Ricken training with Borussia Dortmund
|Full name||Lars Ricken|
|Date of birth||10 July 1976|
|Place of birth||Dortmund, West Germany|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|1993–2002||Borussia Dortmund II||11||(2)|
|2008–2009||Borussia Dortmund II||28||(6)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
He was the youngest player to ever appear for Dortmund in an official match, a record later broken by Nuri Şahin. A German international for five years, Ricken represented the country at the 2002 World Cup and the 1999 Confederations Cup.
Born in Dortmund, Ricken joined local Borussia Dortmund at an early age, and made his Bundesliga debut on 8 March 1994 in a 1–2 home defeat against VfB Stuttgart, aged not yet 18. From the following season onwards, he became a regular.
Ricken scored a memorable long distance goal in the 1996–97 UEFA Champions League final against Juventus FC. That goal is to date the fastest goal in a final of the competition, finding the net after just 16 seconds on the field as a substitute. He also combined for 47 matches and eight goals in the side's back-to-back national titles (1994–96).
In the following years, Ricken's success was hampered by a series of injuries. An international since 10 September 1997, in a 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Armenia, he missed that major international tournament as well as UEFA Euro 2000. Later, he restored his form, helping Dortmund to claim the league title in 2002 by scoring a career-best six goals, and being selected by national coach Rudi Völler for the German squad at that year's World Cup; he did not play in the tournament however, as Germany emerged runners-up.
Ricken's injury woes returned after the World Cup and, as a consequence, he failed to earn recognition at both European or international level. In early April 2007, he was demoted to the reserve team by manager Thomas Doll, due to substandard performance.
In November 2007, Ricken announced his retirement from football. In an attempt to return to football, he briefly attended a training camp in February 2008 with the Columbus Crew of the Major League Soccer, but returned to Germany and Dortmund after a few days.
On 11 June 2008, Borussia Dortmund sport director Michael Zorc, also a former club footballer, announced that Ricken was to be hired as youth coordinator, with immediate effect, while still appearing for the club's amateur side, in Regionalliga West. However, on 16 February 2009, he announced his retirement from professional football.
- UEFA Champions League: 1996–97
- Intercontinental Cup: 1997
- Bundesliga: 1994–95, 1995–96, 2001–02
- UEFA Cup: Runner-up 2001–02
- DFB-Pokal: Runner-up 2007–08
- DFL-Ligapokal: Runner-up 2003