Bernd Nickel - known as Dr. Hammer for his ferocious shooting - was a corner specialist of such expertise at Eintracht Frankfurt that he had a knack for scoring directly from them.
It was a very special time for Eintracht when legends such as Bernd Hölzenbein, Jürgen Grabowski and Co. played at the Waldstadion. Born only about 100 kilometers away from the stadium, Nickel formed a legendary triumvirate with the aforementioned players, affetionately known as Grabi and Holz. With Nickel's shooting power, he earned himself the monicker, Dr. Hammer.
Nickel lined out for Eintracht for 16 years and did not play a Bundesliga game for any other club. In 426 matches, he scored an outstanding 141 goals for the Eagles. This made him the top-scoring midfielder in Bundesliga history for a long time. Dortmund's Marco Reus was only able to break this record in 2021/22, a good 29 years after Nickel hung up his boots.
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Bernd Nickel: The corner king
Nickel's corners, however, were particularly feared. He not only set up a few goals for his teammates, he also scored direct from them himself. He scored straight from the corner flag four times. He netted all of his so-called 'corner goals' at home.
The left-footed player didn't care in which direction he had to direct the ball, because his shots were struck with such ferocity, both with instep and outside of the boot. He honed his special shooting technique not in some high-tech training centre - as would be the norm today - but through practice at home against a barn door.
His first corner-goal was something very special. With the left side instep, he outsmarted Bayern Munich's legendary goalkeeper Sepp Maier. It was Nickel's second goal of the game - and the last goal in Eintracht's 6-0 victory that day. Indeed, Nickel took a liking to scoring against Bayern. He also managed to score 10 goals against Cologne, but only needed 28 games against Bayern to rack up the same number (he did so in 30 matches against Cologne).
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