Helmut Schön

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Helmut Schön
National football coach Helmut Schön (Kiel 87.306) .jpg
Helmut Schön (1973)
birthday September 15, 1915
place of birth DresdenGermany
date of death February 23, 1996
Place of death WiesbadenGermany
size 186 cm
position striker
Years station
1925-1927 Dresdensia Dresden
1930-1933 Dresdner SC
Years station Games (goals) 1
1932-1944 Dresdner SC  
1946-1950 SG Dresden-Friedrichstadt  
1947 FC St. Pauli 3 (0)
1950 Hertha BSC Berlin 3 (1)
National team
Years selection Games (goals)
1937-1941 Germany 16 (17)
1949-1950 Selection of the Soviet zone  
Stations as a trainer
Years station
1946-1950 SG Dresden-Friedrichstadt
1948-1950 Saxon selection
1949-1950 Selection of the Soviet zone
1950 Hertha BSC Berlin
1951-1952 SV Wiesbaden
1952-1956 Saar Protectorate (national coach)
1956-1964 Germany (assistant coach)
1964-1988 Germany (national coach)
1 Only league games are given.
Helmut Schön (right), with Gerd Müller and Franz Beckenbauer , 1974
National coach Helmut Schön with the World Cup trophy after winning the 1974 World Cup

Helmut Schön (born September 15, 1915 in Dresden , † February 23, 1996 in Wiesbaden ) was a German football player and the most successful national coach to date .

As a player in the Dresdner SC , Schön won the German soccer championship twice in 1942/43 and 1943/44 and the Tschammer Cup twice in 1940 and 1941 . Between 1937 and 1941 Sepp Herberger called him to 16 international matches, in which Schön scored 17 goals, in the national football team . As a player- coach, he seamlessly made the transition to the coaching office. Schön was both coach of the selection of the Soviet zone , the forerunner of the national soccer team of the GDR , national coach of the Saarland national soccer team and national coach of the German national soccer team . As national coach from 1964 to 1978, he was one of the most successful national coaches in the world. At his first world championship tournament as national coach in England in 1966, he reached the final with the German national team; at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico he was third with the team. He won the European championship in 1972 , the world championship in Germany in 1974 and was runner-up in Yugoslavia in 1976 . Many sports journalists see the fact that Schoen, as national coach, gave the national players a lot of freedom and a say, instead of giving them rigid tactical measures, as his outstanding achievement, but was also often interpreted as a weakness in leadership, especially at the end of his coaching career.

In the standard work on the history of the national soccer team, the authors Dietrich Schulze-Marmeling and Hubert Dahlkamp classify the eight-year term from 1966 to 1974 as "the most playful, eventful and most successful phase in the history of the German national team".

Player career

Youth, 1920 to 1933

When he was five or six years old, Helmut Schön began playing football on the streets of Dresden's Seevorstadt . He attributes the training of his special talents, feeling for the ball and quick reflexes to this time of "pavement and asphalt football". His father, the art dealer Anton Schön, did not share his third-born's passion for football. Helmut Schön had a sister twelve years older and a brother eight years older.

At the age of ten, he joined the boys' team at SV Dresdensia in 1925 . At the age of fifteen, Schön, whose footballing role model was Matthias Sindelar , played for the first time in the first team at a friendly match in Bautzen. Immediately afterwards he moved from the small Dresdensia to the large Dresdner SC, where the national striker Richard Hofmann became his idol. The young talent Helmut Schön benefited from the “football development aid on the continent” from the Englishman Jimmy Hogan , who from 1928 was a coach at the DSC. In particular, the Englishman taught the technical training, the combination game, the art of "surprising game" and the rough but clean art of duels and thus also shaped the later coaching work of Helmut Schön. In autumn 1932, at the age of 17, he played for the first time in a friendly against Karlsbad in a team with Richard Hofmann.

In the league team, Schön made his debut in the summer of 1933. He suffered his first meniscus injury in 1936. In addition to football, Schön attended the Episcopal St. Benno High School in Dresden until Easter 1935 and graduated from high school. Languages ​​were far more important to him than the natural sciences. On April 1, 1935, Schön began an apprenticeship as a banker at the Saxon State Bank in Dresden. After successfully completing his degree, he worked at the pharmaceutical factory Dr. Madaus & Co (patrons of Dresdner SC) in Radebeul near Dresden employed in the commercial area until 1945.

