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Top facts about Ottmar Hitzfeld, the general

Thu 16 June 2022 | 4:30

As one of the best club coaches, Ottmar Hitzfeld accumulated 18 major titles and was crowned two times The World’s Best Club Coach, being one of only five managers to win the European Cup/Champions League with two clubs. Read on to find out more facts about Ottmar Hitzfeld.

Ottmar Hitzfeld

(born 12 January 1949) is a former professional footballer (striker) and manager from Germany. He is known as "the General" ("the general").

Ottmar Hitzfeld’s age

is 73.

An important fact about Ottmar Hitzfeld is that he has 18 major trophies to his name, the most of which he won while playing for Grasshopper Club Zürich, Borussia Dortmund, and Bayern Munich.

Winning two Swiss leagues as a player for Basel FC and having scored over 150 goals in his career, Hitzfeld shattered the myth that good players could not become great managers.

Hitzfeld, a certified mathematician and sports instructor, is one of Germany's and the world's most successful football coaches.

He has twice been named "World Coach of the Year," and he, along with Ernst Happel, José Mourinho, Jupp Heynckes, and Carlo Ancelotti, is one of just five managers to win the European Cup/UEFA Champions League with two teams.

His six-year spell with Die Borussen was the longest stint the club had seen until

Jurgen Klopp

took over the hotseat, but it will fondly remembered by the Yellow and Black army for many years to come.

Top facts about Ottmar Hitzfeld:

After his playing career, Hitzfeld actually wanted to start the preparatory service for the Realschule with the subjects of mathematics and sports, but the state education authority demanded an additional examination because his studies were too long ago. Out of anger, Hitzfeld decided to start a professional coaching career.

Ottmar Hitzfeld early life

Regarding

Ottmar Hitzfeld’s childhood

, it should be mentioned that he grew up as the youngest of five siblings in Lörrach (Stetten) in southern Baden, right on the Swiss border.

Speaking about

Ottmar Hitzfeld’s parents

, it is worth mentioning that his father was a dentist. He got his first name based on Ottmar Walter (brother of the then already better known as Fritz Walter), the soccer player of the 1. FC Kaiserslautern.

Ottmar Hitzfeld personal life

He remarked that individuals should not become overly thrilled about things, nor should they get too depressed about things, and that each issue should be treated differently. Otto Hitzfeld, a World War II commander, was his uncle.

Beatrix Hitzfeld is Hitzfeld's wife. They have three grandkids and one child. The Ottmar Hitzfeld Arena, Europe's tallest, bears his name.

Ottmar Hitzfeld professional career

Forging a career as a striker, Ottmar Hitzfeld spent much of his 13-year playing career in Switzerland, winning the Swiss Super League on two occasions and claiming a Swiss Cup triumph during a successful stint at FC Basel.

After retiring from playing in 1983, he quickly assumed a managerial role, a platform where his ambitious and disciplined nature was able to fully flourish.

Ottmar Hitzfeld playing career

Hitzfeld, who was born in Lörrach, began playing football in the late 1960s with TuS Stetten and FV Lörrach in the lower German levels before catching the notice of FC Basel in the Swiss first division.

FC Basel

In 1971, he joined the club on the other side of the Rhine. The forward won the Swiss title with this team in 1972 and 1973, contributing as the best scorer in Switzerland in the latter season. He also won the cup with Basel in 1975.

An important

fact about Ottmar Hitzfeld

is that he graduated from neighboring Lörrach College as a mathematics and sports teacher in 1973, while still playing for Basel. In order to compete in the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, he kept his amateur status.

He met

Uli Hoeneß

, the latter

Bayern Munich

player and general manager who would appoint him as a coach in the late 1990s, while playing there. The first football match between the national teams of West and East Germany was one of the highlights of the tournament.

West Germany was defeated 2–3 in this match, and therefore failed to advance to the semifinals. Hitzfeld scored one of his five goals in the tournament in this game. In 1975, Hitzfeld, then 26 years old, accepted a contract offer from VfB Stuttgart, then in the German second division.

