Ottmar Hitzfeld Biography

Sun 15 August 2021 | 4:30

He is the most successful German coach of all time with 25 titles won. In this article, we will take a look at Ottmar Hitzfeld biography.

Ottmar Hitzfeld, born 12 January 1949 in Lörrach, Germany, is a German former footballer and coach, having last coached Bayern Munich and most recently Switzerland. He was a secondary school teacher for mathematics and sport.

Ottmar Hitzfeld played in the Swiss league and the Bundesliga in his playing career as a forward. From 1971 to 1975 he played for FC Basel and was the top scorer in the league in 1973 with 18 goals. He then went on to play for VfB Stuttgart between 1975 and 1978, FC Lugano between 1978 and 1980 and FC Luzern from 1980 to 1983. During his career as a player, he scored a total of 169 goals.

At the beginning of the 1980s, Hitzfeld started coaching in Switzerland. When he was 34 years old, he became coach of the newly promoted Swiss National League B, SC Zug. Five years were enough for him to succeed in his new profession. After a difficult season, he won promotion to the National A League with SC Zug in 1984.

He left Zug after only one season to join FC Aarau, a small team in the Swiss National League. Surprisingly, he finished second in the Swiss league behind Servette and in 1985 won his first title with Aarau (the Swiss Cup, defeating Neuchâtel Xamax in the final). Subsequently, he moved up the ranks very fast by coaching Grasshoppers Zurich, a club with which he won two league titles and two national cups in three seasons.

In 1991 he switched to Borussia Dortmund. He guided the team to the title four years after his arrival. To everyone's surprise, Borussia won the Champions League in 1997, defeating Juventus in the final. He completed the season by winning the Intercontinental Cup and being named World Coach of the Year.

All You Need to Know About Ottmar Hitzfeld Biography

Immediately afterwards, he was recruited by Dortmund's great rivals, Bayern Munich. His first spell in Bavaria was marked by an amazing series of triumphs, notably four league titles, another Champions League in 2001 and an Intercontinental Cup the same year. As a result, he won his second World Coach of the Year award.

Hitzfeld decided in 2004 to take a break from coaching. He was considered for the German national team for the 2006 World Cup on home soil, but he turned down the job. His comeback on the Bayern bench was not enough to save the club's 2006/2007 season. Having strengthened the team at the start of the 2007/2008 season (Ribery and Toni), he won the League Cup, the Cup and the German league. His last match as a coach with Bayern Munich was on 17 May 2008.

Ottmar Hitzfeld replaced Köbi Kuhn as coach of the Swiss national team on 1 July 2008. He managed to qualify the team for the 2010 World Cup, where he managed to beat favourites and eventual winners in Spain. Nevertheless, Switzerland was eliminated in the first round after a defeat against Chile and a draw against Honduras. He left the Swiss national team after the 2014 World Cup.

Ottmar Hitzfeld Information

Now that we know the German coach much better, in this section of

Ottmar Hitzfeld biography

we will share more general information about him such as

Ottmar Hitzfeld nationality

to let you know him even better.

Ottmar Hitzfeld Bio

  • Full Name: Ottmar Hitzfeld

  • Nickname: Der General

  • Profession: Professional Football Coach

Ottmar Hitzfeld Physical Stats

  • Weight: 65 Kg

  • Height: 1.76 m

  • Eye Color: Brown

  • Hair Color: Grey

Ottmar Hitzfeld Football Information

  • Position: Striker

  • Jersey Number: 9

  • Professional Debut: 1971

Ottmar Hitzfeld Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 12 January 1949

  • Birth Place: Lörrach, West Germany

  • Zodiac Sign: Capricorn

  • Nationality: German

Now stay tuned to this section of

Ottmar Hitzfeld biography

as we want to share some info about

Ottmar Hitzfeld childhood


Ottmar Hitzfeld Early Life

He played as a youth footballer for TuS Stetten and later for FV Lörrach for eight years. Between 1960 and 1967, he was a member of the youth ranks of TuS Stetten, before playing for a season in the youth teams of FV Lörrach during the 1967/68 season.

