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Out with the DFB - Oliver Bierhoff's career in pictures


Golden goals, summer fairy tales, unsuccessful DFB-PR: Oliver Bierhoff shaped the German national team for decades. Football wasn't originally his dream. His career in pictures.

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Here we go: Oliver Bierhoff learned to play football in Essen, although he later said in retrospect that football had never been his dream.

Nevertheless, he turned professional in 1986 at Bayer Uerdingen.


IMAGO / Sven Simon

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Bierhoff as a 21-year-old in the Hamburger SV jersey.

In total, the striker scored six goals in 34 games for his club between 1988 and 1990.

This was followed by the stations Mönchengladbach and Austria Salzburg, where Bierhoff scored 23 times in 32 games.

Ascoli did not do well in Italy at first, but after being relegated to Serie B, the 1.90m tall striker became the top scorer.

In 1995 he moved to...

Photo: Getty Images

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... Udine and became a celebrated goalscorer in the first division as well.

In 1998 he signed...

Photo: Andreas Rentz / Bongarts / Getty Images

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... AC Milan.

Bierhoff became Italian champions in 1999, having previously secured his first top scorer's crown with 27 goals for Udinese.

After a year in Monaco, Bierhoff returned to Italy in 2002, and ended his career at Chievo Verona in 2003 after scoring seven goals in 26 games.

Photo: Getty Images

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Golden Boy: Bierhoff had previously scored the goal that secured his place in the history books.

In 1996 a FIFA competition, namely the European Championship in England, was decided by a golden goal for the first time.

Goalscorer: Oliver Bierhoff, Germany clinched the title.

Photo: Getty Images

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In the same year, Bierhoff made his debut in the DFB team.

The picture shows him and former goalkeeper Oliver Reck in a golf kart in Manchester on June 10, 1996.

Photo: Bongarts / Bongarts/Getty Images

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On June 30, Bierhoff – who came on as a substitute in the 69th minute – first equalized against the Czech Republic and then scored the winning goal with a golden goal.

The striker's DFB career began with the greatest success and it ended...

Photo: Bongarts / Bongarts/Getty Images

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... almost as spectacular.

In 2002, Bierhoff was with the national team in the World Cup final and lost 2-0 to Brazil.

It was also the last international match for the attacker, who had captained the team at the European Championship two years earlier.

In total, Bierhoff scored 37 goals in 70 international matches.

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After his active career, Bierhoff initially worked as a TV expert.

In 2004 he became team manager for the German national team, even if he admits that he had to be persuaded by new national coach Jürgen Klinsmann.

Assistant coach back then: Joachim Löw.

The big goal of the three, who not only made friends with their sometimes ruthless reforms in the DFB and in the league, was winning the 2006 World Cup.

Photo: DPA


The training camp for the big event took place in Geneva, where Bierhoff surprised everyone with the idea of ​​having the players do a (voluntary) watch workshop to encourage a sense of community.

Not everyone came, and not everyone liked it - after all, Bierhoff was friends with the watch company IWC.

Photo: AFP

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Bierhoff's task was initially to cover the backs of the coaching staff so that they could concentrate on the sport.

Bierhoff organized, mediated and also took care of the media.

His contract was extended ahead of time before the 2006 World Cup.

Here he can be seen with former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder in Berlin.

Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

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After the 2006 World Cup, which became known as the »summer fairy tale«, in which the German team came third and caused a wave of euphoria in the country, Löw became the new national coach.

Bierhoff retained his managerial post and was elected to the DFB executive committee in October 2007.

Photo: Pool/Bongarts/Getty Images

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Bierhoff gradually expanded his power and also came under criticism: For example, when choosing the quarters for the German team at the big tournaments.

Too expensive, too isolated, it was said at the EM 2008 in Austria and Switzerland.

For the 2014 World Cup, Bierhoff opted for a facility that was yet to be built in Santo André in the state of Bahia, which was located in the middle of a nature reserve.

However, the criticism later fell silent, because ...

Photo: Martin Rose/Getty Images

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... the bungalows were considered an important building block for winning the 2014 World Cup title. Bierhoff, Hansi Flick, Andreas Köpke and Löw (from left) celebrate their greatest triumph on the night of Rio.

Photo: Lars Baron / FIFA / Getty Images

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Brand strategy that backfired: Bierhoff placed the focus on the DFB product, he established "The Team" as a new marketing slogan, which was felt to be artificial after the early end of 2018 at the latest.

Photo: Christof Koepsel / Bongarts / Getty Images

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Shortly before the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Oliver Bierhoff had to deal with an acute crisis.

The internationals

Mesut Özil and Ilkay Gündoğan met the Turkish President Erdoğan, who was campaigning at the time, for a photo opportunity and handed him a signed jersey.

The two players were heavily criticized for this, but also the DFB for dealing with its two professionals.

Bierhoff had to admit mistakes (picture from 2010).


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At the 2018 World Cup, the DFB team then showed disappointing performances and, for the first time in the history of the German national team, was eliminated as a group from last at the end of the preliminary round.

Özil then resigned from the national team.

Photo: TF Images / Getty Images

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Bierhoff was then also up for discussion in the media, but he stayed – and shoveled earth out of Frankfurt soil (May 2019): The fact that the brand-new DFB academy on the campus in Frankfurt is ready and ready to move into is mainly due to Bierhoff’s initiative .

Photo: Alexander Scheuber / Getty Images for DFB

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When Löw announced his retirement after the EM 2021, many also called for Bierhoff to leave.

But in Hansi Flick he found a new national coach with whom he wanted to continue on his planned course.

When Flick's start in autumn 2021 with a newly formed team of coaches was successful, criticism of Bierhoff became quieter again.

"As a German national team, you have to have the right to become world champions," he said at the time.

Photo: Markus Gilliar / picture alliance / GES / Markus Gilliar

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With the early exit in Qatar, however, he was unable to meet the high demands: For many, the emotional distance to the World Cup in the emirate was enormous.

It was followed by the one-love binding drama, the choice of quarters, which caused logistical problems, the sporting embarrassment.

It was a tournament of missed chances.

On Monday evening, Bierhoff and the DFB terminated the DFB director's contract, which ran until the 2024 European Championships at home.

It is unclear who will follow him.

Photo: Federico Gambarini / dpa


Source: spiegel

All sports articles on 2022-12-06

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