VfB Stuttgart

He was part of a famed "100 goal attack" for the Swabians (the goal difference that season was 100:36), and he scored six goals in one match against SSV Jahn Regensburg, which is still the record for a 2. Bundesliga player.

The team was promoted to the top flight, the Bundesliga, after two years, in 1977. Hitzfeld had scored 33 goals in 55 league games at the time. The team ended the season in fourth place in the Bundesliga. In 22 games, Hitzfeld scored five goals.

FC Lugano

After three years with Stuttgart, Hitzfeld returned to Switzerland, which had already become his second home. He played for FC Lugano from 1978 to 1980 before joining FC Luzern, where he completed his playing career in 1983 at the age of 34.

Ottmar Hitzfeld managerial career

Hitzfeld got his first coaching contract with SC Zug, a Swiss club in the second division, in the summer of 1983. The squad won the Nationalliga B championship in 1983–84. For the first and only time in the club's history, Hitzfeld and his side were promoted to the Nationalliga A right away.

FC Aarau

In 1984, he accepted a coaching position with FC Aarau, where he remained for four years. His time there was marked by his first coaching championship, the Swiss Cup, which he won in 1985.

Grasshopper

Soon after, he drew the notice of Grasshopper, a renowned Swiss club based in Zürich. He won four further titles there between 1988 and 1991, beginning with a repeat of his cup success at the conclusion of his first season.He repeated the feat the following year before wrapping out his career by defending the Swiss Championship in 1991.

Borussia Dortmund

An important fact about Ottmar Hitzfeld is that he took over as manager of Bundesliga team

Borussia Dortmund

in 1991.He and his assistant Michael Henke, with whom he would work for the following 13 years, led the club to second place in the league and a berth in the 1992–93 UEFA Cup.

Dortmund reached the finals of this tournament the next season, but lost both matches against Juventus. He won his first Bundesliga championship with Dortmund in 1995, the club's first trophy since the DFB-Pokal in 1989 and Hitzfeld's first in Germany.

He successfully defended the championship in 1995–96, but the big victory had to wait another year: Dortmund finished third in the league in 1997, but advanced to the UEFA Champions League final, where they would face Juventus once again.

This time, Borussia Dortmund won 3–1 against a side from northern Italy that included

Zinedine Zidane

, Didier Deschamps, and Christian Vieri, among others, in Munich's Olympiastadion.

Hitzfeld received the "World Coach of the Year" award for the first time, but as tensions with the team escalated, he was promoted out of the firing line to the position of sports manager with the club, where he witnessed his successor, Nevio Scala, lead Borussia Dortmund to the 1997 Intercontinental Cup victory over Cruzeiro from Brazil. He completed with a 144-win, 63-draw, and 65-loss record.

Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich, Germany's most successful team, recruited Hitzfeld in 1998. He guided the team to revived championship glory in his first year, capturing the league title by a record margin of 15 points. However, the team was defeated on penalties by Werder Bremen in the DFB-Pokal final.

The most crucial aspect of their season was their journey to the Champions League final. The stunning

Manchester United

comeback during the injury time period will be remembered from the final.

With the score at 1–0, United scored two goals in injury time to hand Bayern a surprise loss. In addition, they had won the DFB-Ligapokal.

Bayern won the double the next season, extending their domestic dominance. Bayern Munich triumphed on a heartbeat finish this season after winning by a record margin previous season. On a tiebreaker, they had won the league.

To win the championship, Hitzfeld's squad needed the neighbors from Unterhaching, a Munich suburb, to defeat Bayer Leverkusen on the last day of play.

Bremen, which had defeated Bayern in the previous final, was defeated in the DFB-Pokal final. Bayern Munich was eliminated in the Champions League semifinals by eventual champion Real Madrid.

In the 2000–01 season, Hitzfeld guided Bayern not only to a hat-trick of league titles, but also to the Champions League final for the third time, beating Manchester United and reigning champions

Real Madrid

. This time, the Munich team triumphed, although in a penalty shootout versus Valencia.

After Ernst Happel, Hitzfeld became just the second coach in history to win a major European championship with two clubs.