Gauliga, championships and national team, 1933 to 1944

After his meniscus injury had healed, Schön was nominated by the successor to Reich trainer Otto Nerz , Sepp Herberger , for the World Cup qualifying game against Sweden on November 21, 1937 in Hamburg. The debut in the national team took place in the Breslau-Elf , which made football history on May 16, 1937 in Breslau, with an 8-0 win against Denmark. Together with Ernst Lehner , Otto Siffling , Fritz Szepan and Adolf Urban , Schön formed the attack line in the 5-0 win in Hamburg and contributed two hits. With his talent for combination, header strength, shooting power and pronounced strategic ability, he seemed to have good prospects in the national team and could have been one of the top performers for the 1938 World Cup in France. On November 28, 1937, Helmut Schön suffered his second meniscus injury in the Dresdner SC league game and was operated on on January 24, 1938. He was only able to continue his career in the national team after the World Cup tournament in Chemnitz in September 1938 in the international match against Poland.

At that time, Schön thought of studying medicine and taking a completely different path. After much deliberation, he decided not to make any course correction; he "waited a little longer - and then did the right thing."

In the championship round 1939/40, Schön moved with the DSC into the final of the German soccer championship on July 21, 1940 against FC Schalke 04 , which was lost 0-1. On December 1, 1940, the DSC won the Tschammer Cup with a 2-1 after extra time against 1. FC Nürnberg . On November 2, 1941, with a 2-1 win against Schalke 04, he defended his title in the club cup; Already on September 7, 1941, Schön had won the Reichsbund Cup with 2-0 goals against Bavaria with the Saxony selection.

Schön's national team career came to an abrupt end on October 5, 1941 after a 2-4 defeat in Stockholm against Sweden. Sepp Herberger thought Schön was a weak point in the team. After the defeat, the national coach noted in his diary: “The strikers are too soft! No fighters !! You can only win against Sweden through strength and struggle, speed and toughness !! From now on, Schön is no longer acceptable against teams from Scandinavia. ”This was particularly true for the subsequent game against Denmark in Schön's hometown Dresden. But he was also not nominated for later games. Schön himself never took a critical position on his expulsion, while those around him, and especially his wife, continued to be angry for years about what they believed to be "unjust treatment". In his Herberger biography, Leinemann attributes to the circumstances of the Sweden and Denmark games that “with this game at the latest the foundation stone was laid for the animosity and quarrels that had impaired the relationship between Sepp Herberger and Helmut Schön for decades. The origin, type and schooling of the bourgeois Schön had a provocative effect on the proletarian self-taught Herberger. He felt challenged and reacted aggressively. "

Ernst Willimowski (left)

It is speculative that the personality of the goal scorer Ernst Willimowski could have been a contributing factor in the end of Schön's career in the national team . The Oberschlesier, who until 1939 was the goal-scorer of the Polish national team in the half-left position and had become a German citizen again with the re-annexation of East Upper Silesia to the German Reich , actually made his debut on June 1, 1941 in a 4-1 victory in Bucharest against Romania in the German National soccer team. He scored two goals on the half left and was an alternative to Schön in the team of Reichstrainer Herberger.

In 1943 and 1944 , two German championship titles followed for the Dresdner SC. Although the team had to do without regular staff during the war from 1939 onwards because of their frontline deployment, they competed for the final in Berlin in 1944 against a military team from Hamburg with Helmut Schön, almost with the best cast. In the Berlin Olympic Stadium, he scored a hit in front of 70,000 spectators, most of whom were soldiers. However, the success was diminished by the fact that he was given a scornful "Helmut Schön kv" ( fit for use in war ) by the ranks every time the ball touched the ball . The background was that Schön only had to go to the front for a few weeks during the “total war”. The official reason was initially a "knee damage", which although periodically hindered Schön in the exercise of his sport, but not fundamentally. Later he was given another leave of absence as an employee of Madaus, who was considered a "war-important company". However, this was not a “ Lex Schön”. Similar to the players of FC Schalke 04 , the prominent players of the Dresdner SC particularly benefited from being favored by the National Socialists and the Wehrmacht . In particular, DSC member Karl Mehnert , Lieutenant General of the Wehrmacht and head of the Dresden military district, ensured that the DSC players did not have to go to the front after the start of the Second World War . The background to this was the National Socialists' endeavor to maintain a certain normality and distraction in their war-torn homeland. Football was a crowd puller even during the war, and the propaganda used the successes of the outstanding clubs and players for their own purposes. However, the DSC complained in January 1942 that only four regular players (among them Schön) were available to him.

