Four years ago, the Hall of Fame of German football was inaugurated with the announcement of the men’s founding team. Since then, year after year, it has been filled with deserving players, including great coaches, and has now been expanded to include three more sports greats.
2014 soccer world champion Philipp Lahm and 1980 European champions Karl Heinz-Rummenigge and Bernd Schuster are now part of the legendary listing. A 30-strong jury with leading sports journalists in the country chose the ex-professionals in the glorious selection, as the German Football Museum in Dortmund announced on Friday.
Philipp Lahm is the second world champion from 2014 after Miroslav Klose to enter the “Hall of Fame”. The former full-back was eligible for the first time after the end of the five-year period since the end of his career this year. “I didn’t know that I was ready for a museum, but I am particularly happy about this extraordinary award,” said Lahm about the “incredible honor” for him.
As captain, the 38-year-old led the German national team to the World Cup title in Brazil in 2014. He won eight German championship titles with FC Bayern Munich and in 2013 achieved the treble of championship, DFB Cup and Champions League.
Karl-Heinz-Rummenigge, who was also active at Inter Milan and Servette Geneva during his career as a professional footballer, was also successful with the Munich team. The striker became European champion with the German national team in 1980 and captained them to the World Cup finals in 1982 and 1986.
“Having been inducted into the Italian Hall of Fame in May, I am all the more pleased that this honor has also been bestowed on me in my home country. It’s very nice when you’re called the ‘youngest newcomer’ again,” said Rummenigge about the award.
He and Bernd Schuster were the first players from the 1980 European Championship to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in the German Football Museum. “If you live abroad for more than 30 years like me, you run the risk of being forgotten. In all the years in Spain I have never lost sight of my homeland, on the contrary. I have always considered myself Germany’s ambassador to Spain, and I am therefore very proud of this award,” said Schuster.
Schuster, now 62, played for FC Barcelona for eight years, winning one league, three cups and one European Cup Winners’ Cup before signing for arch-rivals Real Madrid. In 1990, the midfielder moved to city rivals Atletico Madrid. He was the first footballer ever to play for all three major Spanish clubs in the course of his career.
“The nominees have earned their place in the Hall of Fame with outstanding performance over a long period of time. Nevertheless, the selection was difficult as always, given the number of top-class players that German football has brought out,” said museum director and jury chairman Manuel Neukirchner.
This means that 44 football greats now belong to the “Hall of Fame”, which started in 2018 with the founding team. The five former soccer players Christa Kleinhans, Bärbel Wohlleben, Anne Trabant-Haarbach, Ariane Hingst and Nadine Angerer were already included in the selection in July. The official tribute and admission of Lahm, Rummenigge and Schuster will take place next year in the German Football Museum.
Hans Jürgen Dorner