Very few men have enjoyed the level of success, both on and off the field, as Gunter Netzer. The attacking midfielder won the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach in 1970 and 1971, before going on to collect the Spanish equivalent twice in the mid-1970s with Real Madrid. He also helped West Germany win the UEFA European Championship in 1972 and FIFA World Cup™ two years later.
Once his playing days were over, Netzer remained in footballng circles, enjoying similar success first as general manager of Hamburg and then as a media entrepreneur, another area in which he excelled. German football fans have long enjoyed his colourful television appearances, which have given him something of a cult following in his homeland.
After 13 years as a pundit, though, the 65-year-old finally called time on his career in front of the cameras following the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. FIFA.com presents some of Netzer's most memorable quotes from both his playing and media days.
"I always hated people you had to drag off the stage. I've spoken enough. I can't stand watching myself on TV any more."
Netzer on his decision to leave the life of TV punditry
"Personally, training camps used to make me wonder whether I ought to pack football in."
Netzer on pre-season training
"I was bending over and Franz Beckenbauer stole my free-kick. Man, I was angry. Unfortunately he scored as well."
Netzer remembers former team-mate Franz Beckenbauer
"At 21, Beckenbauer wasn't the Beckenbauer of later years."
More memories of Der Kaiser
"I thought of headers as similar to handballs."
Netzer on his reluctance to head the ball
"Most games that finished 1-0 were won by someone."
Netzer shows he too can state the obvious
"The post is a goalkeeper's friend, one he can't rely on."
Netzer on a footballer's on-field social circle
"Just when you think there's no hope, in comes a cross from somewhere."
Netzer on the life of a striker
"The nose is a vulnerable area. If it comes into contact with studs or a boot, it can lead to nose bleeds."
Netzer on the incompatibility of football boots and noses
"People always knew where I stood."
Netzer on his rhetorical nature
"People need to realise that the idea that the fouled player should never take the penalty himself is wrong. I think they can."
Netzer dispels an old myth