Hennes Weisweiler

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Hennes Weisweiler
Hennes Weisweiler im Vorbereitungstrainingslager Schöneck.jpg
Personal information
Full name Hans Weisweiler
Date of birth (1919-12-05)5 December 1919
Place of birth Erftstadt-Lechenich, Germany
Date of death 5 July 1983(1983-07-05) (aged 63)
Place of death Zürich, Switzerland
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1948–1952 1. FC Köln 62 (0)
Teams managed
1948–1952 1. FC Köln (player-coach)
1952–1954 Rheydter SpV
1954–1955 Germany (assistant)
1955–1958 1. FC Köln
1958–1964 Viktoria Köln
1964–1975 Borussia Mönchengladbach
1975–1976 FC Barcelona
1976–1980 1. FC Köln
1980–1982 New York Cosmos
1982–1983 Grasshopper
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Hans "Hennes" Weisweiler (5 December 1919 in Lechenich, Rhine Province – 5 July 1983 in Zürich, Switzerland) was a German footballer and coach.

With 11 titles, 8 thereof with German clubs, he is one of the most successful coaches of all time. But his influence went well beyond. At the German Sports Academy in Cologne he was between 1957 and 1970 responsible for the training of hundreds of coaches from all over the world. In 2005, the training centre for coaches there was named in his honour Hennes-Weisweiler-Academy.[1]

His work will remain most closely associated with the fortunes of Borussia Mönchengladbach in the 1960s and 70s and 1. FC Köln in the 1950s and the second half of the 1970s. He is also famous for having unearthed the talents of many outstanding football players, such as Günter Netzer, Berti Vogts, Jupp Heynckes, Rainer Bonhof, Allan Simonsen, Uli Stielike, and many more.

From player to coach in Cologne[edit]

After 1. FC Köln was founded in 1948, Weisweiler featured in the first ever line up of the club. After the club was promoted in 1949 into the western division of the then five ways split West-German first division (Oberliga), he was given the role of player manager. In this position, which he held until 1952 he played himself still 62 times in the league.

In 1955, he returned to the club for another three years as head coach, but left in 1958 to join local rivals Viktoria Köln, which also played in the Oberliga, but the club remained in the shadow of the 1. FC. After the foundation of the Bundesliga in 1963, Viktoria played in the second German division and with place four achieved its best ever ranking in the last year of Weisweiler's reign of the club.

Years in Mönchengladbach[edit]

In 1964 he took over as manager with Borussia Mönchengladbach. The club still held relatively fresh memories from its one and only major title, the win in the German cup of 1960, but found itself after the inception of the Bundesliga in the second division where it finished just eighth in the previous year.

But he found a team with some exciting local talent, such as the 19 year old Günter Netzer and Jupp Heynckes. Also Bernd Rupp and Herbert Laumen were notable and should at a later stage also feature in the national team. Inside a year Borussia ended on top of the league and gained promotion to the Bundesliga.

Hennes Weisweiler and the names of the players of the "Team of the Century"

With the beginning of the new season another remarkable 19 year old was to join the team: Berti Vogts. But the first years in the Bundesliga remained learning years. Despite the later addition of another talented man named Herbert Wimmer, Borussia only achieved the 13th and eighth places in the league. In its third year the club grabbed for the first time the attention of a wider audience and finished third, despite losing Heynckes to Hannover 96. The team, by now famed for their attacking style, managed to repeat this success in the following year. At the beginning of the 1969–70 season, they were even widely tipped as being the holders Bayern Munich's main rival for the Championship, even more so as the defense could be strengthened, e.g., with international Ludwig Müller, and the attack reinforced with the addition of Danish international Ulrik Le Fevre. Most important however was that the talents like Horst Köppel, himself a Borussia coach in decades to come, had reached sufficient maturity to hold their own on the highest level. Decisive was also Weisweiler's ability to find and add further gifted young players seemingly at will. This "youth culture" eventually gave Borussia the nickname they still carry today: the Foals.

Indeed, by the end of the year the team was champion for the first time and another twelve months later the club from the small town became the first side in Bundesliga history to defend the title. With a 4–1 away win in Frankfurt the Borussia could fend of a late Bayern challenge on the last matchday.

Their first European Champions Cup participation ended in the second round when after two 1–1 draws with Everton Borussia lacked the necessary luck in the penalty shoot-out. This was unfortunate. Their second challenge ended in heartbreak. This time Helenio Herrera's catenaccio specialists Inter Milan came to visit the Bökelberg stadium. After 90 minutes an unstoppable Borussia had wiped them off 7–1! But, during the course of the match Inter's Roberto Boninsegna was allegedly hit by an empty soft drink can and had himself spectacularly stretchered off. There was no real evidence of this fact apart from an empty drink can being presented to the referee and some accompanying words from Inter officials. Despite this, UEFA annulled the match and had it repeated after the return match on neutral ground in Berlin. Inter won the return match against a Borussia seemingly shocked by this decision with 4–2 and managed to defend a 0–0 in the Berlin match.

Also in the Bundesliga it was not the year of the Foals. Only three days after the initial triumph against Inter they defeated the surprise team of the season and vice-champion in the making, Schalke 04, dashingly with 7–0, but Bayern Munich got the title and Borussia ended up third. Before the season, Borussia had to let Dietrich, Horst Köppel and Herbert Laumen go and thus all parts of the team were crucially weakened, as new talents such Rainer Bonhof and Dietmar Danner were not yet in a position to fill the gaps.

