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Lothar Matthaus Biography

The only German footballer to receive the FIFA Player of the Year award, Lothar Matthaus is considered among the best German football players of all time. In this article, we will take a look at his biography.

Lothar Matthaus, born in Erlangen, Germany on 21 March 1961 is a German football coach and former professional footballer, who played as a midfielder or defender. With the German national team, he was European champion in 1980 and world champion - as captain - in 1990.

Considered one of the best players of his age, after five seasons with Borussia M'gladbach he moved to Bayern Munich, with whom he won three German


titles, a Cup and a

German Super Cup

in four years. In 1988 he moved to Inter Milan, establishing himself at international level and winning an Italian

Serie A

, a national

Super Cup

and a UEFA Cup.

After four seasons in Italy, he returned to Bayern Munich, winning four more league titles, two

German Cups

, three German League Cups and a UEFA Cup, losing a

UEFA Champions League

final in 1998-1999. He finished his career with N.Y. MetroStars the following year.

He played 150 matches in the German national team (a record for German football), scoring 23 goals. He holds the record for the most World Cup appearances (five, from 1982 to 1998), alongside Gianluigi Buffon, Antonio Carbajal and Rafael Márquez, and is the player with the most appearances in the final stages of the

World Cup

(25). He also participated in four European Championships (1980, 1984, 1988 and 2000) and a FIFA Confederations Cup (1999).

On 9 March 2018, to coincide with the 110th anniversary of the founding of Inter Milan, he was the first midfielder inducted into the Milanese club's Hall of Fame.

All You Need to Know About Lothar Matthaus Biography

On an individual level, he won the Ballon d'Or in 1990 - becoming the first Inter player to win it - and was elected FIFA Footballer of the Year in 1991. In 2004 he was included in the FIFA 100, a list of the 125 greatest living players compiled by Pelé and FIFA to mark the 100th anniversary of its foundation. In addition to this, he was awarded German Footballer of the Year in 1990 and 1999.

As a coach, he has won a Serbian League title as the manager of Partizan and the Austrian Bundesliga as the manager of FC Red Bull Salzburg together with Giovanni Trapattoni.

Lothar Matthaus Information

Now that we know him much better, in this section of

Lothar Matthaus biography

we will share some general information regarding him such as

Lothar Matthaus nationality


Lothar Matthaus Bio

  • Full Name: Lothar Herbert Matthaus

  • Nickname: Loddar

  • Profession: Professional Footballer

Lothar Matthaus Physical Stats

  • Weight: 71 Kg

  • Height: 1.74 m

  • Eye Color: Brown

  • Hair Color: Dark brown

Lothar Matthaus Football Information

  • Position: Midfielder, Defender

  • Jersey Number: 10

  • Professional Debut: 1979

Lothar Matthaus Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 21 March 1961

  • Birth Place: Erlangen, West Germany

  • Zodiac Sign: Aries

  • Nationality: German

Stay tuned to read more about Lothar Matthaus biography and more information about him such as

Lothar Matthaus childhood


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Lothar Matthaus Early Life

Lothar Herbert Matthaus was born in March 1961 in Erlangen, Bavaria. At the age of nine, he began his career in the world of football. Matthaus joined the local football club in the small town of Herzogenaurach, which is known as the home of the Adidas company.

After completing his schooling, he began training as an interior decorator, which he successfully completed while devoting a large part of his attention to football. It soon became clear that the young man's future lay on the football pitch and not in the furniture and decoration industry.

At the age of 18, he became a German youth national player. Stay tuned to read more about Lothar Matthaus biography and more information about his career.

Lothar Matthaus Profile

After starting his career with the youth team of Herzogenaurach, he made his professional debut in 1979 at

Borussia Münchengladbach

, one of the most successful German clubs of the 1970s. Already showing his characteristic category, he was soon called up to play for West Germany, at youth level and in the senior national team. In his first season, he was runner-up in the UEFA Cup. M'Gladbach, who had been declining in recent years, was starting an uncomfortable lack of titles.

Bayern Munich

Matthaus would remain at Borussia until 1984. After becoming runner-ups of the German Cup, he joined his club's arch-rivals in the previous decade:

Bayern Munich

. There he followed former leaders like Paul Breitner and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. Champions of the Bundesliga in their first season, 1984/85, Matthaus and Bayern would win two more Bundesliga titles in a row, which made the club the greatest winner of the Bundesliga title, surpassing the record that belonged to the also Bavarian club Nurnberg. Matthaus and Bayern also won the German Cup in 1986 and were runners-up in the UEFA Champions League.

