Helmut Rahn

Last updated

Helmut Rahn
Helmut Rahn.jpg
Rahn in 1962
Personal information
Full nameHelmut Rahn
Date of birth(1929-08-16)16 August 1929
Place of birth Essen, Germany
Date of death 14 August 2003(2003-08-14) (aged 73)
Place of death Essen, Germany
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Wing Forward
Youth career
1938–1946 SV Altenessen 1912
1946–1950 SC Oelde 1919
1950–1951 Sportfreunde Katernberg
Senior career*
1951–1959 Rot-Weiss Essen 201 (88)
1959–1960 1. FC Köln 29 (11)
1960–1963 SC Enschede 69 (39)
1963–1965 Meidericher SV 19 (7)
National team
1951–1960 West Germany 40 (21)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Helmut Rahn (16 August 1929 – 14 August 2003), known as Der Boss (The Boss), was a German footballer who played as a forward. He became a legend for having scored the winning goal in the final game of the 1954 FIFA World Cup (West Germany 3 – Hungary 2).

Forward (association football) Association Football position played near the opponents goal

Forwards are the players on an association football team who play nearest to the opposing team's goal, and are therefore most responsible for scoring goals.

1954 FIFA World Cup Final association football match

The 1954 FIFA World Cup Final was the final match of the 1954 FIFA World Cup, the fifth World Cup in FIFA history. The game was played at the Wankdorf Stadium in Bern, Switzerland, on 4 July 1954, and saw West Germany beat the heavily favoured Golden Team of Hungary 3–2.

Germany national football team mens national association football team representing Germany

The Germany national football team is the men's football team that has represented Germany in international competition since 1908. It is governed by the German Football Association, founded in 1900. Ever since the DFB was reinaugurated in 1949 the team has represented the Federal Republic of Germany. Under Allied occupation and division, two other separate national teams were also recognised by FIFA: the Saarland team representing the Saarland (1950–1956) and the East German team representing the German Democratic Republic (1952–1990). Both have been absorbed along with their records by the current national team. The official name and code "Germany FR (FRG)" was shortened to "Germany (GER)" following the reunification in 1990.



Rahn started his career with Altenessen 1912 where he played from 1938 until 1946. Then he went to SC Oelde 1919 with a total score of 52 goals for that team. In the 1950–51 season, he played for Sportfreunde Katernberg.

Oelde Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Oelde is a town in the district of Warendorf, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located near Beckum.

He was most successful when he played for Rot-Weiss Essen from 1951–1959. The team won the DFB-Pokal final in 1953 and won the German Championship in 1955. For one year, from 1959 till 1960 he had played at 1. FC Köln, 1960 he went to Sportclub Enschede in the Netherlands.

Rot-Weiss Essen association football club in Germany

Rot-Weiss Essen is a German association football club based in Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia. The club currently plays in the fourth-tier Regionalliga West, at the Stadion Essen.

DFB-Pokal cup for German knockout football cup comptetion held BV annually

The DFB-Pokal[ˈdeː ʔɛf beː poˈkaːl] is a German knockout football cup competition held annually by the Deutscher Fußball-Bund (DFB). Sixty-four teams participate in the competition, including all clubs from the Bundesliga and the 2. Bundesliga. It is considered the second-most important club title in German football after the Bundesliga championship. Taking place from August until June, the winner qualifies for the DFL-Supercup and the UEFA Europa League unless the winner already qualifies for the UEFA Champions League in the Bundesliga.

1. FC Köln German association football club

1. Fußball-Club Köln 01/07 e. V., commonly known as simply 1. FC Köln or FC Cologne in English, is a German association football club based in Cologne. It was formed in 1948 as a merger of the clubs Kölner Ballspiel-Club 1901 and SpVgg Sülz 07. Köln gained promotion back to the Bundesliga in the 2018–19 season after being relegated to 2. Bundesliga the previous season.

In the Bundesliga 1963 he started playing for MSV Duisburg. [1] He finished his career in 1965 because of a knee problem and, along with Hans Schäfer was one of the last members of the 1954 World Cup winning side to retire. His position was that of an outside right.

Bundesliga Association football league

The Bundesliga is a professional association football league in Germany and the football league with the highest average stadium attendance worldwide. At the top of the German football league system, the Bundesliga is Germany's primary football competition. The Bundesliga comprises 18 teams and operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the 2. Bundesliga. Seasons run from August to May. Most games are played on Saturdays and Sundays, with a few games played on weekdays. All of the Bundesliga clubs qualify for the DFB-Pokal. The winner of the Bundesliga qualifies for the DFL-Supercup.