According to his own statement, Schön always refused to join the NSDAP. His much-quoted statement that "despite the senseless war that was increasingly influencing life [...] it was a wonderful football time for us athletes", however, coincides with the attitude of many football players and officials at that time, later criticized as irresponsible which, as Nils Havemann explains in his book Football Under the Swastika , “flattered by the attention of the mobilized masses, captured by national emotions and supported by the knowledge of their privileges, [...] closer [...] to the team line-up Matchday as about the political events in Germany ”. Regarding the context of the quote, Fischer / Lindner's book Stürmen für Hitler says , “Actually the conditions (for the national team) - for times of war - were pretty good, which Helmut Schön wrote later.” The book also states that “the Examples of Helmut Schön and Oscar Heisserer show [...] that the reputation of the SS was not an inevitable fate and that, like Schön, one could avoid this fate with a little agility. "

Years of development after the Second World War, 1945 to 1951

Helmut Schön before a SG Dresden-Friedrichstadt game in Reichenberg near Dresden, 1946

Helmut Schön, who had been married to his wife Annelies, who also came from Dresden, and father of son Stephan (* 1944, later an active athlete and physicist) since January 15, 1942, had the disaster from February 13 to 15, 1945 with the air raids on Dresden survived unscathed. After the end of the Second World War, he was primarily busy in Dresden, “organizing” the livelihoods for women and children, and therefore made all kinds of barter deals. In addition, there was a lively shuttle traffic to Hamburg, where he spent in the chaos of those years played the FC St. Pauli and on the return trips in his DKW converted into a small delivery van transported what the friends from Hamburg slipped him. When organized football games started again in Dresden after the end of World War II, Schön was immediately back on the ball. However, since the Dresdner SC had been banned in the Soviet-occupied zone of Germany as a "bourgeois club and a symbol of feudal clique economy", Schön played in the 1946 / 47 at the successor club SG Dresden-Friedrichstadt in the Dresden district. When he failed with Friedrichstadt in qualifying for the Eastern Zone Championship 1947/48 at SG Meerane , he had previously played three games for St. Pauli in the Oberliga Nord . In 1949 he won the title in Saxony ahead of Meerane and Industrie Leipzig . In the second East Zone Championship , Friedrichstadt failed in the quarterfinals on May 29, 1949 with a 1: 2 defeat at ZSG Union Halle . The Dresdeners filed an immediate protest against the 1: 2 defeat, which was not dealt with by the German Sports Committee . The two main reasons for the protest were: First, that the Halle residents were the only representatives in their own Kurt Wabbel stadium to have a home advantage. Second, according to the regulations, only players who had played at least two point games for their club during the national championship were allowed to play in the final round. But that did not apply to four Halle residents: Otto Knefler had come to the Union at the last moment from Bernburg, Erich Lehmann and Erich Blanke from Glaucha-Halle and Horst Schmidt from Zappendorf. In the first league round of the GDR championship in 1949/50 , the ex-national player won the runner-up as a player-coach behind ZSG Horch Zwickau . In the winter of 1949/50, Schön had completed his trainer training in Cologne under Sepp Herberger and had returned to Dresden in February 1950. After the dissolution and formal affiliation of SG Friedrichstadt after the end of the 1949/50 season to the lower class BSG VVB Tabak Dresden , Schön joined Hertha BSC in Berlin (West) as player- coach in 1950/51 .

In addition to his main activity at Friedrichstadt as a player-coach, Helmut Schön gained his first experience from 1948 to 1950 by overseeing the selection of Saxony and from May 1949 to April 1950 with the national soccer team of the GDR - as it was not yet recognized by FIFA only in unofficial games Selection trainer.

In the first year under contract player conditions in the Stadtliga Berlin , the championship went to Tennis Borussia Berlin , followed by SC Union 06 Berlin and third in the table Hertha BSC with eleven ex-Dresdeners (including Kurt Birkner , Hans Kreische and Kurt Lehmann ). After New Year's Eve 1950, Helmut Schön ended his work at Hertha and thus his playing career for good. After the end of the war, he played a total of 15 games and scored twelve goals in the Oberligen Nord, GDR and Berlin.

