Bayern and Germany's Klaus Augenthaler was truly one of the game's greats. - © Imago
Bayern and Germany's Klaus Augenthaler was truly one of the game's greats. - © Imago
60 years of Bundesliga

Klaus Augenthaler: Bayern Munich's captain fantastic and sweeper supreme


"Bayern has always been everything to me, I even think in red-and-white." So said Klaus Augenthaler, the commanding libero who captained the Bavarian giants through a hugely successful era.

Augenthaler won an incredible seven Bundesliga titles with Bayern and was an instantly recognisable figure across the footballing world. His ability to read and control any game playing in a sweeper role was unmatched at the time and he would round off a memorable playing career by lifting the 1990 FIFA World Cup with Germany.

‘Auge,’ as he was known, joined the Bayern set-up as a youth player in 1975. He made his senior bow against Der Klassiker opponents Borussia Dortmund two years later, even managing to score in what turned out to be a 3-0 win against the Black-and-Yellows.

Augenthaler lifted the Meisterschale as Bundesliga champion seven times with Bayern. - imago sportfotodienst

A player famed for – among other attributes - his powerful shooting, Augenthaler would go on to play 404 games in the Bundesliga and racked up 552 games in all for record champions Bayern.

In 1989, he scored what was voted in Germany the Goal of the Decade, a shot from just inside his own half that floated over Eintracht Frankfurt goalkeeper Uli Stein. It was one more highlight of the many in a career that also delivered three DFB Cups.

Asked if he ever looked back in disappointment at two lost European Cup finals with Bayern (one of which he was suspended for), Augenthaler said, “All in all, I'm at peace with myself. I've experienced many titles and finals and enjoyed my time as a player to the full."

Augenthaler (r.) kept Diego Maradona quiet during Germany's 1990 World Cup final win against Argentina. - imago sportfotodienst

And who could argue with him? A former Bayern captain who boasts legendary status after top-flight title wins in 1980, 1981, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990 and a world champion with his country, Auge is still talked about as one of the sport's best-ever liberos.

His final Bundesliga game came on 15 June 1991 while he ended his Germany career with 27 caps having featured at two World Cups, lifting the trophy in 1990 following final victory against Argentina.

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Short spells in coaching saw Augenthaler take up the reins at, among others, Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg. He also briefly took charge of Bayern while he led Nuremberg to Bundesliga promotion as second division champions in 2001.

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