Sports

April 16, 2024

1974 World Cup winner, Bernd Hoelzenbein dies at 78

1974 World Cup winner, Bernd Hoelzenbein dies at 78

Bernd Hoelzenbein, who won the World Cup with West Germany in 1974, has died aged 78, his long-time club Eintracht Frankfurt announced on Tuesday.

Playing as a striker or winger, Hoelzenbein scored five goals in 40 matches with West Germany.

In the 1974 World Cup final against the Netherlands in Munich, Hoelzenbein won the penalty converted by Paul Breitner which levelled the scores at 1-1.

Hoelzenbein was heavily criticised by Dutch fans for diving but stuck to his line throughout his life it was a “clear penalty.”

Gerd Mueller scored the decisive goal late in the first-half to secure a 2-1 win and Germany’s second World Cup triumph.

In the 1976 Euros final, Hoelzenbein scored a late goal to draw level at 2-2 with Czechoslovakia, but Germany would go on to lose the match on penalties.

At club level, he played the majority of his career at Frankfurt, where he remains the top scorer in the club’s history with 160 goals in 420 appearances.

He won three German Cups and the UEFA Cup during his 14-year spell with Frankfurt.

After leaving the Eagles, he spent several years playing in the United States with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Memphis Americans and the Baltimore Blast.

He later returned to Frankfurt where he worked with the club as an administrator and scout.

“Bernd Hoelzenbein has had a significant influence on Eintracht Frankfurt for almost 60 years,” said CEO Axel Hellmann.

“We are not only losing one of the great identification figures of our club, but also a loyal employee and a lovely friend.”