Felix Magath Biography

Sat 07 August 2021 | 15:00

He is the only coach in the history of football to win both the Bundesliga and DFB Pokal for two years in a row. In this article, we will take a look at Felix Magath biography.

Felix Magath, born 26 July 1953, is a German football coach and former professional footballer of Puerto Rican descent. He has played 43 international matches for West Germany and scored three goals. Magath played for 1.FC Saarbrücken, Hamburger SV and the national team of West Germany. As a coach, he was in charge of FC Bremerhaven, Hamburger SV, 1. FC Nürnberg, SV Werder Bremen, Eintracht Frankfurt and VfB Stuttgart respectively from the end of the 1980s.

Playing for Hamburger SV, Magath scored the second goal in the 1977 European Cup II final against RSC Anderlecht. Then, in 1983, he scored the only goal in the European Cup I final against Juventus FC. In 1980, he was the European champion and in 1982 and 1986 the World Cup runner-up losing to Paolo Rossi's Italy and Diego Maradona's Argentina.

From 1 July 2004, Magath led FC Bayern Munich. With this club, he won the national championship and the DFB-Pokal in both 2004/05 and 2005/06. After some poor results and years of struggling with various players, Magath was fired on 31 January 2007. He was appointed coach of VfL Wolfsburg six months later and in 2009 he won the Bundesliga with them, even though the team was in ninth place halfway through the season. It was the first championship in the history of VfL Wolfsburg.

Starting with the 2009/10 season, Magath took over as coach of Schalke 04. During his first season, Magath and his club finished second in the Bundesliga, behind Bayern Munich. In the second season, Schalke aimed to challenge the championship with new arrivals such as Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Raúl.

All You Need to Know About Felix Magath Biography

But the results were disappointing and consequently, the club decided to end the partnership with Magath on 16 March 2011. He was appointed as coach by VfL Wolfsburg on 18 March 2011, and at the end of October 2012, he was dismissed. Disappointing results and his controversial working methods were the reasons for his dismissal.

Then in early 2014, Magath went to work for the English club Fulham FC, where he replaced René Meulensteen. He was unable to keep the team in the English Premier League. On 18 September he was fired, seven months after taking office and a day after Fulham lost 5-3 to Nottingham Forest after leading 3-2. He went on to work as a coach of Shandong Luneng Taishan in China in June 2016.

Felix Magath Information

Now that we know him better, in this section of

Felix Magath biography

, we will share some general information about him such as

Felix Magath nationality

to let you know him even more.

Felix Magath Bio

  • Full Name: Wolfgang Felix Magath

  • Nickname: Saddam

  • Profession: Professional Football Coach

Felix Magath Physical Stats

  • Weight: 74 Kg

  • Height: 1.72 m

  • Eye Color: Hazel

  • Hair Color: Grey

Felix Magath Football Information

  • Position: Midfielder

  • Jersey Number: 10

  • Professional Debut: 1972

Felix Magath Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 26 July 1953

  • Birth Place: Aschaffenburg, West Germany

  • Zodiac Sign: Leo

  • Nationality: German

In this section of

Felix Magath biography

stay tuned as we want to share some information about

Felix Magath childhood

and more.

Felix Magath Early Life

In 1960, Magath began playing football with VfR Nilkheim and then moved to TV 1860 Aschaffenburg in 1964. From 1972, he went on to sign for bigger city rivals

Viktoria Aschaffenburg


1st FC Saarbrücken

He signed a professional contract with 1.

FC Saarbrücken

in 1974, which was playing in the 2nd Bundesliga at that time. He played his last match for the club on 12 June 1976, in the last match of the Bundesliga 2 South against 1.FC Nuremberg (0-0). Felix Magath scored 29 goals in 76 games for Saarbrücken, becoming champions of the 2nd Bundesliga in 1975/76, Group South.

In this section of Felix Magath biography stay tuned as we want to share some information about his playing career at HSV.

Hamburg SV

He transferred to

Hamburger SV

in the 1st Bundesliga in 1976, staying with the club until his retirement in 1986. He debuted for his new club on 21 August 1976, appearing in the second matchday of Bundesliga against SV Werder Bremen, where he played the full 90 minutes and the match ended 2-2.

