Monday, November 23, 2009

New blood coming, old blood going. Uwe Seeler retired in 1972.
After 474 matches and 404 goals for Hamburger SV, and 72 matches and 43 goals for the West German national team, one of the all-time finest German players called it quits. It is always sad to see a great player retiring and Seeler was special – his strange bycicle kicks, which were not exactly bycicle kicks, were unique. At least I have not seen anybody else scoring in this manner – with his back to the net, yet, not off the ground like in classic bycicle kick, but rather kicking the ball above his head, a mix of volley and bycicle kick elements. Deadly, powerful kicks, always on target. No wonder he was voted 3 times German Footballer of the Year: in 1960, 1964, and 1970.
Fans loved Seeler, only memories remain of him. Well, not only German memories: in 1978 Seeler went to play one match for Cork Celtik FC. Apparently, the retired player thought that he was invited to play a demonstration match. He scored twice… and after the game discovered that he played an official League game, thus registering in the statistical records of the championship of Republic of Ireland. He may be the only player in the world ever to play champioship match without knowing. Retirement indeed… 1 match and 2 goals.