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Uwe Seeler

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Title: Uwe Seeler  
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Subject: 1958 FIFA World Cup, 1966 FIFA World Cup, Nordderby, Karl-Heinz Schnellinger, Footballer of the Year in Germany
Collection: 1936 Births, 1958 Fifa World Cup Players, 1962 Fifa World Cup Players, 1966 Fifa World Cup Players, 1970 Fifa World Cup Players, Association Football Forwards, Bundesliga Players, Commanders Crosses of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Cork Celtic F.C. Players, Expatriate Association Footballers in the Republic of Ireland, Fifa 100, German Expatriates in Ireland, German Football Chairmen and Investors, German Footballers, Germany B International Footballers, Germany International Footballers, Germany Under-21 International Footballers, Hamburger Sv Players, Kicker-Torjägerkanone Award Winners, League of Ireland Players, Living People, People from Hamburg
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Uwe Seeler

Uwe Seeler
Uwe Seeler in 2006
Personal information
Date of birth (1936-11-05) 5 November 1936
Place of birth Hamburg, Germany
Height 1.69 m (5 ft 7 in)[1]
Playing position Striker
Youth career
1946–1953 Hamburger SV
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1953–1972 Hamburger SV[1] 476 (404)
1978 Cork Celtic 1 (2)
Total 477 (406)
National team
1953–1954 West Germany U-18 10 (15)
1954–1970 West Germany 72 (43)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Uwe Seeler (born 5 November 1936) is a former German footballer and football official. He played for Hamburger SV and also made 72 appearances for the West German national team. Usually regarded as one of the greatest players in German football history,[2] in 2004, he was named as one of FIFA's 125 greatest living players, by Pelé. His grandson, Levin Öztunalı, is also a professional footballer.


  • Playing career 1
    • Club career 1.1
      • Club career statistics 1.1.1
    • International career 1.2
      • International career statistics 1.2.1
  • Career after football 2
  • Recognition 3
  • Filmography 4
  • German football picture of the century and controversy 5
  • Honours 6
    • Club 6.1
    • International 6.2
    • Individual 6.3
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Playing career

Uwe Seeler on a 1988 Paraguay stamp

Club career

Seeler followed in his father's footsteps as a player for Hamburger SV, making his first team debut in 1954 in a DFB-Pokal match, aged just under 18, scoring four goals (8–2 vs. Holstein Kiel). In later years, despite tempting offers from Italian and Spanish clubs, he remained loyal to Hamburg, working on a second career as a merchant besides playing football. In those days football stars in Germany did not earn the huge salaries seen now.

Seeler was a gifted, powerful, and prolific striker who, among other things, was most of all renowned for his leadership, consistency, overhead kicks, and aerial ability.[3] He scored 137 times in 239 Bundesliga games, 43 times in 72 international games for the German national team, and 21 times in 29 European club tournament games. He was captain of both his club team and the national team for many years. He and his club won the German championship in 1960 and the DFB-Pokal in 1963. He was top scorer of the first Bundesliga season in 1963–64 and German Footballer of the Year in 1960, 1964 and 1970. During the 1960–61 season, Seeler, alongside his brother Dieter, helped to lead Hamburg to the semi-finals of the European Cup, where they narrowly missed out on the final against Benfica, losing out to Barcelona in a play-off match. During the 1967–68 season, Seeler also helped Hamburg to reach the final of the European Cup Winners' Cup, finishing the competition as top scorer, only to lose out to AC Milan.[4]

In 1978, he and his former team-mate Franz-Josef Hönig played for Cork Celtic F.C. in a one-off sponsored event. Seeler had ended his active playing career in 1972. However, this match turned out to be an official League of Ireland one and Uwe scored twice.[5] Thus, his overall record of goals scored in league and championship matches adds up to 446 (HSV 444,[6] Cork Celtic 2). His 404 goals in German Oberliga and Bundesliga league games is a record that stands as today, his 406 goals in league games overall making him the second-best German goalscorer behind Gerd Müller.[7]

Club career statistics


Club performance League Championship*
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals
Germany League Champions-Round*
1954–55 Hamburger SV Oberliga 26 28 5 1
1955–56 29 32 5 3
1956–57 26 31 4 2
1957–58 24 22 4 2
1958–59 27 29 4 5
1959–60 26 36 7 13
1960–61 23 29 6 8
1961–62 28 28 2 4
1962–63 28 32 6 2
1963–64 Bundesliga 30 30 - -
1964–65 19 14
1965–66 23 11
1966–67 23 10
1967–68 30 12
1968–69 33 23
1969–70 30 17
1970–71 25 9
1971–72 26 11
Career total 476 404 43 40

