Matthias Sammer Biography

Wed 17 November 2021 | 20:29

While he had to retire early, he was able to prove himself as one of the best German midfielders and liberos of all time. In this article, we will take a look at Matthias Sammer biography.

Matthias Sammer, born 5 September 1967 in Dresden, is a retired German footballer and coach. He is mainly famous for his time as a player for Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan. He was named European Player of the Year in 1996.

Altogether Matthias Sammer played 74 international matches, 23 for East Germany and 51 for Germany. He was the captain of the German national team that won the 1996 European Football Championship.

Sammer played for Dynamo Dresden between 1987 and 1990, helping them win two Oberliga championships. He also scored East Germany's last national team goal before the unification of the two German federations.

In 1990, Sammer was one of the first East Germans to switch to a major West German club after reunification when he joined VfB Stuttgart, helping them win the Bundesliga in 1992. Later he moved to Inter Milan where he played one season before coming back to Germany to play for Borussia Dortmund.

He became a star there, contributing to the Bundesliga title in 1995 and 1996, and the UEFA Champions League in 1997. His active career was ended by a knee injury and in 2000 he was appointed coach of Borussia Dortmund, the team winning the Bundesliga in 2002. He served as coach of VfB Stuttgart in the 2004-05 season.

All You Need to Know About Matthias Sammer Biography

He signed a contract with the German Football Association on 1 April 2006, where he was appointed technical director. Sammer's job was to manage talent development and training methods for all age levels of the German national football team and to create tactical strategies for all German national teams.

Bayern Munich announced on 2 July 2012 that the club had hired Sammer as its new sports director, to replace the fired Christian Nerlinger.

Matthias Sammer Information

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

Matthias Sammer biography

we will share more general information about him such as

Matthias Sammer nationality

to let you know him even better.

Matthias Sammer Bio

  • Full Name: Matthias Sammer

  • Nickname: Iron Matthias

  • Profession: Professional Football Coach

Matthias Sammer Physical Stats

  • Weight: 77 Kg

  • Height: 1.81 m

  • Eye Color: Hazel

  • Hair Color: Blonde

Matthias Sammer Football Information

  • Position: Defensive midfielder

  • Jersey Number: 6

  • Professional Debut: 1985

Matthias Sammer Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 5 September 1967

  • Birth Place: Dresden, East Germany

  • Zodiac Sign: Virgo

  • Nationality: German

Now stay tuned to this section of

Matthias Sammer biography

as we want to share some info about

Matthias Sammer childhood


Matthias Sammer Early Life

As a nine-year-old, Matthias Sammer started playing football in the youth team of SG Dynamo Dresden in 1976. With this, he was continuing his father Klaus Sammer's legacy, who was also a player for Dynamo Dresden from 1965 to 1975.

Until 1985, Matthias Sammer went through all of Dresden's youth teams, playing his last game for Dynamo Dresden in the Junior-Oberliga. He became East German champion and cup winner with the Dynamo junior team in 1985.

Dynamo Dresden

In 1985/86, he played his first match for the men's Oberliga team at the age of 18. During the second matchday of the season in the highest division of the East German Football Association, on 24 August 1985, he played in the last eight minutes of the match between 1. FC



Dynamo Dresden

(2:3) under his father as coach.

He appeared in 18 Oberliga matches during that season but played only six games for the full 90 minutes. He nonetheless became his team's second-best scorer behind Ralf Minge with eight goals, having always been used as a striker.

He joined the "Feliks Dzierzynski" guard regiment of the Ministry for State Security in 1986, of which Erich Mielke was the head of the Dynamo sports association. His actual service was limited to the day he was drafted and the day he went undressed, which allowed Sammer to pursue his playing career, while he would not have been able to do so if he had done his military service in the National People's Army.

He was never called upon to perform MfS-typical spy services as part of his service and was instead the subject of observation himself to a small extent. He was part of the Dresden team in the European Cup match against Bayer 05 Uerdingen on 19 March 1986 - which is known as the Miracle of the Grotenburg and was later named the greatest football match of all time by the trade magazine 11 Freunde.

Sammer, then under coach Eduard Geyer, had already established himself as a regular left winger in 1986/87 with 20 Oberliga appearances, and scored seven goals this time to become Dresden's top scorer.

During the course of the 1987/88 season, Sammer moved back to midfield under coach Geyer, although this did not prevent him from still being one of Dynamo's top scorers with eight goals in the league. Sammer made 25 appearances in the 1988/89 season, the most Oberliga matches of his career, and captured his first men's title with the East German championship.