An important

fact about Ottmar Hitzfeld

is that he was named "World Coach of the Year" for the second time, although this time he kept control of his squad in the 2001 Intercontinental Cup final against Boca Juniors of Argentina. Hitzfeld and his squad had reason to rejoice after a single goal by Ghanaian defender Samuel Kuffour in extra time.

By that time, the club had developed a habit of putting in lackluster performances, and they were forced to settle for third place in the league.

The 2002–03 season began on July 25, 2002, when Bayern Munich was eliminated from the DFB-Ligapokal in a penalty shootout by

Hertha BSC

.

Bayern Munich dominated German football once again in the 2002–03 season, winning the league title four matches before the season's finish. Bayern won by 16 points over Stuttgart in second place. Hitzfeld's club completed another double by defeating Kaiserslautern 3–1 in the 2003 DFB-Pokal final.

Bayern began the 2003–04 season by losing in the semi-finals of the DFB-Ligapokal against Hamburger SV in a shootout on July 22, 2003.

Bayern finished second in the 2003–04 season, and were knocked out of the DFB-Pokal quarter-finals by Alemannia Aachen, as well as being knocked out of the UEFA Champions League in the round of 16 by Real Madrid. Hitzfeld, a 55-year-old coach, was fired with one year left on his contract.

On May 22, 2004, he played his last match, a 2–0 victory against SC Freiburg. Hitzfeld completed with a 193-win, 73-draw, and 53-loss record.

An important fact about Ottmar Hitzfeld is that he was offered the job of managing the German national team, but he declined because he wanted to take a vacation from the sport.

He returned to Bayern Munich on February 1, 2007, after Felix Magath was fired. His first match back ended in a 3–0 defeat against 1. FC Nürnberg.

Despite trailing by eight points with 15 games left, hopes that he may lead Bayern to another championship were dashed. Bayern eventually came in fourth place, missing out on the Champions League for the first time in more than a decade.

Hitzfeld led the club to a new era of domestic supremacy, winning the DFB-Ligapokal, the DFB-Pokal, and the league title, thanks to a multimillion-dollar purchasing spree before the new season.

Bayern's UEFA Cup campaign came to an end in the semifinals with a humiliating 4–0 loss to eventual champion Zenit St. Petersburg, after numerous high victories and several draws.

During the season, Hitzfeld declared that he would not be returning to Bayern, and

Jürgen Klinsmann

was appointed as his replacement. His last game was a 4–1 victory against Hertha BSC.

Switzerland's national team

In the summer of 2008, Hitzfeld took over as coach of the Swiss national team. His debut match as coach was a friendly match against Cyprus on August 20, 2008, which Switzerland won 4–1.

His first competitive encounter was a 2–2 draw against Israel in qualification for the 2010 FIFA World Cup on September 6, 2008. On October 14, 2009, Switzerland drew 0–0 with Israel in FIFA World Cup qualification.

Switzerland qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa by winning their qualification group. In friendlies coming up to the FIFA World Cup, Switzerland faced Uruguay, Costa Rica, and Italy.

On 3 March 2010, Switzerland lost 3–1 to Uruguay, lost 1–0 to Costa Rica on 1 June 2010, and drew 1–1 with Italy on 5 June 2010.

Despite winning their first encounter 1–0 against eventual winners Spain, Switzerland went on to lose 1–0 to Chile and draw 0–0 with Honduras, therefore eliminating their prospects of qualifying from Group H.

Switzerland failed to qualify for Euro 2012, placing third in their qualification group behind England and Montenegro. Switzerland began qualifying by losing two games in a row against England and Montenegro.

Then, in the last qualifier of 2010, they overcame Wales. After a draw against England and a draw and a victory over

Bulgaria

, they extended their unbeaten record to four games.

Switzerland's unbeaten record came to an end when they lost to Wales before going on to beat Montenegro in their last qualifying match.

Switzerland began 2012 with a 3–1 defeat to Argentina on February 29, 2012, followed by a 5–3 victory over Germany on May 26, 2012. Then, four days later, Switzerland was defeated by Romania. On August 15, 2012, Switzerland beat Croatia.