FC Basel

He transferred to the Swiss national league team

FC Basel

in 1971. Ottmar’s first match for his first professional team at senior level was played on 14 August 1971, where he came in to replace  Otto Demarmels in the 72nd minute of the match, thus making his professional debut as a footballer in the goalless draw against FC Grenchen.

One week later, having impressed the coach in training sessions, he started the next league match against Servette FC, putting on a man of the match performance, where he managed to score two goals in the 10th and 47th minutes, helping his team clinch an away 0-2 win.

His next goal for FC Basel came on 4 September 1971, when he scored one of the goals of his team against FC Lugano, where they finished the match 3-1. Next week, In the difficult away match against FC Sion, he scored another goal in a 3-3 draw, to increase his total number of goals to four that season.

Following that match, there was an obvious drop in Ottmar Hitzfeld’s performance as he failed to score a goal for the next 9 league matches, however in two of those matches against FC La Chaux-de-Fonds and FC Grenchen he wasn’t in the squad.

His fifth goal for FC Basel came on the 15th matchday of the league against Servette FC. After that match, Ottmar managed to score a total of another eleven goals for his team, including the famous hat trick against FC Biel-Bienne, thus helping his team to win the league title.

Ottmar Hitzfeld started the 1972/73 season with a goal against FC Sion in the opening match of the league, however, the team suffered a 2-3 home defeat in that game. In the next league match, Ottmar scored another goal for his team against FC Winterthur, but the team also lost that match.

For the next four league matches between 23 August and 9 September 1972, Ottmar Hitzfeld had to sit out of the squad, only to make a brilliant return to the team with a goal against


Club on the 7th matchday.

That season, in the league he repeated his great performances of the last season, scoring many doubles against the likes of BSC Young Boys, FC Fribourg and FC Chiasso, among others and also a hat trick against FC La Chaux-de-Fonds. That season, Hitzfeld score a total of 18 goals in the league, helping his team to finish as champions again.

In the following season, Ottmar Hitzfeld was able to repeat his great performances in the last two seasons at the club, this time scoring a total of 19 goals in 26 league matches. However, this time his team failed to win the league and finished in 5th place.

During that season, Ottmar Hitzfeld also made his European debut in the first leg of the Round of 16 match of the European Champion Clubs' Cup against the Belgian side Club Brugge KV. In the second leg of that match, he scored a hat trick to help his team advance to the quarter-finals.

There, they faced Celtic and thanks to two goals from Ottmar, FC Basel won the match 3-2, but after a 4-2 defeat in the second leg match, the Swiss team was knocked out of the European competition. With 5 goals in 4 appearances, Hitzfeld was one of the best players in his team.

In the 1974/75 season, which happened to be his last in FC Basel, Ottmar Hitzfeld was less productive and scored a total of 13 goals in 21 matches he played in the league. The highlight of the season for him was the hat trick he scored against the FC Winterthur.

During his time with the Basel team, he played a total of 103 matches and scored 71 goals, and he became Swiss champion under coach Helmut Benthaus in the 1971/72 and 1972/73 seasons. It was in 1973 that he finished his teaching studies at the Pedagogical University in Lörrach with a State Examination in Mathematics and Sport for the teaching profession at secondary schools.

During the 1972 Olympic football tournament, he was part of the German Olympic squad, where he played alongside Uli Hoeneß, among others. He played five times from the start and scored a goal in each of these matches. Altogether, Hitzfeld managed to make eight appearances in national amateur matches. It was on 14 November 1972 that he played his only international match for the B national team, winning 3-1 against the Swiss side in Winterthur - where he also scored a goal.

Now stay tuned to this section of

Ottmar Hitzfeld biography

as we want to share some info about his Stuttgart career.