He had his most successful GDR-Oberliga season and his last in the East Germany game in 1989/90, winning the double, the league championship and the cup with Dynamo Dresden. He made 102 appearances during his five seasons in the GDR-Oberliga, scoring 39 goals.

Sammer's greatest international success with Dynamo was reaching the UEFA Cup semi-finals in the 1988/89 season. In total, Sammer played 20 European Cup matches for SG Dynamo Dresden, in which he scored two goals.

Now stay tuned to this section of Matthias Sammer biography as we want to share some info about his career in Stuttgart.

VfB Stuttgart

Following the political changes, Sammer departed from the now renamed 1. FC Dynamo Dresden in the summer of 1990 to play for

VfB Stuttgart

. Previously, he had signed a contract with Bayer 04 Leverkusen, but the contract was terminated. He played 63 Bundesliga games (20 goals) and three European Cup games (one goal) for VfB and became the German champion in 1992 with coach Christoph Daum's team.

Inter Milan

Sammer played for the Italian club

Inter Milan

for a few months in the 1992/93 season. Playing eleven games, he scored four goals in Serie A, but was not happy there and consequently accepted an offer from Borussia Dortmund, which took him back to the German Bundesliga during the winter break of that season.

Now stay tuned to this section of

Matthias Sammer biography

as we want to share some info about his Dortmund playing career.

Borussia Dortmund

He started there in his usual position as a midfielder. His first match for

Borussia Dortmund

was on 20 February 1993 against VfL Bochum, where he scored the winning goal for a 1:0 final score. Sammer was deployed more and more in the role of libero by coach Ottmar Hitzfeld in the following 1993/94 season.

What initially seemed to be a temporary solution turned out to be very successful thanks to Sammer's tackling strength and anticipation skills. In 1994/95, the Brazilian Julio Cesar, who was actually signed for the libero position, was used as a left defender after a few unconvincing games in this position, and Sammer moved back to the libero position, which he also played in the national team from 1996 onwards.

During his time at Borussia Dortmund, he played 115 first division games and scored 21 goals, as well as 27 European Cup games without a goal. He won two more Bundesliga championships under coach Ottmar Hitzfeld (1995 and 1996), the UEFA Champions League in 1997 after defeating Juventus Turin 3-1 in the final at Munich's Olympiastadion, and the Intercontinental Cup in the same year after beating Cruzeiro Belo Horizonte.

East Germany National Team

Sammer was already a member of the East German youth team squad as a young player and went through all age groups from the U-16 to the U-23 national team. In 1986, he became European champion with the U-18 team following a 3:1 victory over Italy. He first gave his team a 2-1 lead in the 42nd minute. The following year, he reached 3rd place with the U-20 team at the 1987 World Junior Football Championship in Chile after a 3-1 victory over the hosts.

On 19 November 1986, he debuted for the East Germany senior national team in a European Championship qualifying match against France (0-0) at the Zentralstadion, where he came on as a 77th-minute substitute. Until 1988, Sammer continued to be a substitute in the national team, and it was only after that that he earned a regular place.

Besides the 1986 European Championship qualifier, he took part in seven of the eight World Cup qualifiers that were played in 1988 and 1989. He made 23 appearances for the East German national team up to 1990, with six goals, and played his last international match for the East German national team on 12 September 1990, as one of the few regulars. He scored both goals as team captain in the 2:0 friendly match against


in Brussels.

With the East German Olympic football team, Sammer was involved in two qualifying matches against Portugal (3:0) and Iceland (3:0) in 1988, however, East Germany had already missed out on qualification for Seoul 1988.

Germany National Team

Matthias Sammer was the first player from East Germany to be called up to the all-German national team under Berti Vogts. On 19 December 1990, he played his first match against Switzerland in Stuttgart (4:0), and on 7 June 1997, his last match was against Ukraine in Kiev during the World Cup qualifiers (0:0).

In 51 games for the German national team, he scored eight goals. The biggest successes of his international career were winning the European Championship in England in 1996 and the runner-up finish in the European Championship in Sweden in 1992.

He was awarded the Silver Laurel Leaf by German President Herzog in 1996 for his sporting achievements. Sammer's excellent performances at Borussia Dortmund and at the 1996 European Championship resulted in his being named European Footballer of the Year in 1996.

