Stefan Effenberg

Stefan Effenberg
Personal information
Date of birth (1968-08-02) 2 August 1968
Place of birth Hamburg, West Germany
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
0000–1974 Bramfelder SV
1974–1986 Victoria Hamburg
1986–1987 Borussia M'gladbach
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1987–1990 Borussia M'gladbach 73 (10)
1990–1992 Bayern Munich 65 (19)
1992–1994 Fiorentina 56 (12)
1994–1998 Borussia M'gladbach 118 (23)
1998–2002 Bayern Munich 95 (16)
2002–2003 VfL Wolfsburg 19 (3)
2003–2004 Al-Arabi 15 (4)
Total 431 (87)
National team
1988–1990 West Germany U21 5 (1)
1991–1998 Germany 35 (5)
Teams managed
2015–2016 SC Paderborn

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

Stefan Effenberg (German pronunciation: [ˈʃtɛfan ˈɛfəmbɛɐ̯k]; born 2 August 1968) is a retired German footballer who last managed SC Paderborn. A midfielder, he possessed leadership skills, fantastic passing range, powerful shooting ability, physical strength, but also a fearsome and controversial character.[1]

In the Bundesliga alone – where he represented Bayern Munich most notably, in six seasons and in two different spells – Effenberg collected 109 yellow cards, an all-time worst at the time of his retirement.

He played for Germany on more than 30 occasions – in a career which was cut short after a run-in with the management – representing the nation in one World Cup and one European Championship. His nickname is Der Tiger [dɛɐ̯ ˈtiːɡɐ] (the tiger).

Club career

Born and raised in Niendorf, Hamburg on 2 August 1968, Stefan Effenberg started his professional career with Borussia Mönchengladbach, where he became an undisputed first-choice by the age of 20. This attracted the interest of Bundesliga giants FC Bayern Munich, where he scored 19 goals in his first two seasons after his transfer,[2] although the club failed to win any silverware with Effenberg in the lineup.

When legendary Lothar Matthäus (who also represented Mönchengladbach) returned to Bayern in 1992, Effenberg moved to ACF Fiorentina. Despite the presence of Dane Brian Laudrup and Argentine Gabriel Batistuta, Fiorentina was relegated from Serie A in his first season.

Effenberg then moved back to Gladbach, where he appeared in 118 league matches, scoring 23 goals, before Bayern re-signed him in 1998. Effenberg's second spell with the Bavarians was much more successful. He collected three Bundesliga titles in a row, and Bayern also reached two UEFA Champions League finals, the first of which was a 1–2 defeat to Manchester United F.C. in 1999. Bayern returned to the final in 2001 with Effenberg as captain. He scored Bayern's equalising goal from the penalty spot in a victory against Valencia (1–1, penalty shootout win). After the final, Effenberg was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2000–01 UEFA Champions League.[3] After his departure, club fans voted him one of the eleven greatest Bayern players of all time.[4]

After an unassuming spell at VfL Wolfsburg,[5] Effenberg ended his career in Qatar with Al-Arabi Sports Club. He appeared occasionally as a color commentator for German TV after his retirement as a player.

Managerial career

Effenberg was appointed as the head coach of SC Paderborn on 13 October 2015.[6] He was sacked on 3 March 2016.[7]

International career

Effenberg played 35 games for the German national team and scored five goals. His debut came on 5 June 1991, in a Euro 1992 qualifier against Wales, as he played the last 18 minutes of a 0–1 away loss. He would be an everpresent fixture during the final stages, even netting in the second group stage match, a 2–0 win over Scotland.

During a group game against South Korea in the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Effenberg "gave the finger" to German fans at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas when he got substituted after a subpar performance; the Germans were then only one goal up, after leading 3–0.[8] German coach Berti Vogts was so outraged by this incident that he dropped Effenberg from the team on the spot, and declared that he was finished as an international player.[9][10]

Effenberg didn't appear in another international match again until 1998, when was briefly re-instated to the national team for a couple of friendly matches in September, under Erich Ribbeck after Vogts was ousted as national team coach. They turned out to be his last caps for Germany.

