Horst Szymaniak

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Horst Szymaniak
Personal information
Full name Horst Szymaniak
Date of birth (1934-08-29)29 August 1934
Place of birth Erkenschwick, Germany
Date of death 9 October 2009(2009-10-09) (aged 75)
Place of death Melle, Germany
Playing position Defensive midfielder/Box-to-box midfielder
Youth career
1943–1952 SpVgg Erkenschwick
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1952–1955 SpVgg Erkenschwick 50 (11)
1955–1959 Wuppertaler SV 91 (12)
1959–1961 Karlsruher SC 53 (2)
1961–1963 Catania 62 (8)
1963–1964 Internazionale Milano 6 (0)
1964–1965 Varese 23 (0)
1965–1966 Tasmania 1900 Berlin 29 (1)
1966 FC Biel
1967 Chicago Spurs 12 (1)
National team
1956–1966 West Germany 43 (2)
1956–1965 West Germany B 2 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Horst "Schimmi" Szymaniak (born 29 August 1934 in Oer-Erkenschwick – died 9 October 2009 in Melle) was a German footballer who played as a midfielder.

Club career[edit]

The clubs Szymaniak played for include: SpVgg Erkenschwick, Wuppertaler SV, Karlsruher SC, Calcio Catania, F.C. Internazionale Milano, A.S. Varese 1910, and Tasmania 1900 Berlin[1] for whom he played in the 1965–66 season, the side's only season in the Bundesliga.

Szymaniak was a defensive midfielder who usually played as a left half back and less frequently as an inside forward. He had very good ball skills, had good vision and was able to make unerringly accurate long passes to a team mate. He was renowned for his slide tackling ability, so much so this became his trademark ability.

He was renowned as one of the best players in German football during the late 1950s and early 1960s, with kicker (sports magazine) rating him world class five times between 1957 and 1961 in their biennial Rangliste des deutschen Fußballs (ranking list of German football).[2]

International career[edit]

Szymaniak played 43 times and scored two goals for the West Germany national football team between 1956 and 1966,[3] and was chosen to play in both the 1958 and the 1962 World Cups, but was omitted by Helmut Schön from his 1966 squad.


Szymaniak died after a long illness on 9 October 2009 in a nursing home in Melle near Osnabrück.[4]


  1. ^ "Horst Szymaniak" (in German). weltfussball.de. Retrieved 9 October 2009.
  2. ^ "Rating of German Players [1955 to 2008]". BigSoccer. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  3. ^ "Horst Szymaniak" (in German). fussballdaten.de. Retrieved 9 October 2009.
  4. ^ "DFB trauert um Horst Szymaniak" (in German). dfb.de. 9 October 2009. Archived from the original on 8 September 2009. Retrieved 9 October 2009.