Sammer in 2013
|Date of birth||5 September 1967|
|Place of birth||Dresden, East Germany|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Matthias Sammer (German pronunciation: [maˈtiːas ˈzamɐ]; born 5 September 1967) is a retired German footballer and coach who last worked as sporting director of Bayern Munich. He played as a defensive midfielder, and later in his career as a sweeper.
With Borussia Dortmund as a player, Sammer won the Bundesliga and DFL-Supercup in 1995, the Bundesliga, DFL-Supercup, and European Footballer of the Year in 1996, and the UEFA Champions League and Intercontinental Cup in 1997. With Germany as a player, Sammer won the UEFA Euro 1996, where he was named the tournament's best player, and was subsequently awarded the Ballon d'Or later that year. Sammer retired with 74 total caps, 23 for East Germany and 51 for the unified side.
With Sammer as a manager, Borussia Dortmund won the Bundesliga in 2002.
Sammer started his career at Dynamo Dresden when he joined the club's youth team as a nine-year-old in 1976. He made his debut for the senior team under the management of his father, Klaus Sammer, in the 1985–86 season. Playing as a striker, he scored eight goals in his first season as Dynamo finished fifth in the DDR-Oberliga. After being moved to the left wing the following season by new manager Eduard Geyer, he eventually found his place in central midfield during the 1987–88 season.
In the 1988–89 season, Sammer was part of the Dynamo Dresden team which won the East German championship. The same season the club also reached the semi-final of the UEFA Cup where they were knocked out by West German club VfB Stuttgart. The following year Dynamo won the league and cup double, defending the DDR-Oberliga title and also winning the 1990 FDGB-Pokal.
In the summer of 1990, Sammer joined VfB Stuttgart of the Bundesliga. Sammer scored 11 times in his debut season as Stuttgart finished sixth in the Bundesliga. The following year Sammer scored nine goals, helping Stuttgart to become the first champions of the reunified Germany.
After two seasons at Stuttgart, Sammer joined Italian club Internazionale for the 1992–93 Serie A season. Though he was a success on the pitch, scoring four times in 11 appearances, including a goal against Juventus in the Derby d'Italia, Sammer failed to adapt to the Italian lifestyle and returned to Germany in January 1993.
The following season, Sammer was moved from midfield into the libero position by Dortmund coach Ottmar Hitzfeld. This move proved to be successful as Dortmund won back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 1994–95 and 1995–96, followed by the 1996–97 UEFA Champions League, with Sammer lifting the European Cup as captain after beating Juventus 3–1 in the final at Munich's Olympiastadion.
Soon after winning the Champions League, Sammer's career was cut short by injury. He made only three further Bundesliga appearances for Dortmund before suffering a serious knee injury which he failed to recover from and retired in 1998.
In addition to the two Bundesliga titles and one Champions League, Sammer also led Dortmund to two DFB-Supercups, in 1995 and 1996. Sammer himself was named German Footballer of the Year in both 1995 and 1996 and was named European Footballer of the Year in 1996, making him the first defender to win the Ballon d'Or since Franz Beckenbauer in 1976.
Sammer represented the GDR at every age group. He was part of the East German squads which won the 1986 UEFA European Under-18 Football Championship and finished third at the 1987 FIFA World Youth Championship.
On 19 December 1990, Sammer debuted for the newly formed unified Germany national football team, which was mostly made up of the West Germany team that had won the 1990 FIFA World Cup. The match was played at his home stadium in Stuttgart and Germany ran out 4–0 winners against Switzerland.
Sammer was a member of the German squad for UEFA Euro 1992, where the team was beaten in the final by Denmark. He was also selected for the 1994 FIFA World Cup, as Germany was surprisingly knocked out by the underdog Bulgaria at the quarter final stage.
In UEFA Euro 1996, Sammer played in the libero role he had been converted to at Borussia Dortmund. He scored the opening goal in Germany's second group match against Russia and the winning goal against Croatia in the quarter-final. After Germany defeated the Czech Republic in the final, Sammer was named Player of the Tournament.
After retirement, Sammer became head coach of Borussia Dortmund on 1 July 2000. Sammer led Borussia Dortmund to another Bundesliga title in 2002. His team reached the 2001–02 UEFA Cup final the same year but lost 2–3 against Feyenoord. Sammer was sacked at the end of the 2003–04 season after Dortmund finished in sixth place.
