Stefan Effenberg

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Stefan Effenberg
Stefan Effenberg 2020.jpg
Stefan Effenberg in 2020
Personal information
Date of birth (1968-08-02) 2 August 1968 (age 54)
Place of birth Hamburg, West Germany
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) [1]
Position(s) Central midfielder
Youth career
0000–1974 Bramfelder SV
1974–1986 Victoria Hamburg
1986–1987 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Senior career*
1987–1990 Borussia Mönchengladbach 73 (10)
1990–1992 Bayern Munich 65 (19)
1992–1994 Fiorentina 56 (12)
1994–1998 Borussia Mönchengladbach 118 (23)
1998–2002 Bayern Munich 95 (16)
2002–2003 VfL Wolfsburg 19 (3)
2003–2004 Al-Arabi 15 (4)
National team
1988–1990 West Germany U21 5 (1)
1991–1998 Germany 35 (5)
Teams managed
2015–2016 SC Paderborn
2019–2020 KFC Uerdingen 05 (sporting director)
Men's football
Representing Flag of Germany.svg  Germany
UEFA European Championship
Runner-up 1992 Sweden
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Stefan Effenberg (German pronunciation: [ˈʃtɛfan ˈʔɛfn̩bɛʁk] ; born 2 August 1968) is a German former footballer who most recently acted as sporting director for KFC Uerdingen 05. [2] [3] A central midfielder, he was known for his leadership skills, passing range, shooting ability, and physical strength, but was also a temperamental and controversial character. [4]


In the Bundesliga alone – where he represented Bayern Munich most notably, in six seasons and in two different spells – Effenberg collected 109 yellow cards, an all-time record at the time of his retirement. With Bayern, he won three Bundesligas and captained the club to the UEFA Champions League title in 2001.

In a career which was cut short after a run-in with the management, he played for Germany on more than 30 occasions, representing the nation in one World Cup and one European Championship. His nickname is Der Tiger (IPA: [deːɐ̯ ˈtiːɡɐ] , "the tiger").

Club career

Born and raised in Niendorf, Hamburg on 2 August 1968, Stefan Effenberg started his professional career with Borussia Mönchengladbach, where he became an undisputed first-choice by the age of 20. This attracted the interest of Bundesliga giants FC Bayern Munich, where he scored 19 goals in his first two seasons after his transfer, [5] although the club failed to win any silverware with Effenberg in the lineup.

When legendary Lothar Matthäus (who also represented Mönchengladbach) returned to Bayern in 1992, Effenberg moved to ACF Fiorentina. Despite the presence of Dane Brian Laudrup and Argentine Gabriel Batistuta, Fiorentina was relegated from Serie A in his first season. Effenberg stayed on in the second flight, winning promotion back at the first attempt.

In the summer of 1994, Effenberg then moved back to Gladbach, where he appeared in 118 league matches, scoring 23 goals, before Bayern re-signed him in 1998. Effenberg's second spell with the Bavarians was much more successful. He collected three Bundesliga titles in a row, and Bayern also reached two UEFA Champions League finals, the first of which was a 1–2 defeat to Manchester United F.C. in 1999. Bayern returned to the final in 2001 with Effenberg as captain. He scored Bayern's equalising goal from the penalty spot in a victory against Valencia (1–1, penalty shootout win). After the final, Effenberg was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2000–01 UEFA Champions League. [6] After his departure, club fans voted him one of the eleven greatest Bayern players of all time. [7]

After an unassuming spell at VfL Wolfsburg, [8] Effenberg ended his career in Qatar with Al-Arabi Sports Club, with Gabriel Batistuta as his teammate. He appeared occasionally as a color commentator for German TV after his retirement as a player.