The 1987/88 season was Matthaus' first without titles season at Bayern. Unfortunately, fans and managers disgraced the legendary player, who had accepted an offer from the Italian football club and moved to Inter together with his national and club teammate Andreas Brehme.

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It did not take long for him to become a Nerazzurri legend: in very strong competition with Diego Maradona and Careca's Napoli and Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten and Frank Rijkaard's

AC Milan

, Inter was not the favorite for the 1988/89 edition of Serie A.

While rival Milan followed with their Dutch trio (Gullit-Rijkaard-Van Basten), Internazionale bet on a German: Brehme and Matthaus were joined by Jürgen Klinsmann. While Milan and also Juventus were disappointing, Inter remained at the top from start to finish, leading the table all 34 rounds. Only


kept on fighting until


secured the title in a direct clash in Milan with four matches to go. In that year, Lothar Matthaus also won the Italian Supercopa.

A new title would take two years to come: it would be the 1990/91 UEFA Cup, with Matthaus scoring the first goal from the penalty spot in the 2-0 win over


. Nicknamed the "King of Milan", he was elected the best player in the world by FIFA at the end of that year, on the first occasion that FIFA held the award.

However, his career at Inter was interrupted by a serious knee injury. Matthaus was unable to go to the 1992 European Championship and decided to return to Bayern Munich to try to make a recovery.

Return to Munich

On 19 September 1992, five months after rupturing his cruciate ligament, Matthaus celebrated his comeback in the Bundesliga. On 21 November he scored the goal of the year in the match against

Bayer 04 Leverkusen

. The 1993 Bundesliga title was narrowly missed behind

Werder Bremen


After weak performances by the German national team during a trip to North America, national coach Berti Vogts reacted to the poor defensive performance and changed his system. Matthaus was recalled from central midfield and played libero from then on, Andreas Möller was to fill the gap in midfield. Matthaus soon became Bayern's new libero as well.

This change paid off, as he was able to influence the game from this position as well. He continued to intervene in the offensive play by initiating attacking moves and counter-attacking chances. In 1994, Franz Beckenbauer, as interim coach, led Bayern to the German Bundesliga title again after four years.

Matthaus continued to have bad luck with injuries: at the beginning of 1995, he tore his Achilles tendon in a friendly match, forcing him to take a break for several months. The absence of their defender was felt at Bayern, for whom the 1994/95 season was disappointing.

Matthaus returned at the end of 1995, although some critics suspected that at the age of 34 he would no longer reach his top form after this second serious injury. But Matthaus fought his way back and found his old strength. In 1996 Bayern defeated

Girondins Bordeaux

in the final of the UEFA Cup and Matthaus won this competition for the second time.

There was a conflict between Matthaus and Klinsmann, who at that time played for the same club at Bayern Munich - as they had done before at Inter Milan. In the summer of 1996, Matthaus published a "secret diary" in Bild in which he made public internals from the FC Bayern team, especially from Klinsmann. This led to his removal as captain of FC Bayern Munich. Unimpressed by the criticism of his performance, Matthaus returned to his level of excellence in the following years. In 1997 he won his next league title under coach Trapattoni.

In 1999, he also came close to the only title he had missing: the UEFA Champions League. Bayern beat Manchester United 1-0 and Matthaus was replaced in the 40th minute. He would see his team suffer an unimaginable turnaround in the second half and lose the trophy in the extra time that was almost secured.

Matthaus played for Bayern for another season, winning the Bundesliga for the seventh time with the club. The German title marked his departure from the team. What was to be a glorious end was spoiled: the club offered him a commemorative friendly with several football stars from the 1990s, and yet Matthaus brought the club to court, charging 500,000 euros. After a long legal battle, he received only 7,500 and public rejection.

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New York MetroStars

By signing Lothar Matthaus, the New York MetroStars and Major League Soccer wanted to follow in the footsteps of Pele or Franz Beckenbauer in the North American Soccer League in the 1970s. At his first press conference as a member of the MetroStars in central Manhattan, Matthaus declared that he wanted to help professionalize the league by bringing his brand.