On 1 April 2006, he was appointed technical director of German Football Association (DFB), on a five-year contract. The position was new in the DFB at the time and had been initiated by national coach Jürgen Klinsmann, who undertook major structural reforms in the DFB during his short time of two years as a coach, with an impact lasting much longer than his actual term. The position included responsibility for the national youth teams, focusing on young talents between the ages of eleven and eighteen, as well as incorporating the latest developments in sports science into the DFB's training theories. Sammer was also expected to work on a tactical system for all of Germany's national sides in close co-operation with national coach Joachim Löw. He is credited of having led the declining quality of German football from its worst era at the beginning of the 2000s to new success through several talented players developed in the restructured youth system.
On 2 July 2012, he took over as Sporting Director of Bayern Munich and replaced Christian Nerlinger, who had been released following Bayern's treble losses in Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League and because of his strained relationship with the club. As Sporting Director, Sammer was a member of the management board responsible for the professional playing staff of the club.
In his first season, Sammer orchestrated FC Bayern's turnaround to the first treble in club history by claiming the 2012–13 Bundesliga, the 2012–13 UEFA Champions League and the 2012–13 DFB-Pokal in record-setting fashion. His communicative abilities to never get satisfied, always stress some critical details, keep pressure high and not getting into delight even during the most superior periods were especially lauded to have contributed to the historic success. In the next years three consecutive Bundesliga championships and two cup wins followed.
In spring 2016, he had a "minute circulatory disorder in the brain" and had to take a break from his work. During his recovery, he gained a new perspective on his work and family life and asked FC Bayern to release him from his position as sporting director which they granted. Afterwards Munich continued working without any sporting director for a year before they presented Hasan Salihamidžić as his replacement.
Following this he effectively retired, initially working as a pundit for Eurosport for a while but ruling out to continue this in the future. In 2018, he started to work part-time as an adviser for Borussia Dortmund, meeting with the club for talks every two weeks, and is regularly seen sitting next to Dortmund's management during matches.
Sammer is married and has three children, Sarah, Marvin, and Leon. He lives in Munich, Germany.
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|East Germany||League||FDGB-Pokal||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|Italy||League||Coppa Italia||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|1992–93||Internazionale Milano||Serie A||11||4||1||0||-||-||-||-||12||4|
|East Germany national team|
|Germany national team|
|1.||31 August 1988||Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark, Berlin, East Germany||Greece||1–0||1–0||Friendly|
|2.||6 September 1989||Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavík, Iceland||Iceland||1–0||3–0||1990 FIFA World Cup qualifying|
|3.||8 October 1989||Stadion an der Gellertstraße, Karl-Marx-Stadt, East Germany||Soviet Union||2–1||2–1||1990 FIFA World Cup qualifying|
|4.||11 April 1990||Stadion an der Gellertstraße, Karl-Marx-Stadt, East Germany||Egypt||2–0||2–0||Friendly|
|5.||12 September 1990||Constant Vanden Stock Stadium, Brussels, Belgium||Belgium||1–0||2–0||Friendly|
|6.||12 September 1990||Constant Vanden Stock Stadium, Brussels, Belgium||Belgium||2–0||2–0||Friendly|
|1.||16 December 1992||Estádio Olímpico Monumental, Porto Alegre, Brazil||Brazil||1–2||1–3||Friendly|
|2.||2 June 1994||Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna, Austria||Austria||1–0||5–1||Friendly|
|3.||8 June 1994||Varsity Stadium, Toronto, Canada||Canada||1–0||2–0||Friendly|
|4.||8 October 1995||Ulrich-Haberland-Stadion, Leverkusen, Germany||Moldova||3–0||6–1||UEFA Euro 1996 qualifying|
|5.||8 October 1995||Ulrich-Haberland-Stadion, Leverkusen, Germany||Moldova||6–0||6–1||UEFA Euro 1996 qualifying|
|6.||4 June 1996||Carl-Benz-Stadion, Mannheim, Germany||Liechtenstein||5–0||9–1||Friendly|
|7.||16 June 1996||Old Trafford, Manchester, England||Russia||1–0||3–0||UEFA Euro 1996|
|8.||23 June 1996||Old Trafford, Manchester, England||Croatia||2–1||2–1||UEFA Euro 1996|
|Borussia Dortmund||1 July 2000||30 June 2004||183||89||46||48||48.63|||
|VfB Stuttgart||1 July 2004||3 June 2005||47||25||8||14||53.19|||
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