Karl-Heinz Schnellinger

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Karl-Heinz Schnellinger
Karl-Heinz Schnellinger.jpg
Schnellinger in 1968
Personal information
Full name Karl-Heinz Schnellinger
Date of birth (1939-03-31) 31 March 1939 (age 76)
Place of birth Düren, Germany
Playing position Left-back / Sweeper
Youth career
1949–1958 SG Düren 99
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1958–1963 1. FC Köln 84 (8)
1963–1964 AC Mantova 33 (2)
1964–1965 AS Roma 29 (1)
1965–1974 AC Milan 222 (0)
1974–1975 Tennis Borussia Berlin 19 (0)
Total 387 (13)
National team
1957 West Germany Amateur 1 (0)
1958–1971 West Germany 47 (1)

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

† Appearances (Goals).

Karl-Heinz Schnellinger (born 31 March 1939, in Düren) is a former German footballer.[1] He was one of the world's best defenders for a decade in the 1960s. He was nicknamed the "Volkswagen" for his continuity of performance, both in quantity and in quality. In his prime he was usually considered one of the best leftbacks in the world in his era rivaled only by Giacinto Facchetti, Nilton Santos and Silvio Marzolini.

Club career[edit]

He won the German championship with 1. FC Köln in 1962, and was awarded the (German Footballer of the Year), performed superb in the World Cup and was subsequently named in the World Cup Dream-Team 11. His debut in the Serie A came in 1963, when Schnellinger left 1. FC Köln for A.C. Mantova, in a match against A.C. Milan which ended in a surprising 4–1 victory for A.C. Mantova. However he played there only for one season, and was signed by A.S. Roma in 1964 when they won the Coppa Italia, and finally by A.C. Milan in 1965. Schnellinger was bought up together with Roma teammate Angelillo and Sormani. He played nine seasons with the Rossoneri, obtaining several successes both at the national and European level. He was one of the first successful German footballers abroad.

International career[edit]

He participated in his first 1958 World Cup in Sweden at the young age of 19, and went on to become one of the few players to play in 4 World Cups (1958, 1962, 1966, 1970).[2] He was renowned for his physical power, pace, and his winning mentality. His only international goal came in the last minute to draw 1–1 in the thrilling semi-final of the 1970 World Cup against Italy which later became known as the "Game of the Century". Italy eventually won 4–3 after extra time. He won his last cap in 1971.[3]


Schnellinger left A.C. Milan in 1974, and retired after a season back in his native Germany for Tennis Borussia Berlin.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Today Schnellinger still lives in Milans suburb of Segrate and works as businessman.



1. FC Köln

A.S. Roma

AC Milan


West Germany



  1. ^ "Karl-Heinz Schnellinger" (in German). fussballdaten.de. Retrieved 11 February 2010. 
  2. ^ Karl-Heinz SchnellingerFIFA competition record
  3. ^ Matthias Arnhold (4 December 2004). "Karl-Heinz Schnellinger - International Appearances". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  4. ^ Matthias Arnhold (18 April 2013). "Karl-Heinz Schnellinger - Matches and Goals in Bundesliga". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 18 June 2013.