Andreas Köpke is a legend among German goalkeeping enthusiasts. - © Imago/ DFL
Andreas Köpke is a legend among German goalkeeping enthusiasts. - © Imago/ DFL
60 years of Bundesliga

Andreas Köpke: One of German football's many great goalkeepers


England fans of a certain vintage will recoil at the mere thought of Andreas Köpke, the legendary German goalkeeper-turned-coach who has pretty much seen, done and won it all.

Köpke was a key figure in Germany's UEFA Euro 1996 triumph on English soil, most notably saving Gareth Southgate's spot-kick in the penalty shoot-out victory against the hosts in the semi-finals. The Germans went on to beat the Czech Republic in the final, six years after lifting the World Cup for the first time since the country's reunification.

Those were halcyon days for Köpke, a back-up at Italia 90 before unseating Bodo Illgner as Germany's undisputed No.1 and later being named 1996 European and IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper on the back of his Euro heroics. He retired from international football following Germany's quarter-final exit from the 1998 World Cup with 59 senior caps to his name, paving the way for a certain Oliver Kahn to take the throne.

England fans watch in disbelief as Köpke thwarts Gareth Southgate from the penalty spot. - Imago

At club level, Köpke spent the rump of his professional career with Nuremberg. The Kiel native turned out 362 times across two spells at Der Club, helping them win the Bundesliga 2 title in 2000/01, his final season before hanging up his gloves. He also represented Hertha Berlin and Eintracht Frankfurt, whilst playing for French outfit Marseille between 1996 and 1999. The 1993 German Footballer of the Year posted double figures for clean sheets in four of his 11 seasons of Bundesliga football, comprising 346 top-flight appearances.

As a goalkeeping coach with Germany from 2004 to 2021, Köpke has schooled the likes of Kahn, Jens Lehmann and current No.1 Manuel Neuer. After third-place finishes in 2006 and 2010, he lifted the World Cup for the second team in his career in 2014. Germany also won the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup during his tenure. 'Andy' is currently lending his expertise to Jürgen Klinsmann's coaching team with South Korea. Suffice to say they're in safe hands.

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