Matthias Sammer (1967)

Matthias Sammer (5 September 1967), who has been technical director at Bayern Munich since 2012, is of course best known as a tough, fierce libero.

Matthias Sammer grew up in Dresden, East Germany, where he joined Dynamo Dresden at the age of 9. In 1986 he made his first-team debut under his father Klaus Sammer, then head coach of Dresden. Sammer, who was still a striker at that time. He scored eight goals that season. In the 1986/87 season, Sammer was transformed into an attacking left-back. In 1989 Sammer won his first trophy with Dresden. The club became champions in the GDR-Oberliga and also reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup that year, in which it was eliminated by the West German Stuttgart. A year later, Dresden captured the double: title and cup.

In 1990 Sammer exchanged Dresden for VfB Stuttgart, the club that was still too strong in the 1989 UEFA Cup semi-finals. In the 1991/92 season, the red-haired midfielder became the champion in the Bundesliga for the first time and after two seasons in Stuttgart, Sammer went abroad. In 1992 he signed in Italy with Internazionale, the Italian club where his fellow countrymen Lothar Matthäus, Jürgen Klinsmann and Andreas Brehme had played just before. Sammer had a good time sportingly. He got a lot of playing time, and scored, among other things, in the top match against Juventus. But the German could not adapt to the Italian lifestyle and returned to his homeland after only a few months.

In January 1993 Sammer signed a contract with Borussia Dortmund. In the 1993/94 season coach Ottmar Hitzfeld used him as a libero for the first time. Sammer, who once started as a striker, was now ordered to take out the opponent's attackers. at that time it was a solution to the many injuries that were there at the time. In the end it turned out to be a tactical master set. In no time Sammer grew into one of the most feared liberos of his generation. Sammer won the national championship with Dortmund in both 1995 and 1996. In both seasons, Sammer was voted German Footballer of the Year.

In the 1996/97 season, Dortmund were the first German club to reach the final of the UEFA Champions League. The team of trainer Hitzfeld won 3-1 against Juventus. Sammer played the entire match and, as captain, was the first to receive the cup with the big ears.

On October 4, 1997, Sammer played his last game at the highest level. Sammer, 31, was seriously injured in the knee and did not play again in the course of the 1997/98 season. In 1998 he ended his playing career.

From the age of 16 he went through all the youth sections of the national team of the GDR. In 1986 he became European champion with the national team under 18 years old. The GDR won 3-1 against Italy in the final. Sammer scored the second German goal just before half-time. A year later, the under-20s finished third at the World Cup in Chile.

On November 19, 1986, Sammer made his official debut in the German Democratic Republic football team. In the Zentralstadion he was then allowed to play in a European Championship qualifying match against France (0-0).

In the first years, Sammer was mainly a substitute for the national team. Only from 1988 did he get a permanent place in the team. Sammer never managed to qualify for a European or World Cup with the GDR. On September 12, 1990 he played the last official game of the GDR against Belgium. Sammer was captain in the friendly game and scored twice. After the German reunification, the national teams of West and East Germany also merged again. Sammer was the first player from the former GDR to be selected by national coach Berti Vogts for the German national football team. On December 19, 1990, he played his first international match for Germany against Switzerland.

Two years later, Sammer took part in the 1992 European Championship in Sweden. Germany lost 2-0 to Denmark in the final at that tournament. At the 1994 World Cup in the United States, Germany survived the group stage without any problems. Afterwards, it eliminated Belgium 3-2. In the quarterfinals, Germany surprisingly lost to Bulgaria (2-1) without Sammer. In 1996, Germany reached the final of the European Championship for the second time in a row. The Germans took on the Czech Republic this time. Sammer played the entire game as a libero and saw how his team won 2-1 after a golden goal from Oliver Bierhoff. Sammer, who had played an excellent tournament and had also become German champion with Dortmund, was elected European Footballer of the Year in 1996.

After his career, Matthias Sammer became trainer of Borussia Dortmund and VfB Stuttgart. In 2006 he transferred to the German Football Association to work there as technical director. He liked the position and he opted for that again in 2012, but at Bayern Munich. (Photo: Wikipedia)

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