West Germany soccer legend Uwe Seeler dies aged 85

Uwe Seeler, who led West Germany to the 1966 World Cup closing as captain of the nationwide group, died on Thursday. He was 85.

“If Uwe Seeler laced up his boots, then the opposing goalkeeper might costume up warmly and ideally placed on a second pair of gloves as a result of Seeler scored from all over the place and in each attainable means,” his hometown membership Hamburger SV wrote in a particular complement to rejoice the striker extensively considered one Germany’s best-ever gamers and a nationwide legend. 

“Whether or not overhead kicks, flying headers, photographs from distance, volleys, lobs, opportunist strikes — he at all times discovered a technique to get the ball over the road.” 

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz mentioned on Twitter that the nation was mourning the passing of “our Uwe”.

“He was a task mannequin for a lot of, a soccer legend and naturally an honorary citizen of Hamburg. I used to be permitted to offer the after-dinner speech for his eightieth birthday: ‘We really all wish to be like our Uwe – self-confident and modest.’ He shall be missed,” Scholz wrote.

Seeler obtained provides from golf equipment in Spain and Italy, most notably an enormous provide from Inter Milan in 1961, however he opted to stick with Hamburg.

He performed for Hamburg from 1952-73, scoring 445 targets in 519 Oberliga and Bundesliga appearances for the group. He stays Hamburg’s file scorer within the Bundesliga with 137 targets. The membership mentioned Seeler scored 507 targets in 587 aggressive video games for the membership altogether.

Hamburg, which had been the one remaining group to have performed each season within the Bundesliga because the league’s formation in 1963, was lastly relegated to the second division in 2018.

The membership on Thursday mourned the lack of a “legend”.

“Uwe Seeler stands for the whole lot that characterizes an excellent individual: down-to-earth, loyalty, joie de vivre, and he was at all times approachable. He’s the epitome of HSV,” the membership’s sports activities director Jonas Boldt mentioned. 

“I personally have a particular reminiscence of our being collectively on his final birthday. He talked store, requested about his HSV, gave me ideas and some jokes. We’ll always remember him and can at all times cherish him.”

Seeler scored 43 targets in 72 video games for West Germany, ending runner-up to England on the 1966 World Cup and with a third-place medal 4 years later in Mexico. He was a part of the German group for 16 years.

“Whereas I used to be at 4 World Cups, I would have appreciated to have gained the title as soon as. I did not have the luck,” Seeler mentioned. “Nonetheless, the whole lot was great. I remorse nothing.”

Seeler was voted German soccer participant of the 12 months in 1960, 1964 and 1970. 

Brazil nice Pele included Seeler in his record of the world’s best dwelling gamers in 2004.

“His dealing with of the ball was good, his shot exact, and what actually amazed me was his skill to go the ball,” Pele mentioned.

Seeler gained the German championship in 1960 and German Cup in 1963 with Hamburg, however he additionally endured heartbreak with close to misses within the European Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup. Hamburg misplaced to Barcelona within the European Cup semifinals in 1961 and to Milan within the Cup Winners’ Cup closing in 1968.

Seeler suffered from repeated well being setbacks in recent times. In Might 2020, he underwent an operation to restore a damaged hip after a foul fall at house.

He misplaced listening to in his proper ear and had issues with steadiness after a automotive accident in 2010. He additionally had a pacemaker fitted and needed to have a tumour faraway from his shoulder, information company dpa reported.

Seeler was married to his spouse, Ilka, for greater than 60 years. They’d three daughters. His grandson, Levin Öztunali, performs for the Bundesliga membership Union Berlin.

Seeler’s older brother, Dieter, additionally performed for Hamburg. Their father, Erwin, labored on a barge in Hamburg’s port and was additionally recognized for enjoying soccer within the metropolis.

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