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Alexandru "Elek" Schwartz (23 October 1908 – 2 October 2000) was a Romanian footballer and coach of the Dutch national football team.[1] With S.L. Benfica he won the national Championship and Cup trophies of 1965 and led the club into the final of the European Champion Clubs' Cup.[2]

Elek Schwartz
Elek Schwartz 1972.jpg
Schwartz in 1972
Personal information
Full name Alexandru Schwartz
Date of birth (1908-10-23)23 October 1908
Place of birth Temesrekas, Austria-Hungary
(today Recaş, Romania)
Date of death 2 October 2000(2000-10-02) (aged 91)
Place of death Haguenau, France
Playing position Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1926–1930 Kadima Timișoara
1930–1932 CA Timişoara
1932–1934 Hyères FC
1934–1936 Cannes
1936–1938 Strasbourg
1938–1939 Red Star Olympique
National team
1931–1932 Romania B 2 (0)
Teams managed
1948–1949 Cannes
1950–1952 Monaco
1952–1953 Le Havre
1953–1955 SF Hamborn 07
1955–1957 Rot-Weiss Essen
1957–1964 Netherlands
1964–1965 Benfica
1965–1968 Eintracht Frankfurt
1969–1970 Porto
1970–1971 FC Dordrecht
1971–1972 Sparta Rotterdam
1972–1973 1860 Munich
1976–1977 Strasbourg
1978–1979 SR Haguenau
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only


Playing careerEdit

Schwartz was Coupe de France finalist with RC Strasbourg in 1937.

Elek Schwartz initially started playing near his hometown Recaş, in Timişoara. Later he played professional football in the French Ligue 1 with FC Hyères (1932–1934), AS Cannes (1934–36), Racing Strasbourg (1936–38) and Red Star Olympique (1938–39).[3]

Coaching careerEdit

Beginnings as coach on the Côte d'AzurEdit

He started his coaching career in France with AS Cannes (1948–49) and from there continued to AS Monaco (1950–1952) and Le Havre AC (1952–53).[3]

Early years in GermanyEdit

In 1953 he was hired by SF Hamborn 07. In his second season with the club from the suburb of Duisburg he led the club to promotion to the western division of the five ways split first division of Germany, the Oberliga West.

In 1955, he was appointed as manager by then German champions, Rot-Weiss Essen coaching among others Helmut Rahn there. In the next couple of years he led the team to ranks 4 and 8 in the Oberliga West.

Manager of the Dutch national teamEdit

Schwartz (middle) as manager of the Netherlands in 1961

After leaving Rot-Weiss Essen, Schwartz joined the Dutch football association, the KNVB and took on the reins of the Dutch national football team. He guided the team through 49 matches.

However, this was in an era when Dutch football had yet to achieve the standing it has held since the 1970s. Results varied extremely and included 7–0 defeat to Germany in 1959 in Cologne, as well as back to back 1–0 wins against France and world champions Brazil in 1963. He held the position of national coach until 1964, when Denis Neville replaced him.

European Cup Final with BenficaEdit

In 1964–65, he coached Portuguese club S.L. Benfica, then with Eusébio. There he led them to their first third-consecutive league title.[4]

After this, Benfica overcame Real Madrid in the quarterfinals of the European Cup of Champions and eventually even made it all the way to the final, where Benfica had to yield to the masters of the Catenaccio, the Helenio Herrera coached team of Inter Milan, who won 1–0, thus failing what would be Benfica's third European Cup title.

Bundesliga with Eintracht Frankfurt and FC Porto spellEdit

From July 1965 to June 1968 Schwartz coached – as successor to Ivica HorvatEintracht Frankfurt in the German Bundesliga. There he introduced the 4–2–4 system. Nevertheless, place 4 was as good as it got in the league. During the 1966–67 season he won the International Football Cup and the Coppa delle Alpi. In the same year he led his side to the semifinals of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.

In 1969–70, he coached FC Porto. Not only that the Dragons exited already in the first round of the national cup competition and in the second round of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup – in the end Porto was only ninth in the league, the club's worst finishing ever.

End of the career in Munich and StrasbourgEdit

In the 1972–73 season, Schwartz coached TSV 1860 Munich, but he could not help them to fulfill their aspirations to return to the Bundesliga after then three years of absence.

He had more luck in 1976–77, when in the course of his last professional engagement he led Racing Strasbourg to promotion to the French Ligue 1.[3]

After this he guided the Alsatian amateur side SR Haguenau, today's FCSR Haguenau, through the 1978–79 season.

Haguenau, he decided, was also a nice place for him to spend the rest of his life.[citation needed]


In 1996, he was invited by the Royal Dutch Football Association to the inauguration of the Amsterdam Arena.


External linksEdit