Sammer was a little-known East Germany international when he began his Bundesliga career at VfB Stuttgart in 1990 but became an icon of the game in the reunified Germany and enjoyed great success at Borussia Dortmund.
It didn't take long at all after Sammer's arrival at Stuttgart from Dynamo Dresden for the defender to make history. He was, in fact, the first former East Germany international to earn a call-up for then world champions Germany in December 1990 by national team coach Franz Beckenbauer.
Sammer enjoyed a wonderful initial two years in the Bundesliga with VfB, chipping in with an impressive 20 goals in 63 appearances and helping Stuttgart to the 1991/92 Bundesliga title. His contribution to their success earned him attention from beyond the borders of the reunified Germany, with Inter Milan taking the hard-working sweeper to Serie A, in those days a league littered with some of the biggest names on the planet.
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Sammer didn't quite make the expected breakthrough in the star-studded Inter side, however, and returned to Germany with Dortmund six months later. He would help Dortmund to two league titles and a legendary European crown in 1997 as they club swept to UEFA Champions League glory.
Sammer's Dortmund coach at the time, Ottmar Hizfeld, remembers him as "a role model for other players. He thought like a coach, he was obsessed by football and was a constant critic. He always wanted the best for the team and the club."
Sammer continued in football after his playing days as a coach and club functionary, and honours continued to follow him around - the standouts being winning the Bundesliga title as Dortmund coach in 2002 and the treble with Bayern Munich as sporting director in 2013.