The 1972–73 season saw a further restructuring of the team. This time experienced players such as Ulrik Le Fevre left the club. New to the team were two young Danish forwards: Henning Jensen and Allan Simonsen. Whilst the first one made an immediate impact, the 19 year old diminutive lightweight Simonsen was immediately regarded a dud by everyone who had an opportunity to see him in one of his rare appearances. Weisweiler's expressions of belief in the player where met with general disbelief. Only five years later Simonsen should be Europe's Player of the Year and history regards him these days as the greatest player ever from Denmark.

However, the season was overshadowed by the first great conflict of Weisweiler with his star. Günter Netzer was alongside his club mates Herbert Wimmer and Jupp Heynckes part of the stunning German side that won the 1972 European Championship in Belgium, and many thought he was this tournaments most glamorous player. Essentially, in Weisweiler's teams, if there was a star it was supposed to be him. The conflict ended in divorce and a few weeks before the end of the season Netzer's departure to Real Madrid was announced. There was still one important match to go: the cup final in Düsseldorf, not just against anyone, but Weisweiler's original club 1. FC Köln. The atmosphere was highly emotionally charged. The coach left Netzer on the bench. Nevertheless, the match evolved into probably the greatest of all German cup finals. Despite a temperature of 35° both teams played fully devoted to attack, but on both sides the keepers, Borussia's Wolfgang Kleff and Cologne's Gerhard Welz performed absolute world class, the latter even saving a penalty by Heynckes in the second half. In the short break before extra time Netzer stepped on the field and approached the exhausted Kulik and told him that his match is over and put himself into the team. When the referee restarted the match Netzer, in his first possession of the ball, scored the stunning, unforgettable winner for Borussia after a give and go with Bonhof. Thus ended one of football's great associations – the sour end of it probably also being a factor why Borrussia only ended up fifth in the league that season.

Interpersonal issues out of the way, Weisweiler had more time again for team building. This paid off when a consolidated Borussia ended the 1973–74 season second. Again, Weisweiler managed to infuse new talent into his side, Uli Stielike being probably the most remarkable in this phase. He ended up later in Netzer's footsteps at Real Madrid.

The new-found harmony also helped Weisweiler to a formidable farewell season. With 86 goals, never before and never again achieved by the club, the team cruised to the championship. To boot, Borussia got also their first international title when after a disappointing 0–0 draw at home FC Twente from Enschede was wiped off 5–1 in the second leg of the UEFA Cup final. Thus ended an exciting eleven years of Weisweiler in Mönchengladbach, a time in which he undelibly engraved the club in German and even European football history, a time in which Borussia Mönchengladbach spilled out first class talents in an unrivalled fashion.

FC Barcelona[edit]

Weisweiler moved after eleven years in Mönchengladbach in the summer of 1975 to the Spanish top club Barcelona. His predecessor Rinus Michels returned after four years with the Catalans back to Amsterdam. When asked why he would leave Mönchengladbach at the height of his influence and success, he said in an interview: "I have shaped a team with my style. Now I'll try to enforce it in Spain."[2]

With FC Barcelona and the Dutch Stars Cruyff and Johan Neeskens he wanted to achieve his aim, to win the European Champions Cup. But right from day one, Cruyff and Weisweiler were in a "state of war". "Weisweiler is not the manager of my choice", stated the Dutch playmaker, who guessed that he would get under Weisweiler apparently not the kind of freedom to play as he was used to.

Coaching record[edit]

As of 20 January 2014
Team From To Record
G W D L Win % Ref.
1. FC Köln 1 July 1949[3] 30 June 1952[3]
Rheydter SV 1 July 1952[4] 30 June 1954[4]
1. FC Köln 1 July 1955[3] 30 June 1958[3]
Borussia Mönchengladbach 27 April 1964[5] 30 June 1975[5] 404 206 96 102 50.99 [5]
Barcelona 1 July 1975[6] 30 June 1976[6] 44 24 8 12 54.55
1. FC Köln 1 July 1976[3] 15 April 1980[3] 171 95 36 40 55.56
New York Cosmos 1 July 1980[7] 31 December 1981[7]
Grasshopper Club Zürich 1 July 1982[8] 5 July 1983[8]
Total 619 325 140 154 52.50

Career overview[edit]

Career as Player
Period Club Successes
1948–1952¹ 1. FC Köln Oberliga West: 62 matches
Division II: 37 matches / 10 goals
1949: promotion to Oberliga (Div. I)
¹ from 1949 as Player-Manager
Career as Coach
Period Club Titles
1949–1952¹ 1. FC Köln
1955–1958 1. FC Köln
1958–1964 Viktoria Köln
1964–1975 Borussia Mönchengladbach Championship: 1970, 71, 75
German Cup:1973
UEFA Cup: 1975
1975–1976 FC Barcelona
1976–1980 1. FC Köln Championship:1978
German Cup: 1977, 78
1980–1981 New York Cosmos Championship: 1980
1982–1983 Grasshopper Club Zürich Championship: 1983
Cup: 1983
¹ as Player-Manager

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hennes-Weisweiler-Akademie" (in German). Stadt Köln. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "Paktiker ohne Probleme". Die Zeit. 13 June 1975. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "1. FC Köln » Trainerhistorie". World Football. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "Rheydter SV » Trainerhistorie". World Football. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c "Bor. Mönchengladbach" (in German). kicker. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "FC Barcelona » Trainerhistorie". FC Barcelona » Trainerhistorie. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "New York Cosmos (old) » Trainerhistorie". World Football. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Grasshoppers Zürich » Trainerhistorie". World Football. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Wiel Coerver
UEFA Cup
Winning Coach

1974–1975
Succeeded by
Bob Paisley