Coaching career

Wiesbaden, Saarland and national coaching assistant, 1951 to 1964

In the 1951/52 round, Helmut Schön was coach at SV Wiesbaden in the 2nd league south and finished ninth with the Hessians. He and his family found a new home in Wiesbaden, but in 1952 accepted the offer of the Saarland Football Association (SFB) from the then autonomous Saarland and became national coach there. In this function he visited the clubs, observed the top players and set up the selection teams. He liked this job far better than that of a club coach. As a coach in the East Zone, he had already come to appreciate not being committed to training a single team. He broadened his horizons, had to be flexible and got to know many different people. He gave lectures, set up teams, outsourced, rearranged and built new ones. For Schön, the Saar was a classic model for the work as a "national coach" and a good preparation for the later time at the DFB . As the successor to Auguste Jordan , Helmut Schön started with a 3-2 win on June 24, 1953 in Oslo against Norway in the qualification for the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland. The two games against Sepp Herberger's German national team ended with a 3-0 defeat in Stuttgart and a 3-1 defeat in Saarbrücken. The Saarland national team showed remarkable performances as outsiders.

After the SFB was reintegrated into the German Football Association as a regional association , Schön became assistant to national coach Sepp Herberger on May 26, 1956 for a gross starting salary of DM 1,100. He was assigned several tasks: he was responsible for the B team, the amateur selection and the youth national team at UEFA tournaments . In addition, he led coaching courses and was always involved in the preparations for the senior national team's games. Schön was satisfied with the role of the Herberger assistant. The team accepted him as the second man and he tried to create a good working atmosphere, which was the most important requirement for Herberger when dealing with the national team. Schön gained valuable experience at the side of the national coach at the world championship tournaments in Sweden in 1958 and in Chile in 1962 . After eight years as an assistant, Helmut Schön succeeded national coach Sepp Herberger in the summer of 1964. This made Helmut Schön the only coach who was responsible for all three German national teams.

National coach, 1964 to 1978


On June 7, 1964, Sepp Herberger was in charge of the German national team for the last time at the friendly against Finland in Helsinki . In the last phase of the Herberger era, the Bundesliga started playing in the 1963/64 season as the top performers in German football and thus replaced the regional leagues that were not internationally competitive. The new national coach immediately faced the difficult task of qualifying for the 1966 World Cup in England. Sweden and Cyprus were the opponents and the first game against the Scandinavians took place without a preparatory international match on November 4, 1964 in Berlin. Helmut Schön and his assistant Dettmar Cramer tried to give shape and form to the national team through two short courses with auditions in Augsburg against a southern team in September and in Düsseldorf against Sheffield Wednesday in October . For his first game as responsible national coach, he sent the following team onto the field:

Tilkowski (Borussia Dortmund); Nowak (Schalke 04), Schnellinger (AS Roma); Giesemann (Hamburger SV), Weber (1. FC Cologne), Szymaniak (FC Varese); Brunnenmeier (1860 Munich), Haller (AC Bologna), Seeler (Hamburger SV), Overath (1. FC Cologne), Gert Dörfel (Hamburger SV).
The German national team in the Malente sports school in 1965 in the
back: Wolfgang Weber , coach Dettmar Cramer , Karl-Heinz Schnellinger , Klaus-Dieter Sieloff , Max Lorenz , Horst Szymaniak , Werner Krämer , Peter Grosser , Uwe Seeler , assistant coach Udo Lattek , Franz Beckenbauer , Masseur Erich Deuser , national trainer Helmut Schön in
front: Horst-Dieter Höttges , Alfred Heiß , Willi Schulz , Lothar Ulsaß , Manfred Manglitz , Rudolf Brunnenmeier , Hans Tilkowski

The game ended in a 1-1 draw and the task of successfully qualifying for the World Cup hadn't become easier due to the loss of points. Helmut Schön, often described as thin-skinned and oversensitive, too susceptible to the slightest hint of doubt and as a "procrastinator" reacted after careful consideration, but resistant to public pressure, with pioneering personnel decisions. For the decisive qualifying game on September 26, 1965 in Stockholm against Sweden, he relied on the Munich debutant Franz Beckenbauer, who had just turned 20, and on his captain Uwe Seeler , although he had only just had a six-month break due to an Achilles tendon operation. Due to goals from Werner Krämer and Uwe Seeler, the Schön-Elf won the game with 2-1 goals and qualified for the 1966 World Cup in England. In the tournament from July 11th to 30th, the German team convinced not only by reaching the finals: The team was characterized by playful attributes and with Franz Beckenbauer, Helmut Haller and Wolfgang Overath players in their ranks who were responsible for offensive play and wit and technology stood. The final was not only a memorable game because of the ominous Wembley goal to make it 3-2 for the new world champions England. After the defensive World Cup in Chile in 1962, the new national coach and his team in England set accents in the offensive game.

