Felix Magath at a press conference of VfL Wolfsburg
|Full name||Wolfgang-Felix Magath|
|Date of birth||26 July 1953|
|Place of birth||Aschaffenburg, West Germany|
|Height||1.72 m (5 ft 7 1⁄2 in)|
|Playing position||Offensive Midfielder|
|1964–1972||TV 60 Aschaffenburg|
|1974–1976||1. FC Saarbrücken||76||(29)|
|1997–1998||1. FC Nürnberg|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
- 1 Playing career
- 2 Off-field career
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Statistics
- 5 Honours
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Born near Aschaffenburg, Magath started his career playing for local club Viktoria Aschaffenburg. From 1974–76, he played for 1. FC Saarbrücken, at that time in the second division, before moving to Hamburger SV in the top flight.
He would spend the following ten seasons with Hamburg, and from his debut in 1976 to his retirement he scored 46 goals in 306 games in the first division.
In 1983, Magath led Hamburg to success in the European Cup, scoring the single goal in the final against Juventus FC; in 1980–81, he netted a career-best (in the first division) 10 goals, helping his side to a runner-up league spot, as Hamburg also won the league in three years during that time.
He also represented the German national team at many international events, including the 1982 and 1986 FIFA World Cups, helping Germany land in second place both times. He was also part of the squad that won the 1980 UEFA European Championships. Magath made his debut on 30 April 1977, in a 2–1 friendly win with Yugoslavia, and went on to amass 43 caps, with three goals.
1986–1992: General manager
Having suffered a career-ending knee injury, Magath retired shortly after the 1986 World Cup and became general manager for his former club Hamburg. Magath left Hamburg in June 1988 after moderate success. His next stints as general manager included then 2. Bundesliga side 1. FC Saarbrücken (November 1989 to June 1990) as well as Bayer Uerdingen (July 1990 to January 1992) who were relegated from the first tier during Magath's time at the club.
1992–2001: Early coaching career
Magath took up coaching in 1992 as a player-coach for the fourth-tier club FC Bremerhaven which he led to division championship. He then rejoined Hamburg as reserves coach in 1993 and became manager Benno Möhlmann's assistant soon after. Magath succeeded Möhlmann as manager after the latter was sacked in October 1995. Having reached the UEFA Cup during his first season, Hamburg finished the following season as disappointing 13th and Magath was sacked.
In the following years, Magath acquired a reputation as a fireman, coming in at difficult times at a club and leading it to salvation. In September 1997, he took over 1. FC Nürnberg who were newly promoted to the 2. Bundesliga and fighting relegation. The Club finished the season as third, meaning promotion to the Bundesliga, but Magath left due to differences in opinion with the club president Michael A. Roth. During a short stint at SV Werder Bremen during the 1998–99 season, Magath lead the club out of relegation places, only for Bremen to find themselves in the relegation dogfight again with two games to go. Halfway through the 1999–00 season, Magath joined troubled Eintracht Frankfurt. An impressive Magath-inspired run saw Frankfurt finish the second round as third best and four points off relegation. Magath was sacked the season after when Frankfurt found themselves third last in January.
2001–2007: Manager at Stuttgart and Bayern
Magath bounced back with what was to become one of his most successful stints when he took over fellow relegation battlers VfB Stuttgart a few weeks after. Having narrowly avoided relegation in 2001, Stuttgart finished the 2001–02 in a mid-table position. The club went then on to become 2002–03 Bundesliga runners-up and finished the 2003–04 season as respectable fourth. During this time, Magath also introduced a group of players from the Stuttgart youth ranks, such as Timo Hildebrand, Andreas Hinkel and Kevin Kurányi, who became known as "die jungen Wilden" (wild youth). The Stuttgart stint was also the first time Magath combined the manager and the director of football roles, rather an anomaly in Germany where managers tend to be in charge of day-to-day training and matchday coaching only and are not responsible for transfers and contract negotiations.
Having impressed with Stuttgart, Magath was handed the FC Bayern Munich job on 1 July 2004. In his first season, Magath was able to lead his team to victory in both the league and cup, completing the double, a feat which would be repeated in 2005–06, the first time ever in the competition's history.
On 7 August 2006, Magath revealed that the Puerto Rico Football Federation had approached him with an offer to assume the position of national team director in preparation for the Caribbean commonwealth's 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign in South Africa.
"I have an offer from Puerto Rico, Magath told Focus magazine. The president of the Puerto Rico Football Federation asked me whether I could work as team director in the build-up to the 2010 World Cup."
Magath went on to admit that he was tempted, although he ultimately turned it down.
