Holger Osieck was born on 31 August 1948 in Homberg, Germany. He took up the game at the age of ten with Gelsenkirchen-based Schalke. After spending eight years with the Bundesliga club, he left the Royal Blues for Eintracht Gelsenkirchen. He went on to play for SSV Hagen, FC Mulheim, FC Bocholt, Vancouver White Caps (Canada) and Rot-Weiss Oberhausen.
At 22, Osieck decided his future lay in coaching. After completing a degree in humanities and social sciences, he acquired his initial coaching licenses, before obtaining the highest available coaching qualification at the German Sport University Cologne in 1976. Just a year later, he became assistant coach to the Canada national team.
In 1979, Osieck joined the German FA (DFB) as a youth coach. Before and during the 1990 FIFA World Cup Italy™, he was assistant to head coach Franz Beckenbauer, who had no coaching qualifications. After Germany’s triumph in Italy, Osieck followed Beckenbauer to France and a spell with Olympique Marseille.
Osieck took up his first head coaching position in July 1991 with Bundesliga club VfL Bochum. He went on to take charge of Istanbul giants Fenerbahce (Turkey), Urawa Red Diamonds (Japan) and Kocaelispor (Turkey).
Osieck’s greatest success as a coach came with Canada, where he took the national helm in September 1998. He led the unfancied Canadians to a stunning CONCACAF Gold Cup triumph in 2001, before leaving north America in September 2003 after five years in charge.
The father of two has been involved with the FIFA Technical Study Group (TSG) since 2004, although he briefly returned to Urawa in Japan during this time. In 2007 he won the AFC Champions League final with the Red Diamonds, his greatest success at club level.
Career as a player
1965-1970: Eintracht Gelsenkirchen
1970-1972: SSV Hagen
1972-1976: 1. FC Mülheim
1976: 1. FC Bocholt
1977: Vancouver Whitecaps
1978: Rot-Weiss Oberhausen
Career as a coach
1977-1979: Assistant coach of the Canadian national team
1979-1990: Youth coach at the German Football Federation and assistant coach of the German national team
1990-1991: Assistant coach of Olympique Marseille
1991-1992: VfL Bochum
1993-1994: Fenerbahçe Istanbul
1995-1996: Urawa Red Diamonds
1998-2003: National team Canada
2007-2008: Urawa Red Diamonds