Riether: My Hero

Thursday 13 December 2012 11:00

Everyone has a football idol – for you it could be any one of the current Fulham squad or a favourite from the past. But who are our idols’ heroes? Fulham new boy Sascha Riether chose former Germany legend Matthias Sammer.


Sammer won the European Championship as a player with Germany in 1996 and helped lead his club side, Borussia Dortmund, to the 1997 UEFA Champions League title. He was one of Germany’s best-ever players, known for his clever passing, excellent vision and reading of play. He spent most of his career in Germany, aside from a short spell at Inter Milan, and since retiring from the game he also led Dortmund to the 2002 Bundesliga title as coach. Sammer now works at Bayern Munich as their sporting director.


Composed tackling, pin-point passing and leadership


“Growing up I was a big Borussia Dortmund fan. They have some great players now, but back in the mid-1990s they had some of the very best. When they won the Champions League in 1997 their team included the likes of Jürgen Kohler, Andreas Möller and former Fulham striker Karl-Heinz Riedle. That side also had Paul Lambert who now manages Aston Villa and Paulo Sousa who has managed Queens Park Rangers.

“But the best of the lot was Matthias Sammer, our captain and inspiration. He always had a great desire to win and was someone that led by example. He was a real role model for us kids. He made the game look very easy, and that is a quality of a really talented player. He could play in either midfield or defence, often in the centre, and I really studied his game. I learned a lot from watching him play. He will be remembered as one of the best German players ever.”


In 1996 Matthias Sammer was crowned European Footballer of the Year – an award that has since been won by the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Ronaldinho.