Oliver Bierhoff Biography

Tue 02 November 2021 | 16:00

He is regarded by many pundits and football fans as one of the best German strikers in the 1990s. In this article, we will take a look at Oliver Bierhoff biography.

Oliver Bierhoff, born 1 May 1968 in Karlsruhe, is a German former football player. He is now working as the sporting director of the German national team. He is famous for his precise headers and beautiful goals scored with powerful shots from outside the box, and in 1998 he was named German Footballer of the Year after finishing top scorer in the Serie A.

Bierhoff went on to play for 9 different clubs in 4 different leagues. In total, he scored 103 goals in Serie A, which is one of the best records for a non-Italian. He was Serie A's top scorer with 27 goals in the 1997-98 season. In Germany, however, Bierhoff was never a success.

Having failed to impress in his homeland, where he turned out for Bayer Uerdingen, Hamburg and Borussia Monchengladbach between 1986 and 1990, he decided to try his luck in Austria, where he played in the 1990-91 season with Austria Salzburg (now Red Bull Salzburg).

His successful stint in Austria landed him the chance to play in Serie A, for Ascoli. However, it was in Udinese, according to his former coach Alberto Zaccheroni, that Bierhoff would find success in his career and earn his place in the German national team. Between 1998 and 2001, he enjoyed a successful spell at AC Milan.

He then moved to Monaco in 2001-02, scoring just five goals in 18 matches. Before his switch back to Italian football, this time to defend Chievo, he even had thoughts of retirement before signing for the Verona club. He played his last professional match, when he was 35, against


, and while he could not avoid a 4-3 defeat, he scored a hat-trick in the match.

All You Need to Know About Oliver Bierhoff Biography

Having played for West Germany's U-21s, Bierhoff made his debut for the German national team in a friendly against Portugal on 21 February 1996. His second appearance on 27 March saw him score his first goal, as well as his second, in a 2-0 victory over Denmark.

In total, Oliver scored thirty-seven goals in seventy appearances, which included the goals in the win over the Czech Republic in the 1996 European Championship final when he entered in the sixty-ninth minute in place of Mehmet Scholl.

When Germany was trailing 1-0 after twenty minutes in a match against Northern Ireland on 20 August 1997, then Germany coach Berti Vogts decided to replace Thomas Haßler and put Bierhoff in his place. He scored three goals within seven minutes, being the fastest hat-trick in the history of the German national team.

He also took part in the 2000 European Championship and two World Cups (1998 and 2002). He played his last match for the national team in the defeat against Brazil in the 2002 World Cup final.

Oliver Bierhoff Information

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

Oliver Bierhoff biography

we will share more general information about him such as

Oliver Bierhoff nationality

to let you know him even better.

Oliver Bierhoff Bio

  • Full Name: Oliver Bierhoff

  • Nickname: Golden Head

  • Profession: Professional Football Coach

Oliver Bierhoff Physical Stats

  • Weight: 85 Kg

  • Height: 1.91 m

  • Eye Color: Brown

  • Hair Color: Dark Brown

Oliver Bierhoff Football Information

  • Position: Striker

  • Jersey Number: 21

  • Professional Debut: 1986

Oliver Bierhoff Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 1 May 1968

  • Birth Place: Karlsruhe, West Germany

  • Zodiac Sign: Taurus

  • Nationality: German

Now stay tuned to this section of

Oliver Bierhoff biography

as we want to share some info about

Oliver Bierhoff childhood


Oliver Bierhoff Early Life

Oliver began his football career with the children's and youth teams in Essen and Uerdingen. He became German champion for under-20s teams in 1987. Bierhoff's first professional club in his career was Bayer Uerdingen. At the time, the team was experiencing the best period in its history and was able to finish third in the Bundesliga. However, Oliver's contribution to this achievement was not big - he only managed two goals in his debut season.


The next two seasons were not very productive either, as the forward only managed to score two goals. He transferred to


in 1988, where he played one season but failed to prove himself fully, despite the fact that during the season he scored six goals.

Borussia Monchengladbach

He then left for Borussia Monchengladbach in which he played just a few months and failed to establish himself. Following a few unsuccessful seasons, Bierhoff failed to be in demand at Bundesliga clubs and made his way to Austria, eventually becoming a player for Austria Salzburg.

Now stay tuned to this section of Oliver Bierhoff biography as we want to share some info about his career in



Austria Salzburg

During his first season, he established a club record for goals scored with 23 goals. It was at this team that Oliver trained to use his playing strengths: being tall and physically powerful. A significant portion of his goals was scored with his head while also winning most of his battles against defenders.


The German striker was purchased by Internazionale in 1991, but he never got to play a single match for the club. The Nerazzurri loaned him to


immediately after the transfer. He finished the season in last place in Serie A, and Bierhoff's performance declined again, scoring just two goals during the season. Nevertheless, the board of the Ascoli decided to sign the forward.

