Karl-Heinz Riedle

Karl-Heinz Riedle

Riedle in 2012
Personal information
Full name Karl-Heinz Riedle
Date of birth (1965-09-16) 16 September 1965
Place of birth Weiler im Allgäu, West Germany
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Striker
Youth career
TSV Ellhofen
SV Weiler
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1983–1986 FC Augsburg 80 (31)
1986–1987 Blau-Weiß Berlin 34 (10)
1987–1990 Werder Bremen 86 (38)
1990–1993 Lazio 84 (30)
1993–1997 Borussia Dortmund 87 (24)
1997–1999 Liverpool 60 (11)
1999–2001 Fulham 34 (6)
Total 465 (150)
National team
1986–1987 West Germany U21 4 (1)
1988 West Germany Olympic 1 (0)
1988–1994 Germany 42 (16)
Teams managed
2000 Fulham

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Karl-Heinz Riedle (born 16 September 1965) is a German retired professional footballer who played as a striker.

A prolific footballer, who was nicknamed "Air" throughout his career, due to his notable accuracy from headers, as well as his jumping and timing skills in the air, Riedle was a traditional, yet well-rounded centre forward.[1][2] He appeared in 207 Bundesliga games over the course of eight seasons, scoring 62 of his 72 goals for Werder Bremen and Borussia Dortmund. He also played for Lazio in Italy and Liverpool in England.

A German international for six years, Riedle represented the country in two World Cupswinning the 1990 edition – and Euro 1992.

Club career


Born in Weiler im Allgäu, Swabia, Riedle started his senior career in the Bayernliga with FC Augsburg,[3] being club top scorer in the 1985–86 season with a total of 20 goals.[4] His performances attracted interest from newly promoted Bundesliga side SpVgg Blau-Weiß 1890 Berlin, who signed him for a fee of 33,000 Deutsche Mark;[5] he made his league debut for his new team on 9 August 1986, scoring in a 1–4 home loss against 1. FC Kaiserslautern.[6]

After his team's relegation, as last, Riedle nonetheless signed with SV Werder Bremen, led by legendary Otto Rehhagel, and netted 18 times in his first season (second-best in the league behind Jürgen Klinsmann, and 24 overall) to help the club win the national title. During his three-year spell with the Hanseatic he scored 58 goals all competitions comprised, and appeared in back-to-back German Cup finals, losing both and finding the net in the 1989 edition – opening the score in a 1–4 defeat to Borussia Dortmund.

Lazio / Return home

In the 1990 summer, Riedle moved to S.S. Lazio of Italy for a transfer fee of 13 million DM. During his stint with the Roman the club failed to win any silverware or reach any final, and his best output occurred in the 1991–92 campaign when he scored 13 goals in 29 games[7] for an eventual 10th-place finish in Serie A; for two of his three years, he shared teams with countryman Thomas Doll.

Riedle returned to Germany in 1993 and joined Borussia Dortmund. He was a starter for most of his spell, often partnering Stéphane Chapuisat, but failed to reproduce his previous form, never scoring in double digits; he was however important in the conquest of the 1995 and 1996 national championships (13 goals combined) and, in the 1996–97 UEFA Champions League, netted twice[8] against Juventus F.C. in the final for a 3–1 success.[9]


In 1997, Riedle joined Liverpool in the Premier League. He was irregularly used during his stint at Anfield, especially after the phasing-in of 18-year-old Michael Owen.

In late September 1999, 34-year-old Riedle moved to Fulham where, along with his old Reds manager Roy Evans, he would serve as caretaker manager until the end of the 1999–2000 season after Paul Bracewell's dismissal. He made fourteen league appearances and scored one goal during Fulham's 2000/01 season after which they were promoted to the Premier League.[10] Riedle announced his retirement at the end of that season.[11]

International career

Riedle made his debut for West Germany on 31 August 1988, playing 15 minutes against Finland and scoring in a 4–0 away win for the 1990 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Selected by coach Franz Beckenbauer for the finals in Italy as a backup to Klinsmann and Rudi Völler, he contributed with four games as the national team won its third title, starting once due to suspension to the latter.

One of Riedle's most memorable matches for Germany came during the UEFA Euro 1992 semi-final against Sweden, in which he netted two goals in a 3–2 triumph, eventually being the tournament's joint-top scorer. He gained a total of 42 caps, scoring on 16 occasions.[12]

Personal life

Riedle married Gabriele and fathered three children, Alessandro, who is also a professional footballer, Dominic and Vivien-Joana.[13] He owned a hotel and ran a football academy, in the village of Oberstaufen.

On 28 August 2014, UEFA announced Riedle as the ambassador of the upcoming Champions League final, which was later held in Berlin.[14][15]







Werder Bremen
Borussia Dortmund




  1. Abilash Nalapat (10 March 2015). "Dortmund hero Riedle wants Asian talent to emulate Kagawa and Son". ESPN FC. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  2. "Riedle, il cielo con un salto!" (in Italian). Tutto Calciatori. 13 May 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  3. "Riedle, Karl-Heinz". kicker. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  4. Landgraf, Stephan (30 November 2012). "Jugendliche sind das Kapital für die Zukunft" [Youngsters are essential for the future] (in German). MZ-Kick. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  5. "Alles Spekulanten" [Speculation galore] (in German). Der Spiegel. 7 August 1989. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  6. "Spielstatistik Blau-Weiß 90 Berlin gegen 1. FC Kaiserslautern" (in German). Fussballdaten. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  7. Arnhold, Matthias (19 November 2015). "Karl-Heinz Riedle – Matches and Goals in Bundesliga". RSSSF. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  8. Haisma, Marcel (19 November 2015). "Karl-Heinz Riedle – Matches in European Cups". RSSSF. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  9. "Three magic nights in Munich". FIFA.com. 19 May 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
  10. "Games played by Karlheinz Riedle in 2000/2001". soccerbase.com. Retrieved 2016-11-23.
  11. "Karl Heinz Riedle to leave Fulham". fulhamweb.co.uk. 9 February 2001. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  12. Arnhold, Matthias (19 November 2015). "Karl-Heinz Riedle – Goals in International Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  13. "Trainer Riedle? Ja, das würde mich schon reizen" [Coach Riedle? Yes, that would surely get me going] (in German). Allgäu-Rundschau. 17 March 2010. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  14. "Champions League draw recap: Fixtures and reaction as Arsenal, Chelsea and Man City discovered their fate". Daily Mirror. 15 December 2014. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  15. "Will Real Madrid claim city bragging rights? Can Barcelona get past PSG? Uefa Champions League draw analysis and predictions". The National. 20 March 2015. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  16. "Karl-Heinz Riedle". European Football. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
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