Kurt Hamrin and Erich Juskowiak (r) in 1958
|Date of birth||7 September 1926|
|Place of birth||Oberhausen, Germany|
|Date of death||1 July 1983(aged 56)|
|Place of death||Düsseldorf, West Germany|
|1943–1946||FC 08 Oberhausen|
|1950–1951||SSV 04 Wuppertal|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Erich Juskowiak (7 September 1926 in Oberhausen – 1 July 1983 in Düsseldorf) was a football player for the West German national team between 1951 and 1959. He earned 31 caps and 4 goals for Germany. His position was left back. He played in the World Cup Finals in 1958 where West Germany reached the semi-final.
Juskowiak served in World War II where he got injured several times and even survived a shot in the head. After the war, Juskowiak joined Rot-Weiß Oberhausen where he began as an outside forward. It soon was discovered though that he was more useful as a defender. After switching to the right back position, he got the attention of West German national team coach Sepp Herberger and debuted in the West German national team on 23 December 1951, against Luxembourg.
Juskowiak's hopes of making the 1954 West German World Cup squad however did not materialize, as it took three years - now playing for Fortuna Düsseldorf - before he played again for West Germany (December 1954). Switching from right back to left back frequently in the next two years, Juskowiak finally settled as a left back in 1957. By that time, Juskowiak was rated as one of the best full backs in West Germany. Based on his performances in 1958 and 1959, Kicker (sports magazine) rated him world class in their biennial Rangliste des deutschen Fußballs (ranking list of German football). He was mostly known for his very hard shot, which earned him his nickname "Hammer".
The pinnacle of his career came when he was a starter for West Germany in the 1958 FIFA World Cup. In the semifinal against hosts Sweden, his opponent was outside right Kurt Hamrin. After Juskowiak was fouled by Hamrin, he struck Hamrin down in revenge and was sent off in the 59th minute. He was the first German player to be sent off in a World Cup game.
After several injuries, Juskowiak ended his career in August 1961. His penultimate game for Fortuna Düsseldorf ended on a less laudable note: after a verbal dispute with spectators in the game against VfB Bottrop, he just left the pitch shortly before the end of the game without returning.
- Bitter, Jürgen. Deutschlands Fußball Nationalspieler, Sportverlag, 1997, p. 222.
- Arnhold, Matthias (8 June 2017). "Erich Juskowiak - International Appearances". RSSSF. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
- Arnhold, Matthias (8 June 2017). "Erich Juskowiak - Matches and Goals in Oberliga". RSSSF. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
- "BigSoccer: Kicker Rangliste des deutschen Fußballs 1955-2008".
- Keppel, Raphael. Deutschlands Fußball-Länderspiele, Sport- und Spielverlag, 1989, p. 251.