VfB Stuttgart

In 1975, Hitzfeld transferred from FC Basel to

VfB Stuttgart

, a team that had just been relegated from the 1st Bundesliga. He made his debut for VfB Stuttgart in the first round of DFB Pokal, which was played on 2 August 1975 against Rapide Wedding.

It happened to be a debut to remember for Ottmar Hitzfeld, where he managed to score two goals in the huge 2-9 win for the club. A week later, he made his league debut against 1.FC Saarbrücken at home, where he scored the winner of the match for his team.

On 23 August 1975, he scored another brace for his team, this time in the 1-7 thrashing of FSV Frankfurt. On the 17th matchday of 2. Bundesliga, he was able to score his first hat trick for the German side against Eintracht Bad Kreuznach in a match that ended 4-1 for them.

During two years in the 2nd Bundesliga, he appeared in 55 matches, scoring 33 goals. During the 1976/77 season, he was part of the so-called "100-goal storm" with 22 goals scored that season with VfB Stuttgart having a goal difference of 100:36, making a decisive contribution to the club's promotion back to the Bundesliga.

To this day, his six goals in the 8-0 win against SSV Jahn Regensburg remains a record in German professional football. He played 22 times for Stuttgart in the Bundesliga in the 1977/78 season and netted five goals.

Afterwards, he went back to Switzerland, playing first for

FC Lugano

and then for

FC Luzern

in the National League. In 1983 he ended his career as a player.

Ottmar Hitzfeld Profile

When his playing career was over, Hitzfeld originally wanted to start the preparatory service for secondary school teaching mathematics and physical education, however, the state education authority requested an additional re-examination as his studies had been too long ago. Irritated by this, Hitzfeld then decided to start a professional coaching career.

SC Zug

Hitzfeld joined SC Zug as coach in 1983, which he took over in the second-tier National League B and directly guided to the top division, the National League A. In spite of the promotion, he departed the club after only one year and joined

FC Aarau

in the National League A.

Now stay tuned to this section of Ottmar Hitzfeld biography as we want to share some info about his Aarau career.

FC Aarau

His first match for Aarau, after signing for the club came on 15 August 1984, in the opening match of the league against FC Luzern, which ended in a 3-1 win for Ottmar Hitzfeld’s side. In FC Aarau, Ottmar made a great start to the season, winning six of their nine matches in the league, and drawing the other three.

His first defeat as head coach of the Aarau team came on the 11th matchday when they suffered a 4-2 away defeat against Servette FC. Under his guidance, FC Aarau finished the league in the second position with 16 wins, 10 draws and just 4 defeats, just behind Servette FC. They also managed to win the Swiss Cup at the end of the same season in 1984/85. That same year he was named Swiss Football Coach of the Year.

The next season things were not as good as the previous season for the German coach and his team, as with more defeats in the league and some poor performances, they only were able to finish in 7th place in the league.

During his time with the FC Aarau team, Ottmar Hitzfeld managed his team in a total of 126 league, matches, winning 54, drawing 36 and losing on 36 occasions. At the end of the 1987/88 season, he decided to join another Swiss club, Grasshopper.


He joined Grasshopper Club Zurich in 1988. His first match as head coach of the Grasshopper was the group stage match of UEFA Intertoto Cup which they played against the Polish side Pogon Szczecin, ending in a goalless draw on 2 July 1988.

Three weeks later, he debuted in the Swiss Super League in a 1-1 draw played against FC Wettingen. Their first win and defeat in the league came respectively in the second and third matchday, against FC Lugano and FC Luzern.

After finishing the league in second place after 22 matches, Ottmar Hitzfeld and his team advanced to the final round.  After another 14 matches, Grasshopper played the final game against FC Luzern on 17 June 1989 at the Stadion Wankdorf.

Having conceded two goals in the 40th and 44th minute, Ottmar’s team went to the changing room in a poor mood, however, the coach was able to help them turn things around. In the 56th minute, Wynton Rufer scored the first goal for Grasshopper, before adding his second goal seven minutes later.