In qualifying for the European Championship in 1968 , the national coach experienced a setback. After the 6-0 win against Albania in Dortmund on April 8, 1967, there was a 0-1 defeat against Yugoslavia in Belgrade on May 3, which immediately called the critics on the scene. The tenor was the supposedly defensive attitude of the team. On October 7th, they immediately took revenge with a 3-1 home win in Hamburg. The game on December 17, 1967 in Tirana against Albania resulted in the decision in a duel with Yugoslavia. A 0-0 draw resulted in the unexpected failure in the European Championship qualification. In the period that followed, Schön was heavily criticized. With this burdensome history it went into the qualifying games for the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. Against Austria, Scotland and Cyprus, Schön led his team to the final tournament with five wins and one draw. The 3-2 final success on October 22, 1969 in Hamburg against Scotland, when Reinhard "Stan" Libuda completed a solo effort in the 79th minute of the game with the winning goal in front of 72,000 spectators, brought the decision for the Schön-Elf.

From the 1970 World Cup to the 1976 European Championship

With the playful presentation of his team at the World Cup tournament in Mexico in 1970, Schön finally successfully "renamed" himself as national coach from his predecessor Sepp Herberger. Even the appearances in the group matches against Bulgaria and Peru were demonstrations of high skill. Beckenbauer, Overath and Uwe Seeler, who moved into midfield, determined the game, Gerd Müller also prevailed internationally as a goalscorer and the interplay on the wings with Reinhard Libuda, Jürgen Grabowski , Hannes Löhr and Sigfried Held confused the opponents and made the spectators an attractive one Game. The exciting quarter-final match against England, which Germany finished victoriously 3-2 after falling 2-0 down, elicited an original verdict at France's L'Équipe :

'Fantastic! Incredible! Wonderful! Out of the ordinary!' Which word best describes Germany's victory over a wonderful English team! We leave the choice up to you. "

Plaque commemorating the game of the century at the Aztec Stadium

The dramaturgy and the permanent offensive game of the German team in the subsequent semi-finals with Italy's 4-3 victory - afterwards often celebrated as the game of the century - brought coach, team and German football sympathy all over the world. The national team in Mexico implemented Helmut Schön's philosophy - successful and beautiful - and corresponded to his understanding of the football game. The question of the center forward (Gerd Müller or Uwe Seeler?) Manifested in the public expert opinion for a long time the perception of Schön's "indecision and his fickleness". Schön's solution of pulling Seeler back into the second row behind Müller earned him the reputation of holding onto both of them so as not to offend either of them. The appearances of the team in Mexico, the achievements of Gerd Müller and Uwe Seeler, however, spoke for the correctness of the national coach's measures and against the classification as a “compromise solution”.

The next probation was the first qualifying game in Group 8 for the European Championship 1972 in Cologne against Turkey on October 17, 1970 . After the successful group round against Albania, Turkey and Poland, the EM quarter-final first leg against England took place on April 29, 1972 in London's Wembley Stadium . The DFB team won 3-1, so the English, who were superior at the beginning, were well served in the end. The line-up of the "cautious, fearful procrastinator [s]" Schön was extremely risky: With Horst-Dieter Höttges and Georg Schwarzenbeck , he had only nominated two players for pure defense, as well as Beckenbauer and Paul Breitner , who always decides the game forward Could give impulses. The defensive qualities in midfield were limited by the players Herbert Wimmer , Günter Netzer and Uli Hoeneß . In addition, the strikers Grabowski, Gerd Müller and Held came as pure offensive forces. The fact that even a team with a clearly playful structure can successfully apply the two poles of the football game, defensive and offensive, in the right proportion, was demonstrated by Helmut Schön's team against England with the 3-1 success they played. Schön's handwriting was clearly visible. His leadership of the team, which relied on the "responsible player", released forces that could not have developed in such a way with an authoritarian coach. In the semifinals a 2-1 win against Belgium followed and in the final the Soviet Union had no chance in the 3-0 victory of the German team. Since Wembley, the international trade press has outdone each other with congratulations and superlatives:

'Helmut Schön's team opened a new period in football,' enthused the Milanese Corriere della Sera after the 3-0 final victory of the German national team over the Soviet Union. 'We have to learn from the Germans. You have moves that are not in any textbook, 'admitted the Soviet national coach Ponomarjow after the end of the game, while the French L'Équipe described Günter Netzer as' the best player on our continent'. "