But faced with communication problems due to the many nationalities on the field (German, Colombian, American...), the results were mixed. In September 2000, after his last appearance in the United States, Matthaus put an end to his playing career. He admits in 2011 that his arrival in New York was a career mistake.

Stay tuned to read more about

Lothar Matthaus biography

and more information about Germany career.

German National Team

In 1986 he was West Germany's leader at the 1986 World Cup in


, losing in the final to Maradona's


, whom Matthaus stopped in the first half by man-marking him (while in the second half the Argentine ace was taken over by Karlheinz Förster). Four years later, he captained the German team to the 1990 World Cup in Italy, scoring four goals during the tournament, one of which, against Yugoslavia, was listed as the ninth goal of the century by FIFA in 2002.

At the end of the year, he was awarded the Ballon d'Or, continuing his winning streak the following year by clinching the first FIFA World Player.

He was subsequently employed as a libero, and played two more World Cups as a regular starter in the jersey of the reunified Germany, thus setting the record for most games played in the World Cup, as well as the record for most World Cup finals appearances (he participated in five different World Cups, from the 1982 World Cup to the 1998 World Cup).

Matthaus played for the national team - first West Germany, then Germany - for 20 years, from June 1980 to June 2000, making a record 150 appearances for Germany (only 13 players in the world have done better with other national teams) and scoring 23 goals.

His last big tournament, in 2000, ended in disappointment. At the European Championship, Matthaus and his teammates were eliminated in the first round. Germany's last group match against


(0-3) marked the end of a 20-year career in the national team.

Coaching Career

Since the 2001/02 season, Matthaus worked as a coach for several teams in Europe and South America.

Rapid Vienna

His first stop was SK Rapid Wien (6 September 2001 to 10 May 2002). With the Viennese team, he finished eighth in the league - the worst placing for the club since the introduction of the Austrian league in 1911. He was subsequently dismissed for making public statements that damaged the club, without his remaining salary being paid.

An attempt by Matthaus to sue for the salary and additional money from the club for damage to his reputation (a total of approx. 2 million euros) failed.

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Partizan Belgrade

His next coaching job was with Partizan (22 December 2002 to 13 December 2003). He led the Belgrade side to the Serbia-Montenegro championship and subsequently also managed to qualify for the Champions League with the team.

Hungary National TEam

Matthaus was the head coach of the Hungarian national football team from 1 January 2004 to 31 December 2005. During this time, Matthaus achieved a respectable success when Hungary defeated the German team 2-0 in a friendly match on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the 1954 World Cup final in Bern on 6 June 2004 in Kaiserslautern.

The team failed to qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany after finishing fourth in their qualifying group.

Athletico Paranaense

From February 2006, he briefly coached the Brazilian first division club Athletico Paranaense in Curitiba and announced his resignation after just over a month for family reasons during a holiday at home. Shortly before that, Matthaus had been given a 30-day ban for insulting a referee.

Red Bull Salzburg

In May 2006, he signed a contract with FC Red Bull Salzburg and worked as co-trainer alongside Giovanni Trapattoni, his former coach until the board of directors ended the cooperation on 12 June 2007 due to "different opinions".

Maccabi Netanya

In mid-April 2008, Matthaus signed a two-year contract with the Israeli first division team Maccabi Netanya. He took up his new coaching position in July 2008. At the end of April 2009, Maccabi Netanya announced that the Lothar Matthaus contract, which was to run until 2010, would be terminated at the end of the season. According to official statements, the reason for this was the club's economic situation. Maccabi Netanya finished fourth in the 2008/09 season.

Bulgaria National Team

In September 2010, Matthaus took over the Bulgarian national team as Stanimir Stoilov's successor. He was given a one-year contract with an option for two more years. Matthaus first coached Bulgaria in the European Championship qualifier on 8 October 2010 against Wales, which Bulgaria won 1-0. After Bulgaria finished last in their qualifying group and missed out on European Championship qualification, Matthaus was sacked on 19 September 2011.

Style of Play

Gifted with physical and technical qualities - skilled both in finishing and in shooting, even from long distance, he was a charismatic leader, ready to take charge of decisive plays, although on some occasions he showed a certain emotionality. He scored over 200 goals in his career, thanks to a strong and precise shot, which made him an excellent penalty taker.


Lothar Matthaus is regarded by many football pundits and fans as the best German footballer ever, and with all those honors and records to his name, there’s little who can deny that. Diego Maradona has famously said about Lothar Matthaus: "The best opponent I've had in my entire career, I think that's enough to define him."