*Prior to the Bundesliga, the national champion was determined in a series of knock-out games after the domestic league ended

International career

Seeler participated in the same four FIFA World Cups as Pelé did: 1958, 1962, 1966, and 1970. Of those West German World Cup teams, only the 1966 side reached the final, where they controversially lost to host nation England 4–2 in extra time.[9] In 1958, the German team finished the tournament in fourth place, and in 1970, the German team finished in third place after being eliminated by European rivals Italy in the semi-finals, following a closely fought 4–3 extra-time loss; the match is colloquially known as the "Game of the Century".[4]

Although Seeler never won a World Cup (his involvement as a player in the tournament started four years after West Germany won their first World Cup (1954) and ended four years before they won their second (1974)), he had a prolific career in the tournament; he was the first player ever to appear in 20 World Cup matches (he retired with 21 matches played, tied for third all-time); the first ever to score in four World Cups (beating Pelé by only a few minutes), and the first player to score at least two goals in each of four World Cups (matched in 2014 by his compatriot Miroslav Klose). He also ranks third in all-time minutes played in World Cups, with 1980, behind Paolo Maldini and Lothar Matthäus. In total, he scored 9 goals across the four World Cups in which he played, as well as 3 goals in World Cup Qualifying matches; he scored 43 times in 72 international appearances between 1954 and 1970.[10]

International career statistics


Germany national team
Year Apps Goals
1954 3 0
1955 0 0
1956 1 0
1957 0 0
1958 9 5
1959 5 6
1960 5 4
1961 6 5
1962 7 2
1963 3 3
1964 3 4
1965 1 1
1966 12 7
1967 3 1
1968 1 0
1969 3 0
1970 10 5
Total 72 43

Career after football

He had a two-and-a-half-year tenure as president of Hamburger SV, which began in 1995, and ended in resignation due to a financial scandal, for which he took responsibility. Seeler, however, was not himself implicated in the irregularities.


Seeler was a tremendously popular player due to his fairness and modesty and is still widely called Uns Uwe (West Low German: Our Uwe) in Hamburg and the surrounding area. The DFB (German FA) made him the second honorary captain of the German national team in 1972 (the first being Fritz Walter). In 2003, he became honorary citizen of his hometown Hamburg, the first time the honor was bestowed on a sportsman.[12] That year he also published his memoirs Danke, Fußball (Thank you, football), released as an English version in 2009. 2005 saw the unveiling of a giant monument in front of the HSV stadium depicting his right foot.


Seeler has appeared in a cameo role in the popular 1972 Heinz Erhardt comedy Willi wird das Kind schon schaukeln ("Willi will get it right somehow"), playing himself. In this film, a manager called Jungborn (Erhardt) is managing a football club. In the end, his club makes a spectacular signing: Seeler himself. Everybody in the club is jubilant, but Jungborn is puzzled and asks "who the devil is that guy?".

German football picture of the century and controversy

Seeler has been immortalized in a famous picture, voted as Photo of the Century by the German kicker football sport magazine. It shows him seemingly devastated by the 1966 World Cup Finals loss, walking off the pitch hunched over.[13]

However, there is controversy concerning the exact date the picture was taken. According to one source, the photo was taken after the final whistle, because the band played God Save the Queen to greet Queen Elizabeth, who was going to give the trophy to the English squad; thus Seeler was really heartbroken. Other sources claim that in fact it was the halftime band sent on the pitch for entertainment. Either way, this picture of Seeler ranks among the most famous in German football history.





West Germany[4]



  1. ^ a b "Seeler, Uwe". Retrieved 6 May 2011. 
  2. ^ Stokkermans, Karel (30 January 2000). "IFFHS' Century Elections".  
  3. ^ "Seeler: Germany legend, Hamburg icon". 20 June 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Uwe SEELER" (in Italian). Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Seeler trägt Raute im Herz". (in German).  
  6. ^ Tore, Punkte, Spieler – Die komplette HSV-Statistik. Göttingen. 2008. 
  7. ^ "Seeler: Germany legend, Hamburg icon". Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  8. ^ Arnhold, Matthias (2 November 2007). "Uwe Seeler – Matches and Goals in Bundesliga". Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "The most controversial goal-line incidents: England vs. Germany, 1966". The Independent. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  10. ^ "Uwe SEELER". Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  11. ^ Mamrud, Roberto (2 November 2002). "Uwe Seeler – Goals in International Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  12. ^ "Hamburgische Ehrenbürger" (in German).  
  13. ^ "Image". Retrieved 17 September 2010. 

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Hans Schäfer
Germany captain
Succeeded by
Wolfgang Overath
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