2007–present: Manager and director of football combined
In June 2007, he signed a contract with VfL Wolfsburg, as manager and director of football. Magath lead the Wolves to play in the 2008–09 UEFA Cup and the following season's Champions League, the latter as league champions for the first time.
Before the season 2008–09 had ended, he agreed on a four-year contract with FC Schalke 04, again as both head coach and director of football, starting on 1 July 2009. Schalke finished Magath's first season in charge as runners-up, but after a series of disappointing domestic performances and growing player discontent, Magath was sacked by Schalke in March 2011.
Only 24 hours later, on 17 March, he once again signed with now relegation-battling VfL Wolfsburg, the side he had previously led to the league title in 2009. Magath steered the club to safety, but though the club invested heavily, Magath could only achieve a mid-table finish in the following 2011–12 season. After only five points in eight matches (and no goals and points in the last four games) in the 2012–13 season, Magath left the club by mutual consent on 25 October 2012.
As a manager, Magath quickly gained respect and became notorious for his hard, grinding training methods, laying heavy emphasis on discipline, fitness and conditioning. Players gave him nicknames like "Saddam" (Saddam Hussein) or “Quälix”, a mash of his first name Felix and the German verb “quälen” (to torture). He was once described by former Eintracht Frankfurt player Bachirou Salou as the "last dictator in Europe".
Magath is the son of a former Puerto Rican soldier in the United States Army stationed in Aschaffenburg and a German mother. Both were abandoned by his father in 1954, when he returned to his homeland. The adolescent Magath first heard from his father when he was 15 years old, after he wrote a letter to Puerto Rico. In 1999, he visited Puerto Rico and finally met his father. They established a relationship and started visiting each other twice a year ever since.
Magath is also a chess enthusiast, an interest which he developed during the 1978 World Chess Championship while he was bedridden due to hepatitis. In 1985, he played in a simultaneous exhibition against Garry Kasparov.
|1974–75||1. FC Saarbrücken||2. Bundesliga||38||12|
National team statistics
|Germany national team|
- Score and results list West Germany's goal tally first.
|1.||10 September 1980||St. Jakob-Park, Basel||Switzerland||2–0||3–2||Friendly|
|2.||14 October 1981||Praterstadion, Vienna||Austria||2–1||3–1||1982 World Cup qualifier|
|3.||27 March 1985||Ludwigsparkstadion, Saarbrücken||Malta||2–0||6–0||1986 World Cup qualifier|
- As of 25 October 2012
|Hamburger SV II||1 July 1993||5 October 1995||73||25||18||30||108||129||−21||34.25|
|Hamburger SV||5 October 1995||18 May 1997||71||29||20||22||107||106||+1||40.85|
|1. FC Nürnberg||1 September 1997||30 June 1998||29||16||8||5||43||21||+22||55.17|
|Werder Bremen||22 October 1998||10 May 1999||28||10||8||10||32||35||−3||35.71|
|Eintracht Frankfurt||27 December 1999||29 January 2001||37||15||5||17||49||59||−10||40.54|
|VfB Stuttgart||23 February 2001||30 June 2004||208||91||54||63||305||241||+64||43.75|
|Bayern Munich||1 July 2004||31 January 2007||135||85||26||24||270||136||+134||62.96|
|VfL Wolfsburg||15 June 2007||30 June 2009||85||46||18||21||180||110||+70||54.12|
|Schalke 04||1 July 2009||16 March 2011||83||44||16||23||125||82||+43||53.01|
|VfL Wolfsburg||18 March 2011||25 October 2012||52||18||10||24||69||87||−18||34.62|
- Hamburger SV:
- "Magath answers Bayern call". UEFA.com. 19 May 2004. Retrieved 13 September 2009.
- "Hitzfeld installed as Bayern axe Magath". The Guardian. 31 January 2007. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
- "Magath handed power at Wolfsburg". UEFA.com. 31 May 2007. Retrieved 13 September 2009.
- "Magath to sign four-year contract as general manager and head coach". Schalke 04. 6 May 2009. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
- "Schalke part company with Felix Magath". Schalke 04. 16 March 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
- Michael Schreiber (26 May 2003). ""Quälix" wird zum Pädagogen" ["Quälix" turns pedagogue]. Sport.ard. Retrieved 11 February 2008.
- "Salou: Magath wie Diktator" (in German). Rheinische Post Online. 5 January 2001. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
- Hesse-Lichtenberger, Uli (8 October 2003). "This season's dark horses". ESPN. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
- "Partien zugleich: 10 Sekunden pro Zug". Der Spiegel (in German). 10 June 1985. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
- Arnhold, Matthias (30 October 2004). "Felix Wolfgang Magath – International Appearances". RSSSF. Retrieved 26 May 2012.