The Bundesliga mourns the death of Andreas Brehme


Germany's 1990 World Cup matchwinner Andreas Brehme has died at the age of 63 - bundesliga.com pays tribute to one of the greats of world football.

Five minutes from time on 8 July 1990 in Rome, Andreas Brehme earned himself a place in world football folklore forever.

Part of a dominant trio of German players along with teammates Jürgen Klinsmann and captain Lothar Matthäus at Inter Milan, Brehme knew the Stadio Olimpico well. This time, in the colours of his country, he stepped up to score the penalty that brought Germany a third World Cup after 1954 and 1974. 

Cradling world football's most famous trophy in the team bus afterwards, he savoured the win having joined Helmut Rahn and Gerd Müller as Germany's World Cup final heroes. In 2014, Mario Götze would make it an exclusive four-man club.

What is most surprising about Brehme's goal is that he,  a left-back, struck the most important shot of his career with his right. "The left is for hard shots, the right for precision," he said, explaining the benefit of early coaching from his father, Bernd, in using both feet. 

Watch: Andreas Brehme's best goals

"The man who can do everything"

The young 'Andy' was a big football fan. When Hamburg came to play a friendly against his hometown club, HSV Barmbek-Uhlenhorst, he got the chance to say hello to the legendary Uwe Seeler. "It was a great honour for me," Brehme said.

Brehme never made it to the flagship club in the northern German city where he was born, instead finding his way into senior football at Saarbrücken before joining then-Bundesliga side Kaiserslautern in 1981. There, he played left-back, right-back and in defensive midfield in an era when that was not - as it is now - normal. "He's the man who can do everything," said the highly respected German football magazine kicker

Kaiserslautern was the starting point for the ascent that would take Brehme to 86 senior caps for Germany (8 goals), and a World Cup winner's medal. It also earned him two Bundesliga titles, the first of which he claimed with Bayern Munich, whom he had joined only that season, in 1986/87.

The switch to Italy that followed his second season in Bavaria led to him lifting the UEFA Cup in 1990/91 having already claimed the Serie A scudetto in 1988/89, the season in which he was named Footballer of the Year in Italy.

Brehme lifts the Meisterschale after Kaiserslautern's historic 1997/98 Bundesliga title win. - IMAGO / Oliver Behrendt

After a season with Zaragoza in Spain, he headed back to Kaiserslautern in 1993. He helped them to promotion and then wept in the arms of another 1990 World Cup winner, Rudi Völler, with his team relegated on the final day of the season.  A week later, Kaiserslautern lifted the DFB Cup, the only one of Brehme's career.

Having reversed a decision to retire, Brehme was part of a Kaiserslautern team that made an immediate return to the Bundesliga before Otto Rehhagel orchestrated one of the great football stories of all time. Brehme - as captain - lifted the Meisterschale in Hamburg having helped FCK become the first and so far only newly promoted club to win the Bundesliga title.

Germany's 'Andi' Brehme scores the only goal of the 1990 World Cup final. - imago/Laci Perenyi

After 301 Bundesliga games - and a healthy 50 goals - he ended his career, but two years later was back at Kaiserslautern as sporting director. He also coached Unterhaching and served as assistant coach to Giovanni Trapattoni at Stuttgart.

Brehme, who had two grown-up children from a previous marriage, had lived in Munich for some years with his partner, Susanne Schaefer. Loved by all for his personality and his humour, he worked as an ambassador for the Franz Beckenbauer Foundation, and paid tribute to 'Der Kaiser', who coached Germany's 1990 World Cup win, at the Allianz Arena just a few short weeks ago following Beckenbauer's death.