Hitzfeld guided Switzerland to a second consecutive FIFA World Cup, after his side went undefeated in qualification. Switzerland began qualifying with two 2–0 victories against Slovenia on September 7, 2012, and Albania on September 11, 2012.

They then drew 1–1 with Norway on October 12, 2012, before defeating Iceland 2–0 four days later. In a friendly match, Switzerland beat Tunisia 2–1 in the last match of 2012.

On February 6, 2013, Switzerland drew 0–0 with Greece to begin the year. The following two matches for Switzerland were against Cyprus.

The encounter on March 23, 2013, ended in a 0–0 tie, while the match on June 8, 2013, ended in a 1–0 victory for Switzerland. On August 14, 2013, Switzerland defeated Brazil.

Switzerland concluded qualification with a 4–4 tie against Iceland and three straight victories against Norway, Albania, and Slovenia.

An important

fact about Ottmar Hitzfeld

is that he announced his retirement on October 17, 2013, following the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Switzerland concluded the year with a 2–1 friendly defeat to South Korea.

Switzerland drew 2–2 with Croatia before defeating Jamaica and Peru in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Switzerland finished second in Group E after defeating Ecuador, losing to France, and defeating Honduras.

Hitzfeld's last match was a 1–0 extra time defeat to Argentina in the FIFA World Cup round of 16 on July 1, 2014. Hitzfeld was followed by Vladimir Petkovi.

After the World Cup, he announced his resignation from coaching, with Vladimir Petkovi taking over on July 1, 2014.

Hitzfeld was reportedly offered a 24-million-euro 18-month deal by Chinese Super League team Guangzhou Evergrande. He, on the other hand, declined.

Ottmar Hitzfeld legacy

Wet clay is what a football squad is like. It will never take form or become solid unless and until it has a potter capable of sculpting it appropriately. Managers have a critical role in football.

They're like generals who set the route for a club's future. Great managers like as

Sir Alex Ferguson

, Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola, and others have shaped a club's ideology. Ottmar Hitzfeld, however, was the first contemporary manager to create clubs based on his own ideas and in his own image.

However, he did not become a manager until after he had retired from the game. Hitzfeld was one of the most productive forwards in former Soviet Europe during his playing days.

An important fact about Ottmar Hitzfeld is that he was most successful with FC Basel, a significant European player at the time. He scored 66 goals in 92 games for the club. He was signed by VfB Stuttgart after his success at Basel. He was also productive here, earning them promotion to Germany's top level.

He was their talisman, and his devotion and leadership on the field were evident even when he wasn't scoring. Even though his scoring prowess waned, he still managed to lead them to an incredible fourth-place finish in the Bundesliga. After that, he finished his career with FC Lugano and FC Luzern.

Hitzfeld had a successful scoring career that lasted a decade and a half. He scored 169 goals in 296 games throughout his playing career. This would have sufficed for any other player, but Hitzfeld, a math graduate, was not yet pleased.

Hitzfeld, sometimes known as 'Der General' or 'The General,' is one of the most successful managers in the game's history. He did not construct his reputation at one club, unlike Sir Alex; he respects the teams he manages, unlike Mourinho; and he did not rebuild a club's playing style, unlike Guardiola.

What makes him so successful, then? I think it is a combination of a scientific grasp of the game, a thorough comprehension of tactics, and the ability to instill fighting spirit in his squad.

An important fact about Ottmar Hitzfeld is that he has long been interested in teaching and joined FC Zug as a coach shortly after. He was enticed to bigger pastures at FC Aarau after a mediocre start there.

They were minnows at the time, but Hitzfeld changed them during his four-year tenure with the club, winning the Swiss Cup, the first of many medals he would win. Hitzfeld drew the attention of Swiss Giants FC Grasshopper, and the rest is, as they say, history.

In his three seasons with the club, he won four titles. He also won the league and the Swiss Cup in the same season. And all of a sudden, everyone was paying attention to the guy who was guiding a squad that was barely good to such consistent success.

Hitzfeld picked Borussia Dortmund as his next destination after receiving many offers. He had a remarkable ability to turn things around. He took them from mediocrity in the middle of the standings to second place in the league.

