Interviews

Lothar Matthäus: Maradona, Beckenbauer and the Premier League

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In the lead-up to our chat, we also asked fans to pose some questions using the hashtag #AskLothar. Here is the pick of the bunch. Did your question get asked?

Kanye (@_villasssmil) asks: What was your favourite moment while playing with Bayern?

The best memories of course are the victories and the titles. I remember in particular the 1985-86 season, we were second the whole year and then on the final day we were competing with Werder Bremen. They had to lose in Stuttgart and we had to win at home against Mönchengladbach. They did lose at Stuttgart and we won at home and everybody was so emotional in the Olympic Stadium. It was sold out, 65,000 people, and after the game all the fans were coming onto the pitch and we had a big party. Nobody believed we could win the title because all season we were never in first. Only on the last game day, and it was an emotional championship.

NormanJ (@normanjalal) asks: Who is the best player in the current German national team?

For me it was Philipp Lahm, but he finished up after the last World Cup. Marco Reus from Borussia Dortmund is an excellent player. Also Manuel Neuer. He’s the best goalkeeper in the world and he has a new style. He plays like a sweeper and with him we have a guarantee to stop the other teams’ offence. Toni Kroos has made a step up and is a key player for the future and we have a lot of young talent. What we’re missing at the moment is a No.9. Germany has generally played with a No.9 like Uwe Seeler, Gert Mueller, Rudi Voeller, Karl Heinz-Rummenigge, Miroslav Klose. But we don’t have a player like that at this moment and we need to find one.

Hogni Atwood (@HogniSkoradal) asks: Who is the best player you ever played with?

The best player was Andreas Brehme. His specialty was you wouldn’t know if he would score with his right foot or with his left. He could shoot with either foot. Normally he was a left defender, which means everybody thought he was left-footed, which he was. But the penalty in the 1990 World Cup Final he shot with his right foot. He wasn’t the fastest player, but he was very smart. I played with him in the national team, at Bayern Munich and at Inter Milan and we won titles together and had a great friendship. He was the best player I played with.

BoRuSsen (@borussen_proud) asks: ‬What do you think about BVB (Borussia Dortmund) fans, are they the best in the world?  ‬

I don’t know if they are the best fans in the world, but they have the best fans in Germany. I watched the game [on Saturday night] between Dortmund and Borussia Mönchengladbach, my old club. I can see you are a Dortmund fan with your yellow shirt (Lothar points at FFT). He is a fan of Werder Bremen with his green shirt (Lothar gestures at our photographer). I’m a fan of 1860 Munich in the second division who are blue and white (gestures toward his own shirt). No, I like Dortmund’s style and when you go to the stadium, behind one goal everyone is in yellow and it’s called the ‘Yellow Wall’. It has 28,000 people standing there. It’s amazing. They’re not coming five minutes before the game, they are there one-and-a-half hours before the game. The stadium is always sold out. It’s a religion for them, from the grandfather to the father to the son. If you are one-time yellow, you are forever yellow. It’s a special atmosphere.

Phil Ramsay (@IAmPhilRamsay) asks: Why did you never play in the Premier League?

In my time the Premier League wasn’t the same as now. When the Premier League started, I was too old for them. My friend Didi Hamman, I played with him at Bayern Munich and then he went to Liverpool and he’s still living there. He speaks with the Liverpool accent! He’s 12 or 13 years younger than me, which was the time to go to England for German players. I never had an offer from the Premier League. I had a lot of offers from some big clubs in Italy and Spain, but never from England.

Finally, we wanted to show Lothar a bit of a blast from the past – a video of a film clip made by the German team with the Village People ahead of the 1994 World Cup. We filmed his reaction and you can also see the original below.

The original film clip:

So that's it. Thank you to Lothar and everyone from the Bundesliga.

Photos: Weixiang Lim/FourFourTwo