MSV Duisburg association football club in Germany

Meidericher Spielverein 02 e. V. Duisburg, commonly known as simply MSV Duisburg, is a German association football club based in Duisburg, North Rhine-Westphalia. Nicknamed Die Zebras for their traditional striped jerseys, the club was one of the original members of the Bundesliga when it was formed in 1963.

Hans Schäfer German footballer

Hans Schäfer was a German footballer who played as a left winger.

His legendary status in German football was sparked by the heroic achievement of the German team in the final of the 1954 World Cup. Germany, whose team members themselves were surprised to be in the final, was playing Hungary, who hadn't lost a single match for four years running up to the World Cup final. Germany lagged behind 0–2 after only eight minutes, but then pulled it back to 2–2 with Rahn assisting the first German goal and scoring the second. With six minutes remaining, Rahn received the ball just outside the penalty box before going past a Hungarian player and managing to shoot at the lower left corner with his weaker left foot just before being tackled. The ball whistled into the back of the net and Germany went on to win the game 3–2 over the apparently unbeatable Hungarian team. This match is known in Germany as The Miracle of Bern (Das Wunder von Bern) because of its "David versus Goliath"-like setting, and it is generally seen as an instrumental part of the rebuilding of the German people's morale after the World War II.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Helmut Rahn (right) in duel with Ockhuisen (1960) SC Enschede tegen DOS 3-2 Helmuth Rahn (rechts) in duel met Okhuisen (DOS), Bestanddeelnr 911-5201.jpg
Helmut Rahn (right) in duel with Ockhuisen (1960)

Rahn was also part of the German team that reached semifinals at the 1958 World Cup. With his goal against Yugoslavia, he became at the time the third maximum scorer in World Cups, with 10 total goals (behind Just Fontaine and Sándor Kocsis), and also the first player ever to score at least four goals in two different World Cups.

1958 FIFA World Cup 1958 edition of the FIFA World Cup

The 1958 FIFA World Cup, the sixth staging of the World Cup, was hosted by Sweden from 8 to 29 June. The tournament was won by Brazil, who beat Sweden 5–2 in the final in the Stockholm suburb of Solna for their first title. The tournament is also notable for marking the debut on the world stage of a then 17-year-old Pelé.

Yugoslavia national football team former mens national association football team representing Yugoslavia

The Yugoslavia national football team represented the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in association football. It enjoyed success in international competition. In 1992, during the Yugoslav wars, the team was suspended from international competition as part of a United Nations sanction. In 1994, when the boycott was lifted, it was succeeded by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia national football team.

Just Fontaine French association football player and manager

Just Louis Fontaine is a retired French professional footballer. A prolific forward, he is best known for scoring the most goals in a single edition of the FIFA World Cup, with 13 in six matches in 1958. In 2004, Pelé named him one of the 125 Greatest Living Footballers at a FIFA Awards Ceremony.

Rahn played 40 international matches and scored a total of 21 goals. [2]

He was known as "Der Boss" (English: "The Boss") because of his on-field leadership and occasionally also as "The Cannon from Essen".

Later life

After retiring from football, Rahn started his own car dealership in Essen-Altenessen, along Altenessener Street. He was known for his good sense of humour and his joy and ability at talking with others. Many stories about him still circulate throughout Essen. One such story involves a discussion he once had with a friend regarding his car dealership:

Rahn was once asked by a friend, how his car dealership worked. His very direct answer: "I buy a car for 1,000 DM and sell it for 4,000 DM. And I live off the three percent profit."

He died two days shy of his 74th birthday, in Essen. The movie "Das Wunder von Bern" was dedicated to him by director Sönke Wortmann.

The tomb of Helmut Rahn HelmutRahnGrab.jpg
The tomb of Helmut Rahn


Rahn in 1953 married Gerti Seller, and the couple had two sons, Uwe (born 1954) and Klaus Rahn. [3] Rahn is allegedly the cousin of the grandfather of Kevin-Prince Boateng of the Ghana national football team. [4]

Helmut Rahn Memorial

The Helmut Rahn Memorial Rahndenkmal.JPG
The Helmut Rahn Memorial

On 11 July 2004, 50 years after the Bern match, a lifesize statue of him was put up near Georg-Melches-Stadium in Essen, on the square named after him.