Career statistics



Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Germany League DFB-Pokal DFB Ligapokal Europe Total
1987–88Borussia MönchengladbachBundesliga151
1990–91Bayern Munich329
Italy League Coppa Italia League Cup Europe Total
1992–93FiorentinaSerie A305
1993–94Serie B267
Germany League DFB-Pokal DFB Ligapokal Europe Total
1994–95Borussia MönchengladbachBundesliga307
1998–99Bayern Munich31863
2002–03VfL Wolfsburg193200000192
2003–04Al-ArabiQatar Stars League154000000154
CountryGermany 37071
Italy 5612
Qatar 154
Total Club 44187


International career statistics


Germany national team

International goals

Scores and results list Germany's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 15 June 1992 Idrottsparken, Norrköping, Sweden  Scotland 2–0 2–0 UEFA Euro 1992
2 9 September 1992 Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark  Denmark 2–1 2–1 Friendly
3 14 April 1993 Ruhrstadion, Bochum, Germany  Ghana 2–1 6–1 Friendly
4 14 April 1993 Ruhrstadion, Bochum, Germany  Ghana 4–1 6–1 Friendly
5 19 June 1993 Silverdome, Detroit, United States  England 1–0 2–1 U.S. Cup



Bayern Munich
Borussia Mönchengladbach




Controversies and personal life

Effenberg had a history of attracting attention and ire from fans and other players alike with his behaviour. In 1991, prior to a UEFA Cup game against then-semi-professional Cork City, Effenberg told the press he was sure of a victory, saying Cork City midfielder Dave Barry was "like (his) grandfather". Barry got his retribution by scoring the opening goal in the team's 1–1 draw at Musgrave Park.[14]

In the late 1990s, Effenberg was rarely out of the tabloids, especially when he left his wife Martina and revealed an affair with Claudia Strunz, who at that time was the wife of former team mate Thomas Strunz. Later, the player published a controversial autobiography, notorious for its blatant contents – which included lashing out at some other football professionals, namely club and national side mate, Lothar Matthäus.

In 2001, Effenberg was fined after being found guilty of assaulting a woman in a nightclub.[15] The following year, he implied that unemployed people in Germany were in fact too lazy to look for work, and demanded they took benefit cuts. The interview was issued in Playboy.[16]

Strunz and Effenberg were married in 2004,[17] and the player also had three children from his first marriage; the couple then relocated to Florida.[18]


  1. Fearon, Matthew (25 March 2009). "Dream Teams: Bayern Munich". UK: The Independent. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
  2. Arnhold, Matthias (2 September 2015). "Stefan Effenberg - Matches and Goals in Bundesliga". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  3. "2000/01: Kahn saves day for Bayern". Retrieved 2 April 2011.
  4. "Fans name greatest Reds of all time". FC Bayern. 1 June 2005. Retrieved 9 February 2010.
  5. "Effenberg quits Wolfsburg with immediate effect". ABC News. 3 April 2003. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
  6. "Effenberg neuer Trainer des SC Paderborn" (in German). Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  7. "SC Paderborn trennt sich von Effenberg" (in German). Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  8. "Stefan Effenberg". 123Football. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
  9. "Doing it his own way". China Daily. 15 May 2003. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
  10. "Effenberg's day of shame". 24 June 2002. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
  11. "Effenberg, Stefan" (in German). kicker. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
  12. Arnhold, Matthias (2 November 2002). "Stefan Effenberg – International Appearances". RSSSF. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
  13. FIFA XI´s Matches - Full Info
  14. "Cork City 1 – Bayern Munich 1" (in German). Archived from the original on 15 July 2010.
  15. "Effenberg pays penalty". BBC Sport. 16 August 2001. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
  16. "Scholl hangs up international boots". BBC Sport. 24 April 2002. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
  17. "Matthaeus is 'a real quitter,' says Effenberg". Sports Illustrated. 2 May 2003. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
  18. "Stefan Effenberg bids his final farewell". Monsters and Critics. 21 July 2005. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
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