Together with Franz Beckenbauer, Fabio Cannavaro and Virgil van Dijk, he is one of the only four defenders to have won this award since 1956. He has also been voted Germany's Footballer of the Year twice, in 1995 and 1996, among his other personal honours.

Early Retirement

Matthias Sammer retired from playing in 1999 because of a bacterial infection with MRSA germs, a disease he suffered during knee surgery on 13 October 1997, which cost him, among other things, his participation in the 1998 World Cup in France.

His last Bundesliga match was on 4 October 1997. He played 291 first league games (84 goals) in the German Democratic Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany and


and 50 European Cups (three goals). He has 74 international caps - including both East Germany and Germany - and has scored 14 goals.

Matthias Sammer Profile

However, the story of Matthias Sammer does not end with that injury. Two years after his retirement, Borussia Dortmund was in the worst shape of the season and in 13th place. Matthias Sammer went back to the club of his heart as a coach when he was only 33 years old!

Borussia Dortmund

He was the youngest coach in the history of the Bundesliga with Julian Nagelsmann on 10 February 2016 breaking his record. He was even younger than many of his players such as Stefan Reuter or Jürgen Kohler. He guided his team in 2000/01 to a respectable third place in his first season. The year after, the "Schwarz-Gelb" hero won the 2002 German Bundesliga and almost won the UEFA Cup, the club's only missing European title, against Feyenoord 2-3.

The financial situation of the club in 2002/03 started to affect its results, and Matthias Sammer and his team Borussia Dortmund dropped to second place in the league, which meant direct qualification for the UEFA Cup.

Borussia Dortmund collapsed financially in 2003/04. The stock market value had fallen by 80%, the club was heavily in debt and facing bankruptcy. This was a first for a club that had been a member of the G14 since its foundation and had won a European Cup just six years ago. A lot of pressure was put on the players and the coach.

Disaster struck in the two-legged tie against FC Brugge in the third preliminary round of the UEFA Champions League. Having lost on penalties (3-3 on aggregate, 2-4 on penalties), the TV rights bonuses were lost, totalling more than 8 million euros.

The first to take action was Mathias Sammer, who reduced his salary voluntarily: "It is logical that I should be the first to suffer the consequences, although my salary is not very high.” The whole team, in solidarity with their coach, cut their salary by 20% a week later.

However, the rest of the season was a mess. BVB lost the German Cup to Monchengladbach and the UEFA Cup to


, then lost the fifth UEFA Cup qualifying place to


at the end of the season and only qualified for the Intertoto. As a result of this setback, Matthias Sammer and Dortmund parted ways.

VfB Stuttgart

In the 2004/05 season, Sammer took over as coach of VfB Stuttgart, the club that had brought him to Germany. The Swabian club was in the top three throughout the season, but after losing 1-3 to Bayern at the end of the season, the club dropped out of the UEFA Champions League qualifying places, finishing in fifth place, which led to his dismissal.

DFB Sports Director

Sammer was appointed sports director of the German Football Association (DFB) on 1 April 2006. In filling the then newly created post, he was preferred to the former national hockey coach Bernhard Peters, who was the favourite of the then national coach Jürgen Klinsmann. Sammer had also been the DFB's youth development coordinator since 2010 and was in charge of expanding talent development.

Furthermore, Sammer was approached by the supervisory board of Hamburger SV for the position of sports director in January 2011. In the process, Sammer is said to have been presented with a negotiated contract. But Sammer opted to fulfil his contract with the DFB. His contract with the German Football Association, prematurely terminated in July 2012.

Sports Director at FC Bayern Munich

Sammer took up the post of Board Member for Licensed Player Affairs at

FC Bayern Munich

on 2 July 2012. He succeeded the previous Sports Director Christian Nerlinger after FC Bayern's second consecutive title-less season. It was agreed that the decision would not be announced until after the 2012 European Football Championships due to the upcoming tournament.

The German Football Association (DFB) approved Sammer's appointment. The club won the triple of the German championship, DFB Cup and UEFA Champions League in his first season at Bayern. Sammer came under criticism in March 2014 after he accused rival clubs in the


of inadequate coaching.

With immediate effect on 10 July 2016, Sammer's contract as sports director at FC Bayern Munich, which ran until 2018, was cancelled at his request. Before that, Sammer had been forced to take a break since the end of April 2016 because of a minor stroke. For that reason, Sammer also repeatedly rejected a return to the operational business of the Bundesliga in the subsequent period.