Five minutes after that, Alain Sutter scored another goal to make it 3-2. After the goal, the German Friedel Rausch’s team was all-out attack in order to avoid defeat, but André Egli’s 86th-minute goal happened to be the final nail on the FC Luzern’s coffin. By doing so, Ottmar Hitzfeld and Grasshopper clinched the Swiss Super League title.

During his two seasons with the club, he managed the team in a total of 124 matches, where he won five national titles between 1988 and 1991, which included the Swiss league championships in the 1989/90 and 1990/91 seasons.

Borussia Dortmund

Ottmar moved back to Germany in 1991 to take over the coaching job at

Borussia Dortmund

, who had been coached by 23 different managers since the foundation of the Bundesliga but failed to win any titles in that period.

The likes of Mattias Zummer, Andreas Möller, Stefan Reuter and Karl-Heinz Riedle were brought on board under Hitzfeld. After a short time, the newcomers were able to unite with veteran players like goalkeeper Stefan Klos, centre-back Stefan Freud, Michael Zork and striker Stephan Schapuiza, thus improving the team's performance.

Through hard work and professionalism, the new coach was able to create a kind of high-class ensemble of players, who in 1992 were already the German vice-champion, behind Stuttgart who became the champion only in goal difference.

A year later Borussia Dortmund, led by Hitzfeld, made it to the UEFA Cup final, where they lost twice to Juventus with a 6-1 aggregate scoreline. That was the second time in the club's history that they reached the European cup final.

Ultimately, in 1995 Borussia became German champions for the first time in 32 years. Throughout the season, Borussia Dortmund was competing with Werder Bremen for the title. Hitzfeld's men were trailing Werder by one point before the final round of the league season, so they needed to defeat Hamburg to claim the title, and then hope that Bremen would lose points on the match against Bayern.

That was exactly what happened: Borussia won their game 2-0 and the Munich side outclassed Werder. And this time, in the UEFA Cup, the Bundesliga club made it to the semi-finals, but again they were defeated by Juventus.

In the following season, Borussia clinched the league title, six points ahead of runners-up Bayern. However, in the

Champions League

, Hitzfeld's side was defeated in the quarter-finals by reigning titleholders Ajax (0-2 and 0-1) and therefore decided to concentrate on winning the trophy the following season.

As for the 1996/1997 UEFA Champions League, Borussia made it through the group stages before defeating French Auxerre in the quarter-finals with very little problem. The Bumblebees were evenly matched in the semi-finals, outplaying

Manchester United

1-0 in both games to progress to the final of Europe's premier club competition for the first time in their history.

In the final, Juventus, who were the reigning cup holders, were once again their opponents. In the middle of the first half, forward Karl-Heinz Riedle netted the double, with Lars Rikken scoring the winner in 71 minutes to make it 3-1. That way, Borussia Dortmund achieved the greatest success in their history, taking revenge on the Bianconeri, although they finished only third in the German Bundesliga this time.

Notwithstanding this success, there was growing tension between Hitzfeld, his players and his club's management. Hitzfeld, who had been in charge for longer than any of his previous clubs, wanted a change of pace and new talent. Nevertheless, the star players were able to persuade Borussia president Gerd Niebaum to side with them.

While it did not amount to a major scandal, eventually the coach had to step down. While he was offered the position of sports director, Ottmar declined, choosing to continue his coaching career. As the coach later recalled, this job was more like a paid holiday than a job.

Now stay tuned to this section of Ottmar Hitzfeld biography as we want to share some info about his

Bayern Munich


Bayern Munich

Hitzfeld became coach of FC Bayern Munich on 1 July 1998. His first match as the head coach of Bayern Munich was the semifinal of German Ligapokal against Bayer 04 Leverkusen, where they managed to win 0-1 and make it to the final.