Berti Vogts and Martin Hoffmann at the game BR Germany - GDR 1974

Before the 1974 World Cup tournament in Germany, the face of this team changed. Günter Netzer moved to Real Madrid in Spain in 1973 and came to the preparation course in Malente due to an injury with a lack of training. Herbert Wimmer was no longer part of the regular cast and the winger Erwin Kremers , like the veteran Sigfried Held, was not nominated. In the third group game against the GDR Grabowski and Gerd Müller formed the attack alone. The East Germans won 1-0 goals and there was a crisis in the DFB camp. At the Malente sports school , where a dispute over player bonuses had already broken out in the preparatory phase, the national coach accused some players of not having fought as it was necessary. The coach found support from his captain Franz Beckenbauer, who complained: "Three or four players don't fight with the effort, as is necessary in a world championship." Helmut Schön announced his team only an hour before the first intermediate round match. The surprise was that with Uli Hoeneß, Jürgen Grabowski, Heinz Flohe and Bernhard Cullmann , four players from the team that had lost 1-0 to the GDR, were missing. In the media, the headlines emerged from the crisis discussions that night and the press conference at which the captain, sitting next to the national coach, underscored his statements in his own words: “Franz Beckenbauer was promoted to assistant national coach. What Helmut Schön did now was agreed with the coming emperor. ”The World Cup participant Bernd Hölzenbein describes the situation at the time in an article for the magazine 11 Freunde in the special edition Die Seventy in October 2009:

My chance at the World Cup came after the defeat against the GDR. As a Dresden resident, Schön found the game a personal insult. He resented the team for losing - and didn't say a word to us the next day. That he let us feel his deep disappointment in this way instead of giving us a lecture or punishing us was extremely depressing for everyone. That was his own. Helmut Schön did not motivate by speaking loudly, he motivated by being offended. It felt like disappointing your father. The whole team was ashamed. Then Franz Beckenbauer spoke a word of power. He voted for Schön that I should replace Uli Hoeneß in the starting line-up in the intermediate round against Yugoslavia. Rainer Bonhof, Dieter Herzog and Hacki Wimmer also joined the team. Later it was repeatedly written that Beckenbauer had disempowered Schön. Total bullshit. He set up the team, but unlike other coaches of the time, he was ready to weigh up arguments and accept other opinions. "

Helmut Schön (1973)

The result of the intermediate round were successes against Yugoslavia, Sweden and Poland and thus the entry into the final against the Netherlands. Now the formation with Rainer Bonhof , Overath and Hoeneß in midfield and Grabowski, Gerd Müller and Bernd Hölzenbein in the attack. Tactically, the decision was made to fight the Dutch star player Johan Cruyff with close man coverage by the faster Berti Vogts , Georg Schwarzenbeck had more to do with Rob Rensenbrink and Bonhof should push the playmaker Wim van Hanegem with his dynamism into the unpopular defensive. However, the Dutch took the lead in the first minute thanks to a penalty that Neeskens converted. After a good first half, the German team led 2-1 goals and also had convincing moments in the game. The second half of the game was dominated by an assault on the part of the Dutch and a German team, which was combative and saved the lead over time. After winning the European Championship title in 1972, Helmut Schön and his team also won the 1974 World Championship. The tournament series began in 1966 with the runner-up world championship and in 1970 with third place in Mexico. Only the way in which the victory in 1974 came about was playfully not comparable with the performances in 1970 and 1972.

After the World Cup triumph, Jürgen Grabowski, Gerd Müller and Wolfgang Overath ended their national team careers and the young Paul Breitner moved to Real Madrid. They left gaps; the loss of the striker Gerd Müller weighed particularly heavily. The national coach had no time to lose because in November 1974 the first qualifying game for the 1976 European Championship was on the schedule. Germany met Spain in the quarter-finals, drew 1-1 in Madrid on April 24, 1976 and won the second leg in Munich with 2-0 goals. Thus, the defending champion had moved into the semifinals, which took place in June 1976 in Yugoslavia. After a 4-2 win in extra time against the hosts, Germany moved into the final on June 17 in Belgrade. In the second half, Cologne's Heinz Flohe came on for Dietmar Danner and in the 79th minute the center forward of 1. FC Cologne, Dieter Müller , came on for Herbert Wimmer. Müller scored three goals on his national team debut. Czechoslovakia won the final after a 2-2 win after extra time with 5-3 goals on penalties . Helmut Schön's team was still one of the best teams in Europe. But there was no longer any question of superiority or even an exceptional team.