External Advisor at Borussia Dortmund

It was announced at the end of March 2018 that Sammer had joined his former club Borussia Dortmund as an external advisor with immediate effect. In this capacity, he advises the club's management led by Hans-Joachim Watzke and sporting director Michael Zorc on major sporting issues without having any influence on the operational side of the business.

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

Style of Play

Matthias Sammer performed at his best in purely defensive roles, first as a midfielder and later reinventing himself with excellent results as a libero. However, he was also quite prolific in front of the goal, thanks to frequent runs into the opponent's area. Very technically gifted, he also demonstrated the vision and charisma of a leader.

Apart from the elegance that only the Kaizer had, Matthias Sammer is very much like the Beckenbauer in his ability to influence the destiny of a match from the position of libero, a position that he was able to restore to its former glory and to take it into his own hands.

This is a quality reserved for exceptional players, and rare among defenders, which Sammer has demonstrated several times. When the Germans were in trouble when they had difficulty getting their way, he would go into the middle to direct the game, or even in attack to make the difference, and it worked.

To be able to take such bold steps at this level of competition you need a range of extraordinary qualities, and Sammer had them. Having been trained at the tough eastern school, which meant that he was physically above suspicion, this hyper-enduring, perfectionist and the hard-working player had a technique that was both fine and solid, like the best contemporary German players, and a perfect intelligence of the game.


Matthias Sammer is the reason why Borussia Dortmund was able to reach a new level in the mid-1990s and win the Champions League. He may not be the most popular player in Dortmund, but he is definitely the strongest player ever to wear the yellow and black shirt. He belongs to the greatest German footballers alongside Rummenigge, Matthäus and Beckenbauer, a player with whom he shares many similarities as a libero.

Matthias Sammer outside Football

While playing for Dinamo Dresden, a club then controlled by the Stasi, he was forced to join the secret police of the then German Democratic Republic - later explaining that he "never had to spy on anyone, never saw a weapon and never took part in an exercise" - in order not to be barred from continuing his career; This was also in the light of the precedent of his father Klaus who, having refused to join the SED, the single party in East Germany, was kicked out of the national team and, in fact, forced to end his competitive career.

Since September 2018, Sammer is working as an advisor to the Cologne-based startup Gokixx, which is operating a digital platform for young footballers in Germany.

Sammer worked as an expert for Bundesliga matches on Eurosport 2 HD Xtra during the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons. Beginning in August 2021, he joined the team of experts for the UEFA Champions League on Amazon Prime Video.

Matthias Sammer Personal Life

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

Matthias Sammer life story


Matthias Sammer religion

, stay tuned.

Family, Children and Relationships

Matthias Sammer is the son of the East German national player Klaus Sammer. He is a trained machine and plant fitter, and is married to his wife Karin since 1993 and has three children. He lives with his family in Grünwald near Munich. He is also an ambassador of the German charity foundation kids to life.


During his career, particularly after retiring from playing football, on numerous occasions, Matthias Sammer has participated in many charity projects. For example, while he was working for the DFB, he had attended the 'Play Soccer, Get Together' charity tournament which was sponsored by Bitburger.

Legal Issues

At the time of writing this article, there are no reports of any legal issues or disputes regarding Matthias Sammer either in the German or English media and press.

Matthias Sammer Career Statistics

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


In a rather short playing career that ended due to a knee injury, Matthias Sammer played a total of 296 matches and scored 83 goals between 1985 and 1998. Having played for six consecutive seasons, Sammer had spent the majority of his career playing for Borussia Dortmund.


Since 1986 he was a key player of the East Germany national football team, where he played a total of 23 matches and scored 6 goals. After the reunification, he also played a total of 51 matches for the German national team, scoring 8 goals.


In his short coaching career, Matthias Sammer has recorded a win ratio of 49.57 percent with 114 wins, 54 draws and 62 defeats in a total of 230 matches that he has coached Borussia Dortmund and VfB Stuttgart.

Matthias Sammer Honors

Sammer has won many trophies during his playing career, which includes DDR-Oberliga, FDGB-Pokal, Bundesliga, DFL-Supercup and the

UEFA Champions League


Having finished as runner-up in the 1992 UEFA European Championship with


, he was able to win the 1996 edition and was one of the best players in his team. He has also won the 1993 U.S. Cup with his country.

As a coach, he has won the 2001-2002 Bundesliga title with Borussia Dortmund as well as finishing runner-up with the club in DFB-Ligapokal and UEFA Cup.

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