On 3 November 1976, Magath was the star player of his team as he managed to score a brace in the Round of 16 second leg match of UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup against the Scottish side Heart of Midlothian FC. The match was played at Tynecastle Park and Felix Magath managed to score the second and the last goal of his team in the 31st and 81st minutes.

After scoring another goal, this time in the first leg of the Semifinal of the same tournament against Atletico Madrid, Felix Magath also scored in the final minute of the 1977 European Cup Winners' Cup final to secure a 2-0 win over RSC


and increased his tally to four goals in the competition.

Under the guidance of coach Ernst Happel, in 1983 Hamburger SV advanced to the final of the European Cup against Juventus in Athens, with Hamburg being the heavy underdogs. Eight minutes into the game, Magath netted the first goal to make it 1-0, and the team was able to hold on to the advantage for the remainder of the match, thus winning the European Cup for the first time, which was the predecessor of today's Champions League.

In the Intercontinental Cup final, which was played against Grêmio Porto Alegre in Tokyo in December 1983, the team lost 2-1. Magath was one of the first


players to be subsequently suspended in 1979 based on television evidence. The verdict was, however, overturned at the second instance.

Magath played 306 games in the Bundesliga and scored 46 goals and another 81 matches and 17 goals in other competitions during his spell with the Hamburger SV. He won the German Cup three times and the European Cup twice with Hamburger SV.

West Germany National team

Between April 1977 and June 1986, Magath appeared in 43 matches for the German national team and scored three goals. His first goal for the national team came on 10 September 1980 in a friendly match against Switzerland which ended 2-3 in favour of West Germany.

 He became European champion in 1980 and came second in both the 1982 World Cup (where he was in the starting eleven in the final match against Italy, among other matches) and the 1986 World Cup.

Magath announced his retirement from the national team, which was being coached by Jupp Derwall after the 1982 tournament. Following Derwall's departure in the summer of 1984 and his replacement by Franz Beckenbauer, the latter convinced Magath to return to the national team in the autumn of 1984.

During the 1986 World Cup tournament in Mexico, Magath featured in six of the seven matches, including the final, which was a narrow defeat to Argentina. This game was his final appearance for the national team.

In 1980, he was awarded the Silver Laurel Leaf by German President Karl Carstens for having won the European Championship.

Felix Magath Profile

When an injury made Magath retire from playing, he became the new manager of the Hamburger SV, taking over from Günter Netzer. The club won the

DFB Pokal

in 1987 while he was in charge of the club for two years.

Following a one-year break, Magath initially worked for a year as manager at second-division club 1. FC Saarbrücken, followed by the same position from 1990 to 1992 at Bundesliga club Bayer Uerdingen, which is now KFC Uerdingen 05 and which was relegated to the 2nd Bundesliga in 1991. However, in his role as manager, Magath was lacking a practical connection to football, so he chose to work as a club coach from then on.

FC Bremerhaven

He started his professional coaching in 1992 as a player-coach in the 4th division of the Verbandsliga at FC Bremerhaven, where he emerged as Bremen champion in his first year. Simultaneously, he was working for the financial services company of the club's president Bernd Günther.

Hamburger SV

In 1993, Magath made his comeback to Hamburger SV, some five years after leaving the club in his role as manager, and became the coach of Hamburger SV's second team. He was introduced as assistant coach of the Bundesliga team under coach Benno Mohlmann in the same year.

Magath was then promoted to the position of head coach of the first team in the 1995/96 season, replacing Mohlmann, during the autumn of 1995. Previously, the club had made a weak start to the season and was in 17th place. By the end of the season, Magath guided the team to 5th place. In the next season, the club advanced to the round of 16 of the UEFA Cup.

When some players complained about what they saw as excessive training and poor communication with the coach, and when the club was also in a relegation battle, Magath was sacked in May 1997, just two matchdays before the end of the season, following a 4-0 home defeat to 1. FC Köln. At the time, the team was ranked 15th in the table, five points clear of a relegation zone.

1 FC Nuremberg

Magath was appointed coach of 1. FC Nuremberg in September 1997. Previously, the team was promoted from the Regionalliga Süd to the 2. Bundesliga under the guidance of Willi Entenmann. However, shortly after the start of the season, Entenmann was fired after the team fell into the relegation places.

