Fubball is still eberhard vogel’s elixir of life. Even as a pensioner, he can’t let go of it. Every wednesday he is there when the oldies of jena meet at the abbe sports field.
"Those who can still walk a bit, like lothar kurbjuweit, harald irmscher, bernd stange or jurgen raab, play there. I go there more for a chat and a beer afterwards," says the former furrowed left-winger, who turns 70 on monday.
For 20 years, from 1962 to 1982, the saxon-born player made a record 440 appearances in the top division. He scored 188 goals – the second most in the GDR’s top flight. He won the championship with FC karl marxstadt (now chemnitz FC) and the cup three times with FC carl zeiss jena. In 1969, he was voted GDR soccer player of the year. He also won two olympic bronze medals, in tokyo in 1964 and in munich in 1972. In the jena jersey, however, he also suffered what was probably the bitterest defeat of his career. Even today, he still regrets the 1:2 in the final of the 1981 european cup winners’ cup in dusseldorf against dynamo tiflis.
In the national team jersey, vogel scored 25 times in 75 internationals. His most famous goal was probably the 40-meter strike against peter shilton at wembley. Vogel himself remembers the incomparable atmosphere of the match in front of 100,000 spectators at the 1:3 defeat against england and the burial by the queen with a handshake. He considers his most spectacular goal to be a directly converted corner kick in 1964 against the then european champions, the soviet union. "It takes luck. But i deliberately tried it with my left aubenrist," says the internationally courted full-blooded striker of yesteryear.
After a game of the GDR selection, the pele club FC santos once offered a draw sum of 1.5 million marks and 500 000 marks hand money for vogel. But the down-to-earth "matz" vogel was not allowed to become the first GDR professional abroad, nor did he want to.
After his active career, the qualified sports teacher won a complete set of medals at the world championships and european championships as a coach with three gdr junior teams. Matthias sammer, andreas thom and frank rost were among the players back then. After reunification, vogel was the first "ossi" head coach in the bundesliga at hannover 96 from 1992 to 1993.
He considers jena’s 1995 promotion to the 2nd division to be his greatest coaching success. Bundesliga and magdeburg cup sensations with victories against 1. FC koln, the karlsruher SC and the FC bayern munchen a. The financial success saved the club from insolvency at the time, but ultimately did not save vogel’s job.
He now only follows jena soccer, which has slipped into the fourth league, as a spectator. "Sad what has become of the traditional club," says vogel. The 50 or so birthday guests who want to celebrate with him in a small circle in a jena guesthouse will see it similarly.