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Frank Mill (born 23 July 1958) is a German former footballer who was part of the 1990 FIFA World Cup winning squad of West Germany. Further, he participated at the 1984 and at the 1988 Summer Olympics, where he won the bronze medal with the German team.
Mill in 2013.
|Full name||Frank Mill|
|Date of birth||23 July 1958|
|Place of birth||Essen, West Germany|
|Height||1.76 m (5 ft 9 1⁄2 in)|
|1980||West Germany U-21||2||(0)|
|1983–1988||West Germany Olympic||20||(10)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
A clinical striker in his prime, the son of a junk dealer started his career at the age of six at local side Eintracht Essen before he joined the youth ranks of Essen's biggest club, Rot-Weiss Essen, in 1972. Starting job training to become a florist, his mother owned a flower shop, Mill signed his first professional contract with Rot-Weiss in 1976. Essen was a Bundesliga side in his debut season, a campaign in which those three goals he banged in total 19 appearances couldn't avoid their drop down to 2. Bundesliga North. In that division he grew to a reliable hitman, scoring 71 goals for Rot-Weiss (at times alongside Horst Hrubesch) until the end of the 1981 season, forty of those just in his 38 appearances of 1979–80. A tally that identified him as the topscorer of 2. Bundesliga Nord and easily made him a chased starlet. A move to Borussia Mönchengladbach under manager Jupp Heynckes brought him back to top level Bundesliga in 1981.
At Mönchengladbach he kept on scoring, netting fourteen in his first year under contract. Only eight months into his life at Bökelberg he got called up by Jupp Derwall to represent Germany for the first time in his career. On 21 March 1982, he featured in a friendly against Brazil in Rio de Janeiro. A back injury forced him out of contention for the West German squad for the 1982 FIFA World Cup tournament. The mentioned injury hampered his scoring spree slightly for just the then next season. During 1983–84 he was back on top of Mönchengladbach's scoring, firing nineteen goals past opposite goalkeepers in the Bundesliga. Missing out on the Bundesliga title with his club just on the final day and only on goal difference, the striker had to deal with a second major blow as Mönchengladbach also lost the DFB-Pokal final that summer, on penalties against Bayern Munich (with his Bayern Munich-bound team-mate Lothar Matthäus failing to score from the spot in the shoot-out). Mill scored the only Mönchengladbach goal in normal time in that match.
Later that summer he participated in the 1984 Summer Olympics and was still Borussia Mönchengladbach's best striker when fellow Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund persuaded him to switch over to them at the end of the 1985–86 Bundesliga season. As Mönchengladbach was receiving adequate compensation (1.3 million DM) for his services, a transfer was worked out. Still, the move remained somewhat in the balance for a couple of weeks as troubled Dortmund had to go through three relegation play-offs that summer to ensure their Bundesliga future. Particularly Mill inspired Dortmund to a less troubled 1986–87 season, the striker's seventeen goals in thirty-one appearances in the Bundesliga that year helped Dortmund up to a fourth-place finish and a berth in the UEFA Cup the following season. His scoring punch made him a popular figure at Westfalenstadion immediately and subsequently earned him the role of team captain, outside his club he was part of the squad of the host nation at Euro 1988. Increasingly popular and seen as a role model, a disagreement over his captaincy and his role within the Dortmund squad between the chairman, Dr. Gerd Niebaum, and the team manager, Reinhard Saftig, resulted in a change of manager at the club with Saftig's successor, Horst Köppel, leaving no doubt over him having the same point of view as the chairman regarding Mill's role for the club's first-team.
Mill looked a bit out of form after Köppel's take over, he had won bronze with Germany at the 1988 Summer Olympics in late summer 1988, and his once so impressive scoring quota faded. Still, he remained an important player for his club and was, kind of subsequently, part of the Dortmund team that lifted the DFB-Pokal trophy in 1989, beating bookie-favourites Werder Bremen in the final. At that time Mill was kind of an ageing marksman, but somehow still recognized by Franz Beckenbauer to still play a part in the German national football team and so he won a spot in the West German squad for the 1990 World Cup. A shrewd taker of any blunder an opponent was willing to concede inside the penalty-box, his reputation as one of the best strikers of his time helped 'Frankie' being part of the German squad there. With proven Rudi Völler and youngsters Jürgen Klinsmann and Karlheinz Riedle all well in front of him in Beckenbauer's striker thoughts, Mill stayed the unused fourth-choice striker in those successful Italian weeks of German football.
On club level his fading punch in front of the goal saw him going through a proper transformation from the scorer to the assist winner, but this couldn't stop him from getting more and more on the fringes of the Borussia Dortmund first-team. In 1991, Köppel departed as manager and his successor at the helm of Dortmund's coaching, then fameless Ottmar Hitzfeld, started to set his stamp on the development of the club. With Stephane Chapuisat and Flemming Povlsen Hitzfeld's regular picks in the Dortmund frontline, Mill was more and more handed a sub-role and, at the end of Hitzfeld's debut season in charge of the club, missing out on the Bundesliga title again. For the second time in his career and, again, just on goal difference and due to final day action. Still the fan favourite at Westfalenstadion, Mill saw out his deal with the club in 1994 to join promoted Fortuna Düsseldorf in the 2nd Bundesliga. There he enjoyed two more seasons in the game, scoring five times in his first season at Rheinstadion, efforts that helped Fortuna returning to the Bundesliga. His final twelve months as a professional, the 1995–96 season, saw him having a bright start with two goals in the first three matches. He couldn't add any more in the final 26 appearances for Düsseldorf and though his final Bundesliga total was 123 goals in 387 appearances for Borussia Mönchengladbach, Borussia Dortmund and Fortuna Düsseldorf.
Short after the end of his career, Fortuna Düsseldorf offered him a role as a director in their management. A role he later left by mutual consent following bad success.
- Borussia Mönchengladbach
- Borussia Dortmund
- West Germany
- "Frank Mill". worldfootball.net. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- Matthias Arnhold (5 February 2015). "Frank Mill - International Appearances". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
- Matthias Arnhold (5 February 2015). "Frank Mill - Matches and Goals in Bundesliga". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 13 February 2015.