Five days later, Ottmar Hitzfeld was on the verge of winning his first Bayern Munich trophy in his second match on the bench, where he had to play against VfB Stuttgart, which he was a player for in the 1970s. Ottmar’s team outclassed Winfried Schäfer’s side in that match thanks to a hat trick from Giovane Elber and the 89th minute goal of Carsten Jancker.



debut on the bench of Bayern Munich came on 15 August 1998, winning 0-1 against VfL Wolfsburg. During that season’s Bundesliga campaign, Bayern was simply the best team around under the guidance of Ottmar Hitzfeld, and they won the league with a 15 points gap with the second team.

After defeating Serbian side FK Obilic in the qualifying round of the Champions League, they advanced to the group stage of the competition, where they were drawn against the likes of Bröndby IF, Barcelona and Manchester United. With 11 points in six matches, they finished first in the group and made it to the quarterfinals alongside the red devils.

By eliminating the likes of 1.FC Kaiserslautern in the quarterfinals and Dynamo Kyiv in the semifinals, they advanced to the final of the Champions League. The match was to be played at Camp Nou in front of 90,000 spectators. The match started perfectly for Bayern Munich as Mario Basler scored a goal in the 6th minute.

After that goal, Hitzfeld wanted to control the match with a defensive style of play and it actually worked, because at the 90th minute the score was 0-1 for Bayern, however, in the first minute of injury time, Teddy Sheringham scored a goal to make it 1-1. As Ottmar and his side were preparing for the extra time,

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

scored the winner a minute later to win the Champions League.

With this club, he won the German Bundesliga titles in 1998/99, 1999/2000, 2000/01, 2002/03 seasons and the DFB Cup in the 1999/2000 and 2002/03 seasons, the UEFA Champions League in the 2000/01 season and the International Cup in 2001 during six seasons of coaching the club.

Hitzfeld's contract, which was due to expire in 2005, was terminated early by FC Bayern on 30 June 2004 when the team was unable to win a title in the 2003/04 season. There was controversy in the media and within the club about the manner of the dismissal.

Felix Magath

became Hitzfeld's replacement. Hitzfeld admitted in a TV programme on Sport1 in November 2011 that he was close to burnout after six years at Bayern. He had no more energy to end the contract of employment in 2004.

Following the German team's exit from the 2004 European Championship, Ottmar Hitzfeld was offered a job by the German Football Association (DFB) to become coach of the German national team as successor to Rudi Völler, who had stepped down, which he declined on 1 July 2004.

Because he had brought himself into the conversation as a potential replacement for Völler before the 2004 European Championship, he was strongly criticised for the surprising rejection. In the end, Jürgen Klinsmann, a former player of the team, was appointed to the post.

From mid-2004, Hitzfeld at first no longer served as a football coach. He instead became an expert for the pay-TV channel Premiere, where he analysed Bundesliga, Champions League and World Cup matches.

Hitzfeld announced in December 2006 that he would like to end his break from coaching and resume his work as a football coach for the 2007/08 season. He rejected offers from Hamburger SV and his former club Borussia Dortmund for an immediate appointment as head coach at the start of the second half of the 2006/07 season.

A second spell at Bayern Munich

Ottmar Hitzfeld replaced his own successor Felix Magath, who was fired the day before, as head coach of FC Bayern Munich on 1 February 2007. He was again assisted by Michael Henke, who had already assisted Hitzfeld in the past at Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern.

In the beginning, Hitzfeld intended to coach the team only until the end of the season, however on 15 March 2007, he decided to sign a contract for the remainder of the 2006/07 season, which was to run until 30 June 2008. Hitzfeld confirmed Bayern manager Uli Hoeneß' statement on 2 January 2008 that he would not renew his contract again. He ended the 2007/08 season having won the double for FC Bayern Munich. He was replaced by Jürgen Klinsmann.

Switzerland National Team

Starting in the summer of 2008 - following the European Championship - Hitzfeld started coaching the Swiss national team. For this purpose, he relocated back to his hometown of Lörrach. His contract with the Swiss Football Association originally ran for two years until after the 2010

World Cup

in South Africa before being extended in August 2009 until mid-2012 and then in March 2011, ahead of schedule, until 2014.

