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Manfred "Manni" Burgsmüller (22 December 1949 – 18 May 2019) was a German footballer who played mainly as a striker – he could occasionally operate as a midfielder.[1]

Manfred Burgsmüller
Personal information
Date of birth (1949-12-22)22 December 1949
Place of birth Essen, West Germany
Date of death 18 May 2019(2019-05-18) (aged 69)
Place of death Essen, Germany
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 9 12 in)
Playing position Striker / Midfielder
Youth career
0000–1967 VfB Recklinghausen
1967–1968 Rot-Weiss Essen
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1968–1971 Rot-Weiss Essen 12 (0)
1971–1974 Bayer Uerdingen 101 (80)
1974–1976 Rot-Weiss Essen 64 (32)
1976 Bayer Uerdingen 7 (1)
1976–1983 Borussia Dortmund 224 (135)
1983–1984 1. FC Nürnberg 34 (12)
1984–1985 Rot-Weiß Oberhausen 50 (36)
1985–1990 Werder Bremen 115 (34)
Total 607 (330)
National team
1975–1978 West Germany B 8 (8)
1977–1978 West Germany 3 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

He appeared in 447 Bundesliga games over the course of 17 seasons, mainly for Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen, scoring 213 goals.[2] After retiring professionally in his 40's, he played as a kicker in American football.


Football careerEdit

During his early career, Burgsmüller played in two different spells for local Rot-Weiss Essen and Bayer Uerdingen alike. In his first stint with the latter club, in the regional leagues, he scored 29 goals in two separate seasons, followed by 22. After failing to score initially for Essen, he returned in 1974 and netted an average of 16 per year.

In October 1976, Burgsmüller left Uerdingen for Borussia Dortmund. At Dortmund, he fielded almost exclusively as a midfielder, but also had the most productive years of his career individually there, never netting fewer than 15 goals in the Bundesliga). In the 1980–81 campaign, he scored a career-best – in division one – 27 goals, helping the North Rhine-Westphalia side finish in seventh position, and ranking second in the goalscorers' chart, just two behind Karl-Heinz Rummenigge who played for champions FC Bayern Munich.

After one sole season with 1. FC Nürnberg, Burgsmüller moved to the second level with Rot-Weiß Oberhausen. In his first year, he was crucial as the team narrowly avoided relegation, scoring 29 times and being crowned Torjäger, with 12 goals more than the next player.

Burgsmüller started the next season in scoring fashion, netting seven times in only 15 matches. In November 1985, at nearly 36, he returned to the first division, signing for SV Werder Bremen where he would achieve team success: he scored in his first game, a 2–1 win at Borussia Mönchengladbach, adding two in his third, a 6–0 home routing of VfB Stuttgart, and totalling 13 in only 20 matches for the campaign, as Werder finished second; during his spell, the veteran appeared in 115 league games with 34 goals, being an important attacking element in the conquest of the 1988 league title.

Burgsmüller retired at almost 41, also having appeared three times for West Germany, in friendlies comprised in a three-month span.[3] His debut came on 16 November 1977, in a 4–1 win with Switzerland.

After footballEdit

Burgsmüller made a comeback in NFL Europe in 1996, being Rhein Fire's kicker from 1996 to 2002, becoming the oldest professional American football player in history, at age 52. He also won two World Bowls, in 1998 and 2000.

Burgsmüller died on 18 May 2019 in Essen.



  1. ^ "Burgsmüller, Manfred" (in German). Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  2. ^ Arnhold, Matthias (23 July 2015). "Manfred Burgsmüller – Matches and Goals in Bundesliga". RSSSF. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  3. ^ Arnhold, Matthias (23 July 2015). "Manfred Burgsmüller – International Appearances". RSSSF. Retrieved 30 July 2015.

External linksEdit