Managerial career

Effenberg was appointed as the head coach of SC Paderborn on 13 October 2015. [9] He was sacked on 3 March 2016. [10]

On 10 October 2019, KFC Uerdingen 05 presented Effenberg as the new sporting director. [2] Following a few troubled months which included the team briefly staying at an Italian hotel with no football pitch for a mid-season training camp, [11] he stepped back from this position prematurely in May 2020. [3]

International career

Effenberg played 35 games for the Germany national team and scored five goals. His debut came on 5 June 1991, in a Euro 1992 qualifier against Wales, as he played the last 18 minutes of a 1–0 away loss. He would be an everpresent fixture during the final stages, even netting in the second group stage match, a 2–0 win over Scotland.

During a group game against South Korea in the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Effenberg "gave the finger" to German fans at the Cotton Bowl in the 35 °C (95 °F) heat of Dallas when he got substituted after a subpar performance; the Germans were then only one goal up, after leading 3–0. [12] German coach Berti Vogts was so outraged by this incident that he dropped Effenberg from the team on the spot, and declared that he was finished as an international player. [13] [14]

Effenberg did not appear in another international match again until 1998, when he was briefly re-instated to the national team for a couple of friendly matches in Malta in September, which happened to be Vogts' last two matches as national team coach. They turned out to be his last caps for Germany.

Controversies and personal life

Effenberg had a history of attracting attention and ire from fans and other players alike with his behaviour. In 1991, prior to a UEFA Cup game against then-semi-professional Cork City, Effenberg told the press he was sure of a victory, saying Cork City midfielder Dave Barry was "like (his) grandfather". Barry got his retribution by scoring the opening goal in the team's 1–1 draw at Musgrave Park. [15]

In the late 1990s, Effenberg was rarely out of the tabloids, especially when he left his wife Martina and revealed an affair with Claudia Strunz, who at that time was the wife of former teammate Thomas Strunz. Later, the player published a controversial autobiography, notorious for its blatant contents – which included lashing out at some other football professionals, namely club and national side mate, Lothar Matthäus.

In 2001, Effenberg was fined after being found guilty of assaulting a woman in a nightclub. [16] The following year, he implied that unemployed people in Germany were in fact too lazy to look for work, and demanded they took benefit cuts. The interview was issued in Playboy . [17]

Strunz and Effenberg were married in 2004, [18] and the player also had three children from his first marriage; the couple then relocated to Florida. [19]

Career statistics


Appearances and goals by club, season and competition [20]
ClubSeasonLeagueNational CupLeague CupContinentalOtherTotal
Borussia Mönchengladbach 1987–88 Bundesliga 151151
1988–89 29320313
1989–90 29630326
Bayern Munich 1990–91 Bundesliga32910811 [lower-alpha 1] 04210
1991–92 331010413811
Fiorentina 1992–93 Serie A 30542347
1993–94 Serie B 26740307
Borussia Mönchengladbach 1994–95 Bundesliga30752359
1995–96 31721631 [lower-alpha 1] 04011
1996–97 2912032343
1997–98 28810298
Bayern Munich 1998–99 Bundesliga31863201255116
1999–2000 2725010112444
2000–01 204101305
2001–02 172401071293
VfL Wolfsburg 2002–03 Bundesliga19320213
Al-Arabi 2003–04 Qatar Stars League 154154
Career total4418742840611620550111
  1. 1 2 Appearance in DFB-Supercup


Appearances and goals by national team and year [21]
National teamYearAppsGoals
Germany 199140
Scores and results list Germany's goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Effenberg goal.
List of international goals scored by Stefan Effenberg
1 15 June 1992 Idrottsparken, Norrköping, SwedenFlag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 2–02–0 UEFA Euro 1992
29 September 1992 Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, DenmarkFlag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 2–12–1 Friendly
314 April 1993 Ruhrstadion, Bochum, GermanyFlag of Ghana.svg  Ghana 2–16–1Friendly
519 June 1993 Silverdome, Detroit, United StatesFlag of England.svg  England 1–02–1 U.S. Cup


Paderborn 07 Flag of Germany.svg 13 October 20152 March 201615267013.33


Bayern Munich


Borussia Mönchengladbach



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