One of the biggest idols of the Borussia Dortmund faithful is dead. Former team captain Manfred Burgsmüller has surprisingly passed away at the age of 69. The news of his death was only announced today.
"Manni Burgsmüller was the face of Borussia Dortmund from the mid-1970s to the start of the 1980s. He possessed all the attributes that a striker can have," said BVB President Dr. Reinhard Rauball on Monday evening, adding: "It's a shame that he was never shown the level of appreciation he deserved for his quality and his ingenuity within the national team setup. On a personal note, he was a very pleasant, funny and straightforward guy who was simply a pleasure to be around. The BVB family will miss Manni Burgsmüller dearly."
Burgsmüller joined Borussia Dortmund in October 1976 after the club had been promoted and stayed for almost seven seasons. He is the eight-time German champions' record goalscorer in the Bundesliga, with 135 goals, and captained the team from 1979 to 1983. His three senior international appearances came during his spell at the club. All in all, Burgsmüller made 571 competitive appearances for Rot-Weiss Essen, Bayer Uerdingen, Borussia Dortmund, 1. FC Nuremberg, Rot-Weiß Oberhausen and Werder Bremen. He won the German Bundesliga, his only national title, with the Green & Whites in 1988. A year later, he appeared as a substitute in the 4-1 DFB Cup final defeat to Borussia Dortmund.
It was in May 1990, at the age of 40, that he played his last professional football match. Having scored 213 times, he occupies fourth place in the list of all-time Bundesliga goalscorers. In 1996, he came out of retirement to continue his extraordinary career for American football team "Rhine Fire", where he spent six years. At the age of 52, he was the oldest active American footballer in the world.
According to various media outlets, Manfred Burgsmüller died on Saturday. He was seven months shy of his 70th birthday, which he would have celebrated on 22 December.
"Manni Burgsmüller was an idol for an entire generation. I really enjoyed watching him play football," said BVB chief executive officer Hans-Joachim Watzke. "He's the record Bundesliga goalscorer for our club. A great Black & Yellow. The news of his death shook me deeply." (br)