Career statistics






Related Research Articles

Wolfgang Overath German footballer

Wolfgang Overath is a former West German footballer. A true one-club man, Overath spent his entire professional career at 1. FC Köln. He represented his country three times in World Cup finals, culminating in 1974 with the 2-1 victory over the Netherlands on home soil. Primarily an attacking midfielder, Overath was known for his passing ability, technique and outstanding left foot.

Sándor Kocsis Hungarian footballer

Sándor Péter Kocsis was a Hungarian footballer who played for Ferencváros TC, Budapest Honvéd, Young Fellows Zürich, FC Barcelona and Hungary as a striker. During the 1950s, along with Ferenc Puskás, Zoltán Czibor, József Bozsik and Nándor Hidegkuti, he was a member of the Mighty Magyars. After the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, he moved to Spain where he became a member of the FC Barcelona team of the late 1950s.

Harald Schumacher German footballer

Harald Anton Schumacher, commonly known as Toni Schumacher, is a former football goalkeeper for 1. FC Köln and the West German national football team. With his club he won a Bundesliga title and three DFB-Pokal titles. With his country he won the 1980 European Championship, and lost two World Cup finals, in 1982 and 1986. In the 1982 FIFA World Cup semi-final he controversially collided with and seriously injured French defender Patrick Battiston. He was voted Footballer of the Year in Germany in 1984 and 1986. Since April 2012, he has served as vice president at 1. FC Köln.

The Miracle of Bern is a 2003 film by Sönke Wortmann, which tells the story of a German family and the unexpected West German miracle victory in the 1954 World Cup Final in Bern, Switzerland.

Football in Germany

Football is the most popular sport in Germany. The German Football Association is the sport's national governing body, with 6.6 million members organized in over 26,000 football clubs. There is a league system, with the Bundesliga, 2. Bundesliga and 3. Liga on top. The winner of the Bundesliga is crowned the German football champion. Additionally, there are national cup competitions, most notably the DFB-Pokal and DFL-Supercup.

The 1970–71 Bundesliga was the eighth season of the Bundesliga, West Germany's premier football league. It began on 15 August 1970 and ended on 5 June 1971. Borussia Mönchengladbach were the defending champions.

Pierre Littbarski German footballer

Pierre Michael Littbarski is a German football manager and former footballer with 1. FC Köln and the West German national team. He was mainly used as an attacking midfielder or winger and was best known for his brilliant dribbling abilities. Littbarski was a FIFA World Cup winner with West Germany in 1990. He was also runner–up twice in 1982 and 1986 with West Germany. Littbarski was caretaker manager of VfL Wolfsburg after taking over from Steve McClaren from 7 February to 17 March 2011.

Uwe Bein German footballer

Uwe Bein is a German former footballer who played as a midfielder.

Klaus Fischer German footballer

Klaus Fischer is a German former footballer and coach. He was a key player on the West Germany team that lost the 1982 World Cup final to Italy. As a striker, he was noted for his bicycle kicks, and scored a spectacular overhead kick equalizer in extra-time of a 1982 World Cup semi-final against France.

Dieter Müller is a German former footballer who played as a forward. He achieved his greatest success playing for 1. FC Köln in the Bundesliga in the late 1970s. He scored 177 goals in 303 games in the German league, including 6 goals in one game in August 1977, a record that still stands. He also played 12 times for West Germany from 1976 to 1978, scoring 9 goals.

Bernhard "Berni" Klodt was a German football player. He was born in Gelsenkirchen-Bismarck; the goalkeeper Hans Klodt was his brother.

Uwe Rahn is a German former footballer who played as an attacking midfielder.

Herbert Zimmermann is a former German football player.

Hannes Löhr German footballer and manager

Johannes Löhr was a German international football player and manager.

Christian Rahn German footballer

Christian Rahn is a German footballer. He currently plays as defender for FC St. Pauli II and also captains the squad.

Eckehard Feigenspan is a former German footballer who has been twice capped for Germany's B squad.

Jonas Hector German association football player

Jonas Armin Hector is a German professional footballer who plays as a left back for 1. FC Köln and the Germany national team.


  1. Arnhold, Matthias (12 November 2015). "Helmut Rahn - Matches and Goals in Bundesliga". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  2. Mühlen, Michael (12 November 2015). "Helmut Rahn - Goals in International Matches". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  3. "Die Helden von Bern" (in German). dieheldenvonbern.de. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
  4. Breidert, Luiz (25 August 2013). "Die Boatengs - Riesentalente mit Rüpel-Image" (in German). t-online.de. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Hans Schäfer
West Germany captain
Succeeded by
Herbert Erhardt