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regular-article-logo Monday, 22 April 2024

Andreas Brehme, who won 1990 World Cup title for West Germany, dies aged 63

Schaefer said Brehme died 'suddenly and unexpectedly' in the night from a cardiac arrest

AP/PTI Berlin Published 21.02.24, 09:26 AM
Andreas Brehme during the 1990 football World Cup final.

Andreas Brehme during the 1990 football World Cup final. Getty Images

Andreas Brehme, whose coolly-taken late penalty helped West Germany beat Diego Maradona’s Argentina to the 1990 football World Cup title, has died. He was 63.

Brehme’s partner Susanne Schaefer confirmed his death in a statement to Germany’s dpa news agency on Tuesday. Schaefer said Brehme died “suddenly and unexpectedly” in the night from a cardiac arrest.

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Former teammates and others paid tribute to the player who was known affectionately as “Andi” Brehme, a star of German football in the 1980s and 1990s.

“I can’t believe it at all. The news of Andreas’ sudden death makes me incredibly sad,” national teammate Rudi Völler, who was fouled by Argentina’s Roberto Sensini that gave West Germany the 85th-minute penalty, said. “Andi was our World
Cup hero, but for me he was much more. He was my close friend and companion to this day. I will miss his wonderful love of life.”

It is said that Brehme had been deeply affected by the death of his old coach and me­ntor, Franz Beckenbauer, last month.

Kaiserslautern, which won their last Bundesliga title in Brehme’s final season before his retirement in 1998, said they were “deeply saddened” by his unexpected death. Brehme played for the German Red Devils for 10 seasons over two stints. The Bundesliga win came after promotion as second-division champion and Brehme also won the German Cup with Kaiserslautern in 1996.

Brehme also won the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich in 1987.

The Hamburg-born Brehme, who played mostly as an attacking left-back, will always be associated with West Germany’s 1990 World Cup triumph.

Besides his winning spot-kick in the final, whipped into the left-hand corner with his ‘weaker’ right foot, he also scored in the semi-final against England, which West Germany eventually won on penalties. Winning the title brought a wave of national celebrations across Germany, which was in the process of reunification after the fall of the Berlin Wall the year before.

Brehme’s goal in Rome was also celebrated at Inter Milan, the Italian club he was playing for at the time as part of a formidable German trinity including national teammates Jürgen Klinsmann and Lothar Matthäus.

As captain, Matthäus would normally have taken West Germany’s penalty in the final, but the No. 10 broke his boots in the first half and didn’t feel confident even thou­gh he’d changed them. He sent Brehme forward instead.

“Someone has to step up. And for us, it was a case of whoever was feeling confident,” Brehme said in a Fifa interview in 2017. “The main thing is that the penalty goes in and we become world champions.”

Brehme acknowledged the penalty decision was “dubious” though that didn’t stop him from tucking away the spot kick against the previously unbeatable Argentine goalkeeper Sergio Goycochea.

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