60 years of Bundesliga

Klaus Fischer: Schalke's acrobatic goalscorer extraordinaire


He made his debut at 18, scored 268 goals in the Bundesliga, once had a contract with two clubs at the same time and scored the Goal of the Century - Klaus Fischer saw it all in his long and successful career.

All you need on the Bundesliga's 60th anniversary

When Fischer left SC Zwiesel for 1860 Munich as an 18-year-old, few could have predicted the mark he would make on German football. The Bavarian had a good debut season and then netted 19 goals in his second season for the Lions, although that was not enough to save them from relegation. Schalke came calling for the promising 20-year-old in the summer of 1970 - and he was all set to travel to the Ruhr giants until a contract seemingly committing Fischer to remain at 1860 Munich emerged.

It later transpired that it wasn't Fischer who had signed the 1860 contract, but the club's managing director Ludwig Maierböck had penned his name on the paper in a desperate attempt to tie the striker to the club. Fischer was fined by the German FA nonetheless for the irregularity, although the DFB did allow him to move to Schalke. His start to life there wasn't easy, with Fischer's involvement in a 1971 bribery scandal seeing him suspended for the entire 1972/73 season.

Klaus Fischer celebrates after scoring for Schalke. - imago/Horstmüller

Having served his ban for the affair, the striker known as the 'Weasel from Zwiesel' (his home region in Bavaria) began to hit a rich vein of form in 1973/74. In the first two seasons after his suspension, he scored 21 and then 17 goals, before finishing a Bundesliga season as top scorer for the first and only time in 1975/76 - with an incredible 29 goals. Fischer scored a total of 268 Bundesliga times over 18 different seasons (a record shared with Claudio Pizzaro) against 32 different clubs (still a record).

One of Fischer's most memorable days in a Schalke shirt came on Matchday 9 of the 1976/77 season, when Schalke won 7-0 in Munich's Olympiastadion - in what remains Bayern Munich's biggest-ever defeat. He smashed four goals in that famous win. Fischer was known for his spectacular bicycle kicks - and there were no better exhibit of his talent than his leap into the air to score for Germany against Switzerland in November 1977, which was named Goal of the Century in Germany.

Click here to vote for the best strikers in Bundesliga history and win great prizes!