eHe was a natural, hard to grasp for his adversaries, because he seemed to be everywhere – especially in front of the opponent's goal. Manfred Burgsmüller never slavishly stuck to fixed stage directions and was also no position-forward striker. The blond-curled Essener, who came along so thin and was not one of the longest with 1.77 meters, played his art like a cool gamer. Burgsmüller was a jerky, lurking for the weak moment of the opposing defense and always on the Quivive to strike in seconds.
The attacking original from the Ruhr area made an inimitable appearance on 213 goals in 447 Bundesliga games for Rot-Weiß Essen (1974 to 1976), Borussia Dortmund (1976 to 1983), 1.FC Nürnberg (1983/84) and Werder Bremen ( 1985 to 1990). With this he occupies fourth place behind Gerd Müller (365 goals), Klaus Fischer (268) and Jupp Heynckes (220) in the “everlasting” top goalscorer list of the top German league.
Burgsmüller, whom the world called “Manni”, was different than these three classic strikers. “To this day, you do not know if I was a number nine or ten,” he once said, “I was somewhere in between.” Just as he understood his space-filling way of playing football, he was one of the coveted specialists these days the unmistakable sense of the zones in which the game becomes an emergency. In his 21 years as a professional Burgsmüller earned a reputation as a specter, always on the spot, when it became concrete and the fans hailed hits from nowhere. If his goal appetite was particularly large, the insatiable Burgsmüller also beat five times as in the legendary Dortmund 11: 1 triumph over Arminia Bielefeld on 6 November 1982.
In his class, it was surprising that he came only to three internationals – after the misguided from a German perspective World Cup 1978 in Argentina. The then national coach Helmut Schön could be softened to call this professional, who could sometimes be cheeky. “I did not fit Mr. Schön into the concept,” Burgsmüller once said. Fearless of authorities, as was the Burgsmüller blessed with the quick-witted Revier humor, he has the national coach of the world champion of 1974 once on his lead “Stay well on the carpet” with the remark countered: “And I thought we play Race.”
Schön held the 1978 28-year-old Burgsmüller for too old to make in the national team still great career. His coach colleague Otto Rehhagel not when he steered in the meantime in the Second Bundesliga for Rot-Weiß Oberhausen kicking Burgsmüller in 1985 at 35 years to Werder Bremen. No wonder if its motto: “There are no old or young players, there are only good and bad”. For Burgsmüller Bremen was the ideal final stage of his great Bundesliga career, he was with Werder in 1988 for the first time German champion. At age 39, in the best Pizarro age, he ended his career – and then changed the sport: from football to football.
In the NFL Europe he became the kicker of Rhein Fire Dusseldorf. There he left the big sports scene at the age of 52 and returned to his hometown Essen. Burgsmüller was spared serious injuries in his many years as a professional original with an effectiveness guarantee. What plagued him last was osteoarthritis in both feet, which is why he needed a walker. On Saturday, as his sporting home, the Bundesliga, on the final day of the season 2018/19 their old and new champions Bayern Munich chose, Manfred Burgsmüller died at the age of 69 years of “natural death”, as it was said.
Manfred Burgsmüller (t) Helmut Schön (t) Gerd Müller (t) Klaus Fischer (t) Jupp Heynckes (t) SV Werder Bremen (t) Borussia-Dortmund