The last tournament, the farewell in 1978

On April 27, 1977, Germany beat Northern Ireland 5-0 in Cologne in front of 58,000 spectators. It was the first game without the national record player at the time, Franz Beckenbauer, who had since moved to Cosmos New York in the USA . Eleven more games followed without defeat, with the successful trip to South America with the games against Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Mexico in June 1977 giving the impression that Helmut Schön had a team again to confidently go to Argentina for the 1978 World Cup can. The last two preparatory international matches before the tournament on April 5 and 19, 1978, the DFB-Elf lost to Brazil and especially after a disappointing performance against Sweden in Stockholm with 1: 3 goals. Now the critical voices became more numerous, calling for the veteran Beckenbauer, Breitner and Grabowski as well as the young Uli Stielike from Real Madrid , who, however, were not available to the DFB selection for various administrative and personal obstacles.

The four players ultimately did not take part in the 1978 World Cup. The opening game on June 1, 1978 in Buenos Aires against Poland ended after a weak performance in a 0-0 draw. The statement by the national coach read:

The too much respect for each other, all the chess and tricks put a strain on this game. From the whistle on, both teams seemed to be paralyzed. After two or three stops, the bad pass came almost automatically, with us or with the Poles. It was played fearfully. Out of sheer need for security, the ball was pushed back and forth, the game stretched out. The first whistles came very soon. I could understand the disappointment of the audience. After all, the first played here against the third in the last World Cup. "

Against the disappointing Mexico, a “mock fireworks display” followed with 6-0 goals, which the final group game against Tunisia followed with a goalless draw. The German team did not make it into the final round with a convincing performance. The game against Italy brought the third 0-0 for the German team. Schön attributed the changeable performances of his team to the team's lack of self-confidence and the fact that they had not shown themselves to be a personality. With 2: 2 they then separated from the Netherlands and in the final game on June 21, 1978 in Cordoba on Austria. With a win the game for third place would have been secured. The unrest in the German World Cup camp about the performances shown so far led to the fact that the team did not find their performance again in this game and Hans Krankl in the 88th minute with the winning goal to 3: 2 for Austria the final point for the DFB team continued. Since Helmut Schön had already announced his resignation from the national coaching post after the tournament before the World Cup, the successful era at the DFB came to an end with this lackluster tournament in Argentina. He had imagined the end of his career differently. The game for third place against Brazil had been his dream. A world collapsed for Schön after the defeat against Austria.

Helmut Schön was officially adopted by the national team and the DFB before the international match on November 15, 1978 in Frankfurt against Hungary. Due to thick clouds of fog, his farewell game only lasted 60 minutes and was canceled when the score was 0-0. To mark his departure, the singer Udo Jürgens dedicated the song The Man with the Cap to him .

Ludger Schulze finished his elaboration on Helmut Schön with the following words:

Helmut Schön is perhaps the last representative of a generation of coaches who put football, not money, in the foreground, for whom the main driving force was not the merit but the enjoyment of the job. And people have always had a feeling for that. "

Late years

After he left the national coaching post in 1978, Helmut Schön spent his retirement with his wife Annelies in his adopted home Wiesbaden. Comments on current football events were rare. Interviews and statements about his successor Jupp Derwall's team were not his thing.

Schön's grave in the Wiesbaden North Cemetery

At Paul Breitner's farewell game in Munich, he and Derwall supervised a world selection against Bayern on May 31, 1983 . On his 75th birthday, the 74 world championship team visited him again in Wiesbaden in 1990. In the 1990s it became quiet around Helmut Schön, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease . He spent the last years of his life in the Hans-Giebner-Haus, a nursing home in the Wiesbaden district of Dotzheim . He died on February 23, 1996. The German Football Association honored him with a memorial service in the Wiesbaden State Theater . He found his final resting place in the north cemetery in Wiesbaden .

Lifetime achievement and achievement

Bust in the Helmut Schön Sport Park

After a successful playing career, Schön made the transition to the coaching office as a player-coach and became one of the most successful national coaches in the world during his time as national coach from 1964 to 1978. With the national team, Schön won the 1974 World Cup and the 1972 European Championship, he was runner-up in 1966, as well as vice European champion in 1976 and third at the 1970 World Cup. Many sports journalists see the fact that Schön gave the national players a lot of freedom and say instead of giving them rigid tactical measures Performance of his tenure. Especially at the end of his coaching career, this was often interpreted as a weakness in leadership.