However, Magath succeeded in leading the "club" from the bottom of the table up to the third place, meaning promotion to the Bundesliga. Nevertheless, Magath was not able to reach an agreement with the board on a contract renewal for the upcoming Bundesliga season, so he opted to leave the club despite the promotion; he was replaced by Willi Reimann.

Werder Bremen

Magath was made coach of

Werder Bremen

in October 1998. After the eighth matchday, the club was in the last place in the table under his predecessor Wolfgang Sidka. In May 1999, only six months later, Magath, who continued to be in a deep relegation battle with Bremen, terminated his contract prematurely.

Apparently, the reason for his decision was not primarily because of the sporting situation, but because he had had disagreements with the board, fans and players. Furthermore, he was blamed for not developing players such as Aílton.

During the same time, before that, he had guided his team to the 1998/99 DFB Cup final against FC Bayern Munich, in which Bremen managed to win under Magath's successor Thomas Schaaf.

Eintracht Frankfurt

During Christmas of 1999, Magath arrived at relegation-threatened

Eintracht Frankfurt

to replace Jörg Berger. At that point, the club ranked 17th in the table and had an eight-point gap to a non-relegation spot. However, Magath successfully brought stability to the team and secured important points and victories.

This was proven by the second-round table of the season when Eintracht achieved third place in the table. The club secured its place in the league on the last matchday. This was considered to be Magath's greatest achievement in his coaching career for a long time - up until the titles he would later win.

The club was back in the bottom of the league at the end of January 2001 and Magath was dismissed from his position as coach of Eintracht Frankfurt after a 1:5 defeat against 1. FC Köln.

VfB Stuttgart

Only one month or so after his departure from the Frankfurt team, Magath took up a new position. Between February 2001 and 30 June 2004, he was team manager, trainer and (from the end of 2002 as successor to Rolf Rüssmann) director of VfB Stuttgart. At the time Magath was appointed, Stuttgart was about to be relegated to the 2nd Bundesliga.

He had built up a reputation in recent years as a "fireman", someone who would take over teams in a relegation battle and guide them reliably into safe positions in the table; until then he had not won a title as a coach. With VfB Stuttgart, Magath also managed to live up to his reputation and avoided relegation from the league.

In subsequent years, Magath guided his team back to the top of the Bundesliga. That generation of players including Kevin Kurányi, Timo Hildebrand, Alexander Hleb and Andreas Hinkel - described by the media as "Junge Wilde" - generated a lot of excitement in the league.

Magath made it to international competition on three consecutive occasions and was vice-champion in 2003 behind

FC Bayern Munich

. While at Stuttgart, he gave future internationals such as Philipp Lahm and Mario Gómez the chance to make their Bundesliga debuts.

He left VfB Stuttgart at the end of the 2003/04 season, just a year before the end of his contract, to replace Ottmar Hitzfeld as coach at FC Bayern Munich, the most reputable club in Germany. In this section of

Felix Magath biography

stay tuned as we want to share some information about his coaching career in Bayern Munich.

FC Bayern Munich

On 1 July 2004, Felix Magath was employed by FC Bayern Munich for three years as Ottmar Hitzfeld's successor. He knew Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the chairman of the board, from his time as a player, when he and Rummenigge were national team players and participated in the lost final against Argentina at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.

Following the departure of Hitzfeld, Magath's contract was extended by one year and his engagement with the record champion ran from 1 July 2004 to 31 January 2007. In this time, he was crowned German champion with Bayern in both the 2004/05 and 2005/06 seasons and also captured the DFB Cup in each case. Previously, no club or coach had ever managed two so-called doubles in a row.

After the 2006 World Cup and the departure of Michael Ballack, the team failed to match the performances of previous years. On 31 January 2007, Magath was dismissed and then replaced by Ottmar Hitzfeld. He then became a football commentator for the pay-TV channel Arena.

VfL Wolfsburg

Almost two months prior to the start of the 2007/08 season, Magath was appointed as the new head coach and director of

VfL Wolfsburg

on 15 June 2007. Besides the coaching and sporting director posts, Magath was also in charge of youth development and the rest of the sporting side of the club.

He replaced Klaus Augenthaler as a coach, who had just managed to keep the club out of the relegation zone on the last matchday of the 2006/07 season. The Wolfsburg team at that time was down to twelve players. Therefore, he was under pressure to bring in new players.