Goal Celebration

As a midfielder, and despite the fact that he has played a part of his career as a defender, Lothar Matthaus has scored many goals during his career. Although he did not have a signature goal celebration, one that we saw from him many times was when he stood still after scoring a goal, raised both his hands and waited for his teammates to surround him.

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Lothar Matthaus outside Football

According to Spiegel Online, Lothar Matthaus is in a business relationship with a company that advises athletes in order to receive maximum returns from the injury pension of the statutory accident insurance in Germany.

In July 2018, Matthaus met with the controversial Russian President Vladimir Putin in the context of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, which triggered criticism in some media. Matthaus defended his meeting with Putin, however, saying that the meeting was concerned with the World Cup and not with politics. Furthermore, Matthaus stated that "Sport connects people from the most diverse countries and cultures and can help build bridges and promote dialogue. That is better than sealing ourselves off, boycotting and no longer talking to each other."

Matthaeus had a guest role together with Joanna Tuczyńska in the TV series "Alarm for Cobra 11 - The Highway Police" in March 2012, in which he played himself. In spring 2012, Matthaus had himself accompanied by a camera crew from the German television channel VOX, which filmed the six-part personality documentary "Lothar - Always on the Ball", which was broadcast from 24 June 2012.

Lothar Matthaus Personal Life

In this section of

Lothar Matthaus biography

, we are going to take a deeper into his personal life and share some information regarding

Lothar Matthaus life story


Family, Children and Relationships

Until now, Lothar has married five different women and has four children with them. He first married Sylvia in 1981, a marriage that lasts 11 years until 1992. The couple has two daughters together. In 1994, three years after his divorce, Matthaus married Swiss model and actress Lolita Morena. Their only son Loris was born in 1992. The couple divorced each other in 1999.

He once again married in 2003 to Marijana Kostić, a Serbian entrepreneur and businesswoman. However, their marriage last just 5 years and they divorced in 2008. They did not have any children together.

A year later, Lothar Matthaus married his fourth wife in Las Vegas, Kristina Liliana Čudinova, who was a Ukrainian model. The couple divorced in February of 2011.

Since 2014, he is married to his fifth wife Anastasia Klimko, who is a Russian model and 27 years younger than him. Their son was born in April 2014.


Lothar Matthaus religion

, it is said that he is a Christian.


As a famous footballer, Lothar Matthaus has always participated in different charitable works, both when he was a player and now that he works as a football coach. In one occasion, where Hungarian MTVA has started a campaign to collect money for autistic children, Lothar Matthaus offered an official Bayern Munich travel bag with three different jerseys to be auctioned for the campaign.

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Legal Issues

Both during his playing days with Bayern Munich and after his retirement from football, Lothar Matthaus had several legal issues with the German club. In one case in 2003, he sued the German club, claiming that he hasn’t received all of the income of his farewell match from 2000 which was around 9.5 million marks.

Stay tuned to read more about Lothar Matthaus biography and more information about his career stats.

Lothar Matthaus Career Statistics

In this section of Lothar Matthaus biography, we want to take a look at his career stats, both as a player and also a manager. Stay tuned.


During his 21 years playing career between 1979 and 2000, Lothar Matthaus has played a total of 782 matches for 4 different clubs, scoring 204 goals. His most prolific season was 1990-91 when he managed to score a total of 23 goals for Inter in 46 matches.


Lothar Matthaus has played a lengthy 20 years, from 1980 to 2000 for the German national team. During his time, he appeared in 150 matches for his country, scoring 23 goals. He is the most capped German football player of all time.


After retiring from playing professional football, Lothar Matthaus has managed a total of 7 teams both on the club and international level. His best managerial days was definitely at Partizan where he managed to win a league title with them.

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Lothar Matthaus Honors

Matthaus is amongst the most decorated German football players of all time, having won many awards and titles at club level including Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, DFB-Supercup, Fuji-Cup, UEFA Cup and Serie A.

At the international level, he has also won 1990 FIFA World Cup, 1980 UEFA European Championship and U.S. Cup with

Germany national team


He has also won Ballon d'Or, World Soccer Awards Player of the Year, FIFA World Player of the Year, FIFA World Cup All-Star Team, Germany Footballer of the Year, FIFA XI and FIFA 100.

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