach, the club management and coach Weisweiler also gave him great freedom outside of the field of play.

Success as a player


  • World Champion: 1974
  • European Champion: 1972


  • German champion: 1970, 1971
  • German cup winner: 1973
  • Germany's footballer of the year: 1972, 1973
  • Goal of the Year: 1972, 1973


  • Spanish champion: 1975, 1976
  • Spanish cup winner: 1974, 1975

Worked as a manager at the Hamburger Sportverein

Günter Netzer (1979)

In 1977 he ended his active career and offered Hamburger SV to publish its stadium magazine. President Paul Benthien agreed on the condition that he also become a manager . Netzer worked in this role from 1978 to 1986. During this time Netzer changed the HSV team in many positions and brought Branko Zebec and Ernst Happel to the Hanseatic city as coaches . During this time, HSV became German champions three times (1979, 1982, 1983) and won the European Cup in Athens in 1983 after a 1-0 win against Juventus Turin . The years with Günter Netzer as manager have been the most successful of the Hamburg sports club to date.

Media entrepreneur and TV expert

Netzer founded an advertising agency in Zurich , traded television rights and is now Executive Director of the Swiss sports rights agency Infront Sports & Media AG . The head of the company is Phillipe Blatter , nephew of Sepp Blatter .

He also worked as a reporter and television commentator. In 2000 he and Gerhard Delling received the Grimme Prize for his work as a football commentator on ARD's Erste . In addition, the two of them were awarded the media prize for language culture in Wiesbaden in May 2008 for their “high language level” . Netzer and Delling are friends, although this is always in some common presentations not worked and the two siezten . Netzer was z. B. Best man at Delling's second wedding.

The duo Delling / Netzer, which had strongly criticized the German national team for their performance in a 0-0 draw in Iceland , was the trigger for the outburst of rage of the then DFB team boss Rudi Völler immediately after the international match on September 6, 2003 . In front of the camera, Völler referred to Netzer as a “standing soccer player”. With the soccer world championship 2010 , which he moderated with Delling, the common television activity ended.

Netzer has been a regular columnist for the Bild newspaper since 2005 .

From March 2012 to May 2013 Netzer worked as an expert at the private soccer radio 90elf and commented on selected games together with Wilfried Mohren .

Social Commitment


  • Netzer's father was a seed dealer, his mother had a grocery store.
  • During his active time in 1965, Netzer published the stadium newspaper Fohlenecho , which still exists today, at Borussia Mönchengladbach .
  • In 1965, the fans of Borussia Mönchengladbach named their mascot - foal "Jünter" - after Günter Netzer when the club was promoted to the Bundesliga.
  • From 1971 to 1973 he ran the “Lovers' Lane” discotheque in Mönchengladbach.
  • As a member of the 1974 world championship team, he was awarded the Silver Laurel Leaf .
  • He has lived in Zurich since the 1980s and has been a Swiss citizen since 2015 .
  • Netzer has been married to the photo model Elvira Lang since January 1987. The couple has a daughter (* 1987).
  • From August 1, 1991 to April 27, 1992, Netzer was the manager of FC Schalke 04 . Since he worked from his Swiss home in Zurich, he was called a "telephone manager".
  • In 2004 he published his autobiography From the Depth of Space . In the same year, a movie of the same name made fun of him in a bizarre fantasy story as a former Tipp-Kick figure.
  • Günter Netzer got involved in the team of the Augsburg benefit football team Datschiburger Kickers , which is committed to fundraising for charitable purposes.
  • The Oberhausen punk band Emscherkurve 77 and the Oi band Eastside Boys each dedicated a song with the same title to Günter Netzer.
  • His trademark was and still is his hairstyle. In December 2012 he performed for the series Stars topless! appeared bald in the television commercial for Otelo ; of course it was an artificial bald head.
  • When the German Football Culture Award 2013 Günter Netzer was awarded the Walther Bensemann Prize awarded.
  • Winner of the SPORT-BILD Award 2015 in the “Lifetime Achievement” category; the laudation was given by Wolfgang Niersbach , at that time still DFB President.
  • In July 2016 Netzer was inducted into the Hall of Fame of German Sports .
  • In 2018 he was accepted into the first eleven of the " Hall of Fame of German Football " at the German Football Museum .


  • Helmut Böttiger: Günter Netzer. Manager and rebel. Heyne, Munich 1998, ISBN 3-453-15403-7 .
  • Günter Netzer with Helmut Schümann: From the depths of space. My life. Rowohlt, Reinbek 2004, ISBN 3-498-04683-7 .
  • Sven Simon, Peter Bizer: Günter Netzer: Rebell am Ball. Limpert, Frankfurt 1971.


Web links

Commons : Günter Netzer  - Collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. Jogi Löw - Soccer World Cup: "Soccer, that's life extreme" , Gala , June 11, 2010
  2. ^ "Günter Netzer" ( Memento of the original from April 28, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , German Football Route NRW (DFR), 2008 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.dfr.mm-sports.com
  3. José Luis Pierrend: (West) Germany - Footballer of the Year . Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. September 6, 2012. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
  4. Historical contract: 720,000 marks for Günter Netzer. Rheinische Post from June 20, 2015
  5. http://www.spanien-bilder.com/fussball-in-spanien/lexikon/deutsche-player-bei-real-madrid.htm
  6. ^ Matthias Arnhold: Günter Theodor Netzer - Matches and Goals in Bundesliga . Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. August 31, 2012. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
  7. ^ "Mexico Football '70", Südwest-Verlag, Munich (1970) p. 69 ff., Ed. Harry Valérien
  8. last column; Glossary «Targeted» . In: Arbeiter-Zeitung . Vienna November 13, 1975, p. 28 ( berufer-zeitung.at - the open online archive - digitized).
  9. ^ Matthias Arnhold: Günter Netzer - International Appearances . Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. April 13, 2004. Retrieved September 24, 2012.
  10. Thorsten Jungholt and Knud-Philip Roettger: "Netzer, the eternal playmaker" , WamS , October 13, 2002
  11. Calle Kops: "Günter Netzer - The 'Rebel on the Ball' turns 65" , Deutsche Welle , September 14, 2009
  12. ^ "Günter Netzer celebrated his 65th birthday" , Der Westen , September 17, 2009
  13. “I loved being lazy” , Rund. The football magazine, interview with Günter Netzer, December 17, 2006
  14. a b The duo Delling / Netzer stops. “A 'you' for Delling would be silly” ( Memento from July 11, 2010 in the Internet Archive ), sportschau.de, accessed on July 11, 2010.
  15. ^ "Delling is getting married, Netzer is best man" , Hamburger Abendblatt , May 30, 2003.
  16. ^ Netzer column in the Bild newspaper RP.online, May 12, 2005, accessed on April 10, 2017.
  17. Brochure from the Bundesliga Foundation; P. 48 ( Memento of May 18, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 6.8 MB)
  18. Image from September 12, 2019, p. 15
  19. Germany's soccer hero is Swiss In Focus online from July 29, 2017
  20. TV advertising as video
  21. Günter Netzer receives Walther-Bensemann-Preis Welt.de , accessed on August 15, 2018
  22. SPORT BILD Award 2015: All award winners, all stars! . Sports picture. August 17, 2015. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  23. message 24 05 2016. In: www.hall-of-fame-sport.de. Retrieved July 17, 2016 .
  24. Eleven football legends and a coach icon ( memento of the original from November 23, 2018 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.fr.de