West Germany’s 1966 World Cup champion Uwe Seeler, who captained the team, died at the age of 85.
Known for his overhead kicks and ability to score from the most unexpected angles, Seeler is recognized as one of Germany’s all-time finest players. He was admired for his loyalty to his hometown team, Hamburger SV, as well as his humility and fairness.
Seeler played 519 times for Hamburg between 1952 and 1973, totaling 445 goals in the Bundesliga and Oberliga. He still holds the Bundesliga scoring record for the team with 137 goals.
With 43 goals in 72 games, the attacker helped West Germany finish second to England in the 1966 World Cup and third in Mexico four years later. He was a part of the national team for 16 years; however, he was not on the 1974 World Cup winning team.
Although I went to four World Cups, I just wanted to be the champion once. I wasn’t lucky, Seeler continued. “However, everything was excellent. I don’t feel guilty. He was selected as the German player of the year in 1960, 1964, and 1970.
Seeler achieved success with Hamburg, winning the German Cup in 1963 and the German Championship in 1960, but he also endured disappointment from missed opportunities in Europe. Hamburg lost to Barcelona in the European Cup semifinals in 1961 and to Milan in the Cup Winners’ Cup final in 1968.
Christian Pletz, the club’s spokesman in Hamburg, reported on Thursday that Seeler’s family had confirmed his passing. Ilka, Seeler’s wife of more than 60 years, was his wife. 3 daughters were born to them. Levin Ztunali, his grandson, plays for Bundesliga team Union Berlin.