* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (goals)
Stefan Effenberg (German pronunciation: [ˈʃtɛfan ˈɛfəmbɛɐ̯k]; born 2 August 1968) is a retired German footballer and current manager of SC Paderborn. A midfielder, he possessed leadership skills, fantastic passing range, powerful shooting ability, physical strength, but also a fearsome and controversial character.
In the Bundesliga alone – where he represented Bayern Munich most notably, in six seasons and in two different spells – Effenberg collected 109 yellow cards, an all-time worst at the time of his retirement.
Born and raised in Niendorf, Hamburg on 2 August 1968, Stefan Effenberg started his professional career with Borussia Mönchengladbach, being an undisputed first-choice by age 20. This prompted the interest from Bundesliga giants FC Bayern Munich, and he proceeded to score 19 goals in his first two seasons combined, but the club did not win any silverware whatsoever.
During a group game against South Korea in the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Effenberg "gave the finger" to German fans at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas when he got substituted after a subpar performance; the Germans were then only one goal up, after leading 3–0. German coach Berti Vogts was so outraged by this incident that he dropped Effenberg from the team on the spot, and declared that he was finished as an international player.
Effenberg didn't appear in another international match again until 1998, when was briefly re-instated to the national team for a couple of friendly matches in September, under Erich Ribbeck after Vogts was ousted as national team coach. They turned out to be his last caps for Germany.
Effenberg had a history of attracting attention and ire from fans and other players alike with his behaviour. In 1991, prior to a UEFA Cup game against then-semi-professional Cork City, Effenberg told the press he was sure of a victory, saying Cork City midfielder Dave Barry was "like (his) grandfather". Barry got his retribution by scoring the opening goal in the team's 1–1 draw at Musgrave Park.
In the late 1990s, Effenberg was rarely out of the tabloids, especially when he left his wife Martina and revealed an affair with Claudia Strunz, who at that time was the wife of former team mate Thomas Strunz. Later, the player published a controversial autobiography, notorious for its blatant contents – which included lashing out at some other football professionals, namely club and national side mate, Lothar Matthäus.
In 2001, Effenberg was fined after being found guilty of assaulting a woman in a nightclub. The following year, he implied that unemployed people in Germany were in fact too lazy to look for work, and demanded they took benefit cuts. The interview issued in Playboy.
Strunz and Effenberg were married in 2004, and the player also had three children from his first marriage; the couple then relocated to Florida.