As a result, he recruited players who had been largely unknown until then, including the Brazilian Grafite and the Bosnian

Edin Dzeko

, who later formed one of the best attacking duos in the Bundesliga in the years to come.

When the newly assembled team had established itself at the beginning of the second half of the season, the club was able to close the gap to the top places in the table with a very good second half of the season and even jumped to a UEFA Cup place on the last matchday.

Wolfsburg surprisingly won the 2009 German Bundesliga championship in the following season. Having only finished 9th in the first half of the season, the "Wolves" managed to win the title with another excellent second half of the season, including their first-ever participation in the Champions League.

Magath had almost entirely replaced the player staff in his two years in Wolfsburg, hiring a total of more than 30 new players for around 55 million euros. During this period, players such as Edin Džeko, Zvjezdan Misimović, Ashkan Dejagah and Diego Benaglio saw their market value multiply.

FC Schalke 04

Before the Bundesliga title was won, on 6 May 2009, VfL Wolfsburg,

FC Schalke 04

and Magath himself announced his move to Schalke 04 on 1 July 2009, in which he signed a contract as both coach and director until 30 June 2013, as well as becoming a member of the board of directors. Magath's first season at FC Schalke led a team that had previously been deemed uncompetitive to second place in the Bundesliga, the Champions League and the semi-finals of the DFB Pokal.

The team was completely overhauled for the 2010/11 season to reduce costs; there were 14 new players signed, including Spaniard Raúl and Dutchman Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, while 16 players were sold or loaned out. Nevertheless, the team got off to the worst start in the club's history with just one win in the first ten games.

The Schalke team was unable to escape the relegation battle even after that. Felix Magath experienced trouble at Schalke in February 2011 for a number of reasons. Both the media and the fans were critical of his transfer policy.

Besides acquiring top international players in the summer, Magath mostly brought in players in the winter transfer period to compensate for the shortfalls in the squad. For example, he signed Angelos Charisteas and Ali Karimi, who were available on a free transfer, on six-month contracts.

The media subsequently called him a "junk king", among other things, and supporters accused him of having "signed countless players without any evident plan". The FC Schalke 04 Supporters Club published an open letter demanding that the supervisory board stop the "madness of the last few days" due to the controversial transfer policy.

Furthermore, Magath was blamed for having too little contact with the fans. In response, Magath acknowledged the criticism and activated his profile on the social networking site Facebook in 2011.

While he had been successful in the 2010/11 season, having advanced to the final of the DFB Cup and the quarter-finals of the

Champions League

, Magath finally was dismissed from his duties with instant effect on 16 March 2011. The same day, he announced that he was quitting his job.

Return to VfL Wolfsburg

Magath made his return to VfL Wolfsburg as sporting director and coach on 18 March 2011, only two days after the end of his spell at Schalke. After taking over VfL from interim coach Pierre Littbarski in the middle of the relegation battle, he managed to keep the team in the league with a 3-1 win at Hoffenheim on the last matchday of the 2010-11 season.

During the 2011/12 winter break, Magath made eight new signings for a total of €30 million, among them young defender Ricardo Rodríguez from FC Zurich for €7.5 million. In the summer break, Magath made signings including Hasan Salihamidžić, Chris and Thomas Hitzlsperger. New recruit Ibrahim Sissoko marked his debut on 4 January 2012.

With the appearance of the 36th player in a competitive match of the current season, Magath established a new Bundesliga record. He finished eighth with the VfL Wolfsburg at the end of the season, just missing out on qualification for the Europa League, something for which seventh place would have been enough that year.

Having sold Mario Mandžukić to Bayern Munich and after Patrick Helmes had been injured during the pre-season, Magath had a bad start to the new season. It was on 25 October 2012 that Magath was dismissed from his job before the end of the season - after eight matchdays, they were in the last place and had netted only two goals.

After this, Magath was a pundit on the TV channel LIGA total! and, when asked about potential new jobs in football, he frequently stated that he was happy with the current situation and would possibly remain in retirement.

In this section of Felix Magath biography stay tuned as we want to share some information about his coaching career in England.