The next season, they advanced to the UEFA Cup final, but were defeated by Juventus. Despite the fact that Borussia Dortmund had lost out on the league and the UEFA Cup, the signs were clear.

Kohler, Sousa, Moeller, and Cesar were all brought in by Hitzfeld from Juventus. Dortmund won the German Championship in 1994 after a time of rebuilding with them.

They were on their way to becoming a world-class squad. Hitzfeld's Borussia looked a lot like Klopp's. In their ranks, they had the same free spirit, enthusiasm, and blend of speed and deception.

An important

fact about Ottmar Hitzfeld

is that he also liked the unorthodox 3-5-2 formation in terms of tactics. In terms of tactics, he was adaptable, and he had the personnel to shift the game rapidly.

Despite the fact that Hitzfeld was the team's primary captain, he had in

Matthias Sammer

a player who had mastered the job of defensive sweeper or libero. Sammer was a leader who, like Keane, motivated his squad to achieve their full potential.

In 1996, Hitzfeld guided the squad to another German title, and his protégé Sammer was named European Footballer of the Year. However, the best was yet to come.

Borussia Dortmund looked unimpressive in the league in 1997. They did, however, reach the finals of the Champions League, where they faced Juventus, who had upset them in the UEFA Cup final in 1992.

That year, Juventus was the best team in Europe. Borussia Dortmund, on the other hand, had defeated Manchester United, who had seemed to be legitimate championship contenders that season. Juventus fielded a team that included Zidane, Deschamps, Vieri, and Di Livio.

That was Hitzfeld's best performance as a coach. He set up Borussia Dortmund in their regular 3-5-2 formation, leaving Paul Lambert in charge of marking Zidane. It turned out to be a brilliant move, since Zidane was unable to have a significant effect on the contest.

Riedle scored two goals in five minutes, but Juventus answered with one of their own, and they seemed to be on the verge of scoring another.

The choice to bring in a youthful Rickens paid off, as he scored in only 16 seconds to seal the victory. Hitzfeld was awarded the 'World Coach of the Year' title for his achievements.

Bayern Munich recruited him the next season. His hiring had an immediate impact, as Bayern won the league by a record margin. He came close to completing the treble in his debut season, but was denied by penalties in the DFB Pokal.

Manchester United memorably lost the UEFA Champions League final 1-2. Bayern Munich won the domestic double the next season, but were knocked out of the Champions League by eventual champions Real Madrid.

An important fact about Ottmar Hitzfeld is that he kept his tactical modifications at Bayern, playing them in a 5-4-1 configuration. This was a less thrilling approach than the one he used with Dortmund. Bayern Munich was known for grinding out results and playing drab and unappealing football.

However, it was quite effective. He didn't have a galaxy of stars, but he did have a strong unit that rallied around one another and triumphed the hard way. Bayern Munich defeated Real Madrid and Manchester United on route to the final in the 2000-2001 season.

Valencia faced Bayern Munich in the 2001 UCL final; the match finished 1-1, with Bayern winning on penalties, demonstrating Ottmar Hitzfeld's mental toughness. Hitzfeld was named 'World Coach of the Year' for the second time, joining Ernest Happel as the only coach to win two European Cups.

The prosperity continued the next season, with Bayern Munich completing another domestic double. But the opponents eventually caught up, and Bayern's regimented style of play no longer worked, and Hitzfeld was fired following a trophy-less season.

An important fact about Ottmar Hitzfeld is that he turned down the position of German national coach and retired from the sport. When he returned, he took leadership of Bayern Munich on a temporary basis for a season and a half, winning the DFB Pokal and the German title in the process.

He later became coach of the Swiss national team, who qualified for the World Cup finals despite having a weak squad. His squad beat eventual winners Spain 1-0 in the tournament's biggest shock.

In his 26-year coaching career, Hitzfeld has won 25 titles. He's made adjustments based on his teammates and opponents.

He's brought about tactical shifts. He has formed teams both with and without money. He's shown that he can get things done. He is said to be one of the finest man-managers in the game, and he knows how to get the most out of his troops. He is, however, a name that no one recalls.