With the Swiss national team, Hitzfeld experienced a mixed start to the qualifying campaign for the 2010 World Cup: after a 2-2 draw in Tel Aviv against




was leading 2-0, the team suffered a 2-1 home defeat against Luxembourg. Subsequently, under Hitzfeld's leadership, the team improved steadily and directly qualified for the 2010 World Cup as group winners.

In their first group match at the World Cup, Switzerland unexpectedly won 1-0 against the reigning European champions and subsequent tournament winners


. Following a defeat and a draw in the subsequent matches against


and Honduras, the team then was unable to make it past the group stage.

In the qualifying for the 2012 European Championship, Switzerland came third in the group behind England and Montenegro and therefore they did not qualify for the European Championship. However, Hitzfeld had more success with the national team in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.

Switzerland remained undefeated in their group and was already confirmed as finalists one matchday before the end of the qualifying campaign. They also defeated Germany and Brazil in friendly matches. As a result, Switzerland was ranked 6th in the FIFA World Ranking in June 2014. Hitzfeld announced on 17 October 2013 that he would end his coaching career after the 2014 World Cup.

Switzerland finished second in the group stage behind France and made it to the last 16 for the first time since 2006, where they lost to Argentina in extra time. Hitzfeld ended his coaching and football career with this exit on 1 July 2014.

Style of Play

Ottmar is a devoted fan of the 4-4-2 double 6 system of play as he used it on almost all of the teams he managed during his career. However, after failing to qualify for Euro 2012, he mostly played 4-2-3-1 at the Swiss national team.


He is considered by many fans and pundits as one of the best German coaches of all time. In fact, with 25 titles, he is the most successful German football coach.

Ottmar Hitzfeld outside Football

Hitzfeld has been working as a pundit for the pay-TV channel Sky (formerly Premiere) since July 2008. He was already a pundit from September 2004 to February 2007 for the same channel.

Ottmar Hitzfeld Personal Life

In this section of Ottmar Hitzfeld biography, we will take a deeper look into his personal life and share some information about things like Ottmar Hitzfeld life story and Ottmar Hitzfeld religion, stay tuned.

Family, Children and Relationships

As the youngest of five siblings, Hitzfeld was raised in Lörrach (Stetten) in southern Baden, just on the border with Switzerland. Hitzfeld's father was a dentist. He received his first name from Ottmar Walter (brother of the then already better-known Fritz Walter), who was a football player for 1. FC Kaiserslautern.

He has been married to his wife Beatrix for many years. They have a son named Matthias and three grandchildren Henry, Carlotta and Oscar.


Ottmar Hitzfeld was a supporter of the social project We Help Africa at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

As of October 2016, he has been an ambassador for the Sepp Herberger Foundation of the German Football Association (DFB).

Legal Issues

There are no reports of legal issues or disputes regarding the famous German coach on the English or German media.

Ottmar Hitzfeld Career Statistics

In this section of Ottmar Hitzfeld biography, we will take a deeper look into his career stats, both as an international and club player.


Ottmar has played a total of 30 matches for many Swiss and German teams during his playing days and scored 169 goals.


In the 1972 Olympics, he was a part of the West Germany national team, where he played five matches and scored five goals.


His win ratio is 54.09 percent with 562 wins, 256 draws and 221 defeats in a total of 1039 matches as of 1 July 2014.

Ottmar Hitzfeld Honors

He has won the Swiss Super League and Swiss Cup several times as a player and was the Swiss Super League top goalscorer in 1973 with 18 goals.

Ottmar has many titles to his name, including Swiss Super League, Bundesliga, UEFA Champions League, Intercontinental Cup and many others as a football coach.

Of his notable individual titles, we can include German Football Manager of the Year, World Soccer Magazine World Manager of the Year, European Coach of the Season, among others.

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source: SportMob