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|Full name||Josef Herberger|
|Date of birth||28 March 1897|
|Place of birth||Mannheim, German Empire|
|Date of death||28 April 1977(aged 80)|
|Place of death||Weinheim Hohensachen, West Germany|
|1926–1930||Tennis Borussia Berlin||43||(30)|
|1930–1932||Tennis Borussia Berlin|
|1932–1936||Germany (assistant coach)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Josef "Sepp" Herberger (28 March 1897 – 28 April 1977) was a German football player and manager. He is most famous for being the manager of the West German national team which won the 1954 FIFA World Cup final, a match later dubbed The Miracle of Bern, defeating the overwhelming favourites from Hungary. Previously he had also coached the Breslau Eleven, one of the greatest teams in German football history.
Born in Mannheim, Herberger played three times for the German football team between 1921 and 1925 before becoming assistant to Dr. Otto Nerz in 1932. Herberger succeeded him as national coach after Germany's uninspired loss to Norway at the 1936 Olympics. After the war he had a short club spell with Eintracht Frankfurt before being recalled as national team coach in 1950. He remained national coach until 1964, when he was succeeded by Helmut Schön. He died of pneumonia in Weinheim-Hohensachsen, aged 80.
1954 World Cup win / The Miracle of Bern
Hungary was the overwhelming favourite to win the 1954 World Cup. Its legendary Golden Team, also known as the Mighty Magyars, had not lost a match in 4 years. They were the reigning Olympic Champion and had won the Central European International Cup in 1953. Once the World Cup started, Hungary had been dominant, outscoring their opponents 17-3 in their two group games while West Germany had been outscored 7-9. In their match against each other, Hungary had won 8-3. The final was played in heavy rain. Hungary scored an early goal and minutes later doubled their lead. Germany pulled one back within two minutes, and equalized eight minutes after that. Hungary had more chances the rest of the way, but was unable to score. West Germany scored with 6 minutes left in the match to win 3-2. Among Herberger’s moves credited with helping the team in the final are: fielding a below strength and largely out-of-position team in the first match against Hungary, to disguise the team’s strengths; giving Fritz Walter defensive help so he could concentrate his energies on attacking; instructing his team to attack the Hungarian penalty area from the wings instead of down the middle.
References in popular culture
Three of these sayings are quoted in the beginning of the 1998 film Run Lola Run. The first is at the very beginning of the film (Nach dem Spiel ist vor dem Spiel, "After the game is before the game"). Then after a series of intentionally confusing and seemingly innocuous statements and character introductions, a simple minded security guard utters the phrase "Der Ball ist rund und das Spiel dauert 90 Minuten.", which is a commonly used amalgamation of two separate famous quotes.
The 2003 film, The Miracle of Bern, following Herberger and his team's path to victory in the 1954 world cup, also features a number of these quotations including the amalgamation of two of the above, "The ball is round and the game lasts for 90 minutes" (Der Ball ist rund und das Spiel dauert 90 Minuten).
- As of 22 January 2014
As a player
- VfR Mannheim
As a manager
- Das Große Spiel (1942)
- "German Federation Admits to Nazi Past". The New York Times. 20 September 2005. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
- "'Hall of Fame' Sparks Controversy: Germany Launches Valhalla of Sporting Legends". Der Spiegel. 6 May 2008. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
- "Nationaltrainer" (in German). DFB. Archived from the original on 3 January 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2014.