Under Schön, young players like Franz Beckenbauer , Günter Netzer , Sepp Maier , Gerd Müller , Jürgen Grabowski , Jupp Heynckes , Berti Vogts , Paul Breitner , Uli Hoeneß , Bernd Hölzenbein and Rainer Bonhof made their first appearances in the national team and were part of the successful teams of Tournaments in 1972 and 1974 respectively. The authors Dietrich Schulze-Marmeling and Hubert Dahlkamp describe the "eight years from 1966 to 1974, led by Schön as national coach, as the most playful, eventful and successful phase in the history of the German national team". During his time there were the first victories against England (June 1, 1968, 1-0) and Brazil (June 16, 1968, 2-1) as well as two of the most dramatic football games ever played by a German national team. These include the 1966 World Cup final against England, in which his team lost 4-2 after extra time through the Wembley goal - the most controversial goal in football history - and the 3-4 semi-final defeat in extra time against Italy at the World Cup 1970 in Mexico in the so-called game of the century. With national coach Schön, the German national team played a total of 139 international matches (87 wins, 30 draws, 22 defeats) from November 4, 1964 to June 21, 1978 and achieved a total goal ratio of 292: 107. During this time, the team remained clean 50 times. Schön sat in a responsible position on the bench at 25 World Cup games. No other coach has played so many games in the history of the World Cup. With the 1974 World Cup final, his 19th World Cup game as coach, he replaced his predecessor Sepp Herberger , who sat on the bench in 18 World Cup games between 1938 and 1962.

Schön's achievements as a national coach are undisputed in the professional world. He expressed the heyday of German (club) football between the mid-1960s and the end of the 1970s at the national team level. No German national coach after him was more successful and only his seventh successor Joachim Löw achieved a longer term in office in the 21st century. When he succeeded Sepp Herberger in 1964, he also addressed the social upheavals in the Federal Republic. Without being a 68er himself , he formed a mix of a new, emancipated and individualistic generation of players that climbed to the top of world football. The appearance and personality of Helmut Schön ensured, regardless of ideological disputes and subject-related dogmas, not only in Germany that football was no longer perceived solely with orders and obedience and the restriction to changing rooms and competitions. Meanwhile, many of his contemporary coaching colleagues were still in the tradition of the “dictator in a tracksuit”. They were irritated by Schön's team leadership, which was characterized by soft tones and cooperative behavior, as well as by his sensitive, thoughtful and intellectual nature and therefore often reacted with criticism out of uncertainty. Franz Beckenbauer said in an interview about his former national coach: “Helmut Schön was a coach of great stature and great humanity. For us players it was a pleasant contrast to many coaches in the clubs. He never forced us to do anything, it was tactic or other behavior. When we came from the clubs and our heads were pounding from the problems that regularly existed there, Helmut Schön regulated it in his calm and matter-of-fact way. He was exactly the right type of national coach for the emerging total professional who already knew where to go in this business. "

Schön stood for the sporting development of the DFB-Elf, but he also demanded from his players that they take responsibility and inspire others. For this he let her decide for herself about her playful actions. The only condition was that the team had to use it.

Part of Schön's approach to training was that the ball was the focus of the exercises. He also called for "order" to be the top priority for building up the game. This included a clear and unambiguous distribution of tasks that all players had to understand. The same applied to the chosen game system. For Schön, the game itself lived from the occupation of midfield, from which playful ideas had to be developed and creativity should flow out. According to Dahlkamp, ​​Schön's words aptly summed up his philosophy of the game: “Football is, in its own way, a playful model of our social conditions: so simple that everyone can understand it, so varied that - as in life - there are always new constellations can arise. "


The Helmut-Schön-Allee in Dresden is named after him.

In 1974 Helmut Schön was awarded the Federal President's Silver Laurel Leaf and the Great Federal Cross of Merit. The German Football Association made him an honorary member in 1980. In 1984 he was awarded the FIFA Order of Merit . Between 1964 and 1983 Schön was six times supervisor of continent and world selection teams. He was posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame of German Sports in 2008. A year later he was named after the Helmut-Schön-Sportpark in Wiesbaden, at the entrance of which is the bust of Helmut Schön, created by the sculptor Thomas Duttenhoefer . As a supporting event, the exhibition "Helmut, it was beautiful - a life with a kick" took place in Wiesbaden City Hall . In the vicinity of the Dresden Dynamo Stadium , the section of the main avenue running outside of the Great Garden was renamed Helmut-Schön-Allee . On September 1, 2015, Deutsche Post issued a special postage stamp for his 100th birthday.


Web links

Commons : Helmut Schön  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

References and comments

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This article was added to the list of excellent articles on January 14, 2013 in this version .