The following season he became Serie B's top scorer with 20 goals, and Ascoli missed out on just two points to make it into the Italian football elite. Throughout the next two seasons, Bierhoff played a key role as the team's leading scorer, regularly hitting his opponents' goals. In 1995, however, Ascoli was relegated to Serie C.


However, despite relegation,


turned their attention to Oliver. At the time the striker was 27 years old and this transfer was the last chance for him to play at a high level. In his first year, he was already the top scorer of the team, and in 1998 he emerged as the top scorer in Serie A, scoring 27 goals in a season - slightly less than half of all the team's goals.

Many of those goals helped Udinese finish third in the league, the second time in their history that they had reached the top three, and Bierhoff was named German Footballer of the Year. Now stay tuned to this section of Oliver Bierhoff biography as we want to share some info about his AC Milan career.

AC Milan

Following such a great season, Bierhoff transferred to one of Italy's top clubs,

AC Milan

. In his debut season, he was the top scorer for the Rossoneri with 20 goals and played a crucial role in winning the league title, which was the first club trophy of his career.

The German, in particular, scored the winning goal against


in their last league game. Andriy Shevchenko joined AC Milan before the beginning of the next season and as a result, Bierhoff started to play more at the back of the net, frequently creating chances for his Ukrainian team-mate. In the meantime, Oliver himself netted 14 goals.

The following season, his scoring output dropped (just 9 goals), with Filippo Inzaghi, Marco Simone and Xavi Moreno joining the squad. The 33-year-old decided to leave AC Milan under these circumstances.

Later Career

Being a free agent after he departed from Milan, he joined


where he failed to have a regular playing practice, and the following season he returned to Italy as a player at a modest Chievo. This was the last club of his playing career, which he retired from in the summer of 2003.

Germany National Team

Bierhoff took part in the 1987 Military World Cup in Italy with the German Armed Forces national team and finished second. He played ten games for the U-21 national team from 1988 to 1990. At the age of 27, Bierhoff made his national team debut when he was subbed in the match against Portugal on 21 February 1996 (2-1).

He was named in the squad for the 1996 European Football Championship in England under national coach Berti Vogts only four months after his debut. He was substituted in the 69th minute of the final against the Czech Republic when the score was 1-0. Only four minutes later, he scored the equaliser with a header. In the subsequent extra time, he fired


to the title with the first golden goal in men's football in history.

Bierhoff also scored the fastest hat-trick in the history of the Germany team in the 1998

World Cup

qualifying match against Northern Ireland, when he came on as a 69th-minute substitute with the game at 1-0 and scored three goals in six minutes to secure a 3-1 win. At the 1998 World Cup in France, he scored a total of three goals, but the team was knocked out of the tournament in the quarter-finals against Croatia with a 3-0 defeat.

He captained the national team at the 2000 European Championships in the Netherlands and Belgium. During a public training session conducted after the first group match at the request of the then DFB President Egidius Braun on the pitch of his home club SV Breinig, however, he ruptured a muscle fibre during the warm-up and was sidelined for the rest of the tournament.

He took part in the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea alongside the national team, finishing runners-up. His last match with the national team was the final against Brazil on 30 June 2002, which they lost 2-0. Bierhoff was a German player in 70 senior international matches, scoring 37 goals in the process.

Now stay tuned to this section of

Oliver Bierhoff biography

as we want to share some info about his career with the German national team manager.

Oliver Bierhoff Profile

Having worked with Oliver Welke as a commentator on several UEFA Champions League matches for the TV channel Sat.1, Bierhoff was appointed team manager of the German national team two years after his last international match upon the arrival of Jürgen Klinsmann as head coach on 29 July 2004.

It was a position created especially for Bierhoff and had not previously existed in this form. Bierhoff also kept the position of manager under coach Joachim Löw. Since 26 October 2007, Bierhoff has been a member of the Presidium of the German Football Association.

From the beginning, Bierhoff's appearance as team manager of the national team was controversial. Even today, fans and the media at times accused him of arrogance and a know-it-all attitude. Bierhoff was also blamed for not immediately cancelling a number of private advertising contracts and therefore sideline jobs in parallel to his contract with the DFB.

There was a dispute between Bierhoff and Rudi Völler in the media in 2007. Völler rejected Bierhoff's statements with sometimes rude language, who criticised the work of the


clubs and suggested that they should be guided by the national team's training philosophy.

Euro 2008 Incident

Following the defeat in the 2008 European Championship final against Spain (0:1), Michael Ballack went up to Bierhoff while he was still on the pitch and verbally insulted him with what appeared to be obscene words because Bierhoff had called on him to go to the fans in the stands with a thank-you banner. This was interpreted by spectators as an expression of criticism of Bierhoff's work, who among the players was also dubbed the event manager.