He's merely a number that comes up when Mourinho and his European championships are discussed. This was my effort to bring attention to a long-forgotten legend, both on and off the field.

Some more facts about Ottmar Hitzfeld:

In 1983, Hitzfeld became a coach at SC Zug, which he took over in the second-tier Nationalliga B and led straight into the highest league, the Nationalliga A.

Despite the rise, he left the club after just one year and moved to FC Aarau in the National League A, with which he was runner-up in the first year and won the Swiss Cup at the end of the same 1984/85 season. In the same year he was voted Swiss Football Coach of the Year.

In 1988 he moved to Grasshopper Club Zurich, with whom he won five national titles between 1988 and 1991, including the Swiss championships in the 1989/90 season and 1990/91.

At the beginning of the 1991/92 season, Hitzfeld succeeded Horst Köppel as coach of Borussia Dortmund and, after a slow start, surprisingly led the team to second place in the championship.

Going into the last match day third in the table, BVB led the table from the goal in Duisburg in the 9th minute until VfB Stuttgart scored the winner in the 86th in Leverkusen, which brought them the championship. Both benefited from the defeat of the previous league leaders Eintracht Frankfurt.

The following season, Hitzfeld reached the UEFA Cup final with Dortmund, losing to Juventus in two games. Most of the money earned by reaching the finals was made available by Dortmund to its coach for player transfers.

After the signings of, among others, Matthias Sammer, Stefan Reuter, Karl-Heinz Riedle, Andreas Möller and from 1995 Jürgen Kohler (all previously played in Italy), Hitzfeld became German champions with Dortmund in the 1994/95 and 1995/96 seasons and won the UEFA Champions League of the Season1996/97 – again in the final against Juventus Turin.

After winning this title, Hitzfeld announced his resignation as coach and became sporting director at Borussia Dortmund. With new coach Nevio Scala, the club won the Intercontinental Cup in autumn 1997.

On July 1, 1998, Hitzfeld became the manager of FC Bayern Munich. With this club he won the German championships of the 1998/99, 1999/2000, 2000/01, 2002/03 seasons and the DFB-Pokal of the 1999/2000 and 2002/03 seasons, the UEFA Champions League of the 2000 season in six seasons /01 and the 2001 World Cup.

Hitzfeld's contract, which ran until 2005, was prematurely terminated by FC Bayern on June 30, 2004 after the team had not won a title in the 2003/04 season. The manner of the dismissal was the subject of controversy in the media and within the club.

Hitzfeld's successor was Felix Magath. In November 2011, Hitzfeld admitted on a TV show on Sport1 that he was on the verge of burnout after six years at Bayern. He himself no longer had the strength to end the employment relationship in 2004.

After the German team left the European Championship in 2004, Ottmar Hitzfeld received an offer from the DFB to succeed the retired

Rudi Völler

as coach of the German national team, which he turned down on July 1, 2004.

Since he had brought himself up as a potential successor to Völler before the EM 2004, he was heavily criticized for the surprising cancellation. Eventually, the post was filled by ex-player Jürgen Klinsmann.

From mid-2004, Hitzfeld no longer worked as a football coach. Instead, as an expert for the pay-TV channel Premiere, he analyzed Bundesliga, Champions League and World Cup games.

In December 2006, Hitzfeld announced that he would like to end his break from coaching and would like to work as a football coach again for the 2007/08 season.

An important fact about Ottmar Hitzfeld is that he turned down requests from Hamburger SV and his former club Borussia Dortmund for an immediate engagement as head coach at the beginning of the second half of the 2006/07 season.

Ottmar Hitzfeld social media

Regarding

Ottmar Hitzfeld social media

, it should be mentioned that he does not have ant pages on any social media platforms.

Ottmar Hitzfeld body measurements

Speaking about

Ottmar Hitzfeld body measurements

, it should be mentioned that the former player is 176cm and 65kg.

Ottmar Hitzfeld net worth and salary

Ottmar Hitzfeld's net worth

is estimated to be around $17 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.

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