Fulham FC

Magath was rumoured in mid-February 2014 as a potential board member and coach of Hamburger SV, which was in 17th place in the table at the time. He cancelled a possible engagement on 13 February, however.

The following day, Magath replaced René Meulensteen as head coach of the Premier League side

Fulham FC

, who were in the last place in the table, making him the first German head coach to work abroad in the Premier League. He signed a contract until 30 June 2015, which was valid for the English second division as well.

In early May 2014, on the 37th matchday of the Premier League, Fulham FC was relegated early. Magath underlined that he would like to lead the club back to the "top-flight" in the next season. Following a poor start to the 2014/15 season, Magath was dismissed on 18 September 2014. The team was in the last place in the table at that time, with one point won from seven games.

Shandong Luneng Taishan

Between June 2016 and December 2017, Magath served as coach of the Chinese club

Shandong Luneng

Taishan. Taking over the team at the bottom of the Chinese Super League table, he guided them to stay in the league. His team finished 6th in the table in the 2017 season. However, the club announced on 1 December 2017 that Magath's expiring contract would not be extended.

Style of Play

Felix Magath is known as one of the most tactical football coaches in Germany and usually, he plays with different tactics and systems, making him one of the few coaches in doing so.


Many pundits and football fans consider Felix Magath as one of the best coaches in the history of German football. Magath is among eight players in the history of the Bundesliga, along with the likes of Jupp Heynckes, Franz Beckenbauer, Niko Kovač, and Hansi Flick, to have won the Bundesliga title both as a player and as a coach. Furthermore, he is one of seven coaches who became Bundesliga champion with two clubs. In addition, he is the only Bundesliga coach to have won the double twice in a row.

Felix Magath outside Football

Besides playing football, he is very enthusiastic about chess. He became interested in the 1978 World Chess Championship between Anatoly Karpov and Viktor Korchnoi, which he watched intensively while he was suffering from hepatitis for ten weeks. This disease resulted in hyperthyroidism and an associated severe lightening of his skin colour.

Felix Magath Personal Life

In this section of Felix Magath biography, we will take a look into his personal life and share some info about

Felix Magath life story


Felix Magath religion


Family, Children and Relationships

His mother Helene was from East Prussia, where she was forced to leave during the Second World War. His father Felix comes from Puerto Rico and served in Aschaffenburg as a soldier in the US Army, while his mother was working as a saleswoman and later at American Express; they were not married. Magath was born in Aschaffenburg in 1953. His father returned to Puerto Rico in 1954; when he was 15, Magath had his first letter contact with him.

For several years, he has frequently visited his father with his family in Puerto Rico. Magath was also considered to be the national coach there in August 2006.

When he was 15 or 16 years old, he favoured his middle name "Felix" as his first name, which was also his father's first name, rather than "Wolfgang". He graduated with a technical baccalaureate in economics.

Magath was married for the second time in December 2003. He has a total of six children.


Felix Magath is involved in helping children in need at various levels. On several occasions, he supported the charity Ein Herz für Kinder and is chairman of the board of the Phytokids foundation. Following the 2011/12 season, he gave up his winning bonus in the form of a Bentley worth around €250,000 and converted it into six VW minibuses, donating two each to "Ein Herz für Kinder", the Peter Maffay Foundation for disadvantaged and sick children, and the Phytokids Foundation.

Legal Issues

There are not any reports of legal issues or disputes regarding Felix Magath on English or German media.

Felix Magath Career Statistics

In this section of Felix Magath biography, we will take a look at his career stats on the international and club level.


During his playing career at club level, Felix Magath had made a total of 463 appearances for 1. FC Saarbrücken and Hamburger SV and scored 92 goals.


He also has 43 national team appearances to his name and scored three goals for the West Germany national team between 1977 and 1986.


As of 1 December 2017, Felix Magath has a win ratio of 47.56 percent with 380 wins, 182 draws and 237 defeats in a total of 799 matches. His best performance as a coach was in Bayern Munich with a 64.12 percent win ratio.

Felix Magath Honors

As a player, he has won many titles with Hamburger SV such as Bundesliga, European Cup, and European Cup Winners' Cup and was also runner-up in European Super Cup and UEFA Cup.

He was also the winner of the 1980 UEFA European Championship and runner-up in 1982 and 1986 World Cups with West Germany.

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