In February 2010, when the contracts of Bierhoff and Joachim Löw with the DFB were supposed to be renewed, negotiations with Theo Zwanziger were broken off following a failed negotiation and postponed until further notice. This was because Löw and Bierhoff were demanding conditions that Zwanziger did not want to meet.

Bierhoff had requested, among other things, the right to veto a potential replacement for the national team coach. Bierhoff and Joachim Löw together announced on 20 July 2010 that their contracts had been renewed until 2012. The DFB announced on 15 March 2011 that the coaching staff headed by Joachim Löw and also Oliver Bierhoff had renewed their contracts for a further two years until 31 July 2014.

After a good campaign in the Brazil World Cup, Bierhoff and the German national team were crowned world champions by winning the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. In addition to his involvement with the national team, Bierhoff became project manager for the planned German Football Association academy in March 2015.

New Marketing Slogan of German National Team

Bierhoff established the name DIE MANNSCHAFT as the new marketing slogan for the German national team in June 2015. Since then the lettering has been displayed in large letters on the team bus of the national team and is also printed on the collars of the national players' jerseys.

The idea was that DIE MANNSCHAFT would serve as the new brand identity, similar to Seleção (nickname for the Brazilian national team), Azzurri (Italy) or l'équipe (France). In this context, the new slogan was considered by some to be artificial, while the German national team had already been known abroad as "La Mannschaft", "El Mannschaft" or "Mannschaft" for quite some time and had only not yet been appropriately marketed domestically.

In particular, following the national team's early exit from the 2018 World Cup, the slogan received heavy criticism and was regarded as a representative symbol of Bierhoff's and the DFB praesidium's distancing and estrangement from the fans.

Subsequently, DFB President Reinhard Grindel stated that he also perceived that the term Die Mannschaft was seen as very artificial at the grassroots level and thus even thought about eliminating the term. In addition, the film Die Mannschaft was produced to mark the title win in 2014.

Director of National Teams and Academy

Bierhoff has been one of four (until 31 December 2017: seven) directors of the German Football Association (DFB) since 1 January 2018, having undergone a structural reform. He is in charge of the national teams and football development division which is also known as the Director National Teams and Academy.

Bierhoff’s area of responsibility includes the management and sporting direction of the national teams (women's and men's) - with Oliver Bierhoff being the superior of sporting director Joti Chatzialexiou - and the DFB Academy with its associated areas (coaching, training, scouting, etc.).

As part of the structural reform, the position of sports director, which was previously held by Hansi Flick and, on an interim basis, Horst Hrubesch, was eliminated in October 2017. The German Football Association (DFB) in May 2018 announced the early extension of Bierhoff's contract until 2024.

2018 World Cup Failure

The German national team was knocked out in the group stage of the 2018 World Cup and came last in Group F. After that Bierhoff and national coach Joachim Löw were criticised, but the President of the German Football Association (DFB), Grindel, as well as the rest of the executive committee, supported Bierhoff and Löw. In the course of dealing with the elimination from the World Cup, Bierhoff and Löw attended the longest press conference in the history of the German Football Association (DFB), which took about 110 minutes and included a question and answer session with journalists.

Now stay tuned to this section of Oliver Bierhoff biography as we want to share some info about his playing style.

Style of Play

Oliver Bierhoff was effective with both feet, but he could also score with his head. Despite his height of 191 cm, he had a great vertical leap which enabled him to rise above the crossbar. He scored thirteen goals in nineteen appearances (one every 59 minutes) in March 1998, with 46% of those goals coming from headers.

He said: "Heading is actually my strong point. There are several reasons for this. First and foremost my physical size and my muscular structure, but also the experience I have acquired over the seasons, which helped me to improve my timing, to become smarter and to feel the shots better. Finally, (...) a headed goal is often the result of a good cross. This is why I ask my teammates to cross as quickly as possible and in a tense manner so that I can cut off the ball's trajectory in the middle of a run.


During his time as a player, Oliver Bierhoff managed to establish himself as not only one of the best German attackers of his generation but amongst the greatest strikers in the world. He was much famous for his headers, and he scored many of his goals using them. In the Euro 96 final match, he scored the first golden goal in football’s history.

Oliver Bierhoff outside Football

Alongside his professional career, Oliver Bierhoff successfully earned a degree in business administration from the Fernuniversität in Hagen in 2002. His thesis topic was: The determination of the placement price of shares in the run-up to a new stock market listing - A comparative economic analysis based on the example of the initial public offering of football clubs.

Throughout the long duration of his studies, he had always motivated himself to continue studying. Immediately after graduating from high school, the future professional footballer opted not only for a career on the ball but also for the time after his career as an active athlete.

He decided between law and business administration in favour of economics: "I was already very interested in management and marketing back then," said the footballer at the award ceremony for his diploma. In the winter semester of 1988/89, Bierhoff enrolled at the FernUniversität in Hagen in the Department of Economics: it was a decision that would pay off for a future as manager of the national team.

In March 2007, Bierhoff founded Projekt B GmbH in collaboration with the sports scientist and former sporting goods manager Marc Kosicke, with the business purpose of marketing athletes, especially football coaches. The company's clients, in addition to Bierhoff himself, include Holger Stanislawski, Jürgen Klopp, Michael Oenning and Bruno Labbadia.

Since 2003, Bierhoff has been a citizen of the municipality of Berg am Starnberger See and signed the municipality's Golden Book on 25 July 2013.

In an interview with the Bild-Zeitung on 25 March 2011, Bierhoff criticised an episode of the TV series Tatort which addressed the issue of homosexuality in football. In the show, among other things, sentences were used such as "You know, the national team is supposedly half gay, including the coaching staff. This is already a kind of national sport, spreading the word." Bierhoff described the statements in the film "as an attack on the family of the national team." He was accused of indirectly stating that football had to be protected from homosexual influences.

In an open letter, the gay and lesbian football network Queer Football Fanclubs stated that Bierhoff had given homophobia in football its face. The statement said that Bierhoff's fierce reaction and the use of the term family as a supposed antithesis to homosexuality was revealing.

In August 2010, Oliver Bierhoff attracted attention by co-signing the Energy Policy Appeal, a lobbying campaign by the four major electricity companies against a German withdrawal from nuclear energy. In the process, Bierhoff was criticised for signing the full-page newspaper advertisement printed in various daily newspapers in the name of his role as manager of the national team.

Nevertheless, the German Football Association (DFB) later distanced itself from this energy-policy appeal. According to the DFB, Bierhoff had simply expressed his opinion under his job title of manager of the national football team, and not in the name of the DFB.

Oliver Bierhoff Personal Life

In this section of Oliver Bierhoff biography, we will take a deeper look into his personal life and share some information about things like

Oliver Bierhoff life story


Oliver Bierhoff religion

, stay tuned.

Family, Children and Relationships

Oliver Bierhoff was raised in Düren and Essen. His grandfather Eduard Bierhoff was the chief district director in the Düren district and his father Rolf Bierhoff was an executive board member at RWE AG. He was a team-mate of Karl-Heinz Schnellinger as a goalkeeper for SG Düren 99 in the 1950s. With the transfer from Bayer Uerdingen to HSV, his father's position on the board of directors became a topic of discussion for the first time. As a result of his father's status and salary, Bierhoff was being bullied by his teammates at the time.

Bierhoff attended school in Essen and obtained his Abitur at the Humboldt-Gymnasium. His football career began with the Essener Sportgemeinschaft 99/06 and ETB Schwarz Weiß Essen. While growing up, he was a member of the Essen Cathedral Boys' Choir.

Bierhoff has been married to Klara Szalantzy from 22 June 2001. They have one daughter together. Nicole Bierhoff, a television presenter, is Oliver Bierhoff's older sister.


During his career, Bierhoff has been a part of many charitable causes and had always supported different charity projects. For instance, he is one of the supporters of the Sami Khedira Foundation. In 2016, he also attended the McDonalds Charity Gala in Munich, an event which raised around €1.5 million for charitable causes.

Legal Issues

The Cologne-based consulting agency Sportsfirst, of which former national goalkeeper Toni Schumacher is managing director, filed a lawsuit against Oliver Bierhoff for outstanding commission payments on 3 March 2010.

Oliver Bierhoff Career Statistics

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


From the start of his playing career with Uerdingen in 1986 until the day he retired from professional football with


Verona in 2003, Oliver Bierhoff played a total of 516 matches in all competitions, scoring 212 goals. He has played the majority of his career playing for Ascoli in Serie A and Serie B, appearing in a total of 124 matches, scoring 49 goals.


Between 1996 and 2002, Oliver Bierhoff was a member of the German national team, where he played in a total of 70 matches and scored 37 goals for his country. His first two international goals was scored on 27 March 1996, in a friendly match against Denmark. He scored his last goal for Germany in the FIFA World Cup 2002 group stage match against Saudi Arabia on 1 June 2002.

Oliver Bierhoff Honors

The only trophy Oliver Bierhoff was able to win during his playing days was the 1998-99

Serie A

title which he clinched while playing for AC Milan. He has also won the 1996 UEFA European Football Championship with the German national team.

He has also many individual awards and titles to his name, including the Serie A top scorer, Serie B top scorer, Goal of the Year (Germany), Footballer of the Year (Germany), A.C. Milan Hall of Fame and some others.

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