Maybe his name hasn’t the resonance that Gerd Muller’s has for German soccer, but is clear that Karl-Heinz Rummenigge had a key role in the UEFA EURO 1980 campaign. The first ever tournament with eight teams at the start, begun on 11th of June 1980 with a match between RFG and Czechoslovakia. In fact, an encounter at which took part the previous two European Champions. The Germans stood better in their boots and beat 1-0. Thanks to the goal scored by Rummenigge in the 57th minute, his national side won the necessary confidence that help them to eventually finish top in group A, a group that had, besides those two, Netherlands and Greece. So, this way, RFG obtained the right to play in the final against Belgium. Rumenigge didn’t scored any other goal in the group stage and neither he did in the final, but his team mates assured a 2-1 win against the opponents which brought the nation the second European Championship trophy. This way, RFG became the first ever nation to do so.
This was the first and only goal that Karl-Heinz ever scored at an European Championship, but this is nothing else than a strange fact, because football lovers surely know his goal appetite and in numbers, he did scored 45 goals for Germany in 95 matches, between 1976 and 1986. From those, 31 (!) where official goals: 9 at three World Cups, 9 in the EURO’s preliminaries and 12 in the World Cup’s qualifications. Apart of the title from 1980, the striker didn’t win anything else alongside the national side, but did have a lot of success with Bayern Munich, team at which he played between 1974 and 1984. Here he won two Champions’ Cups (1975 and 1976), one Intercontinental Cup (1976), two national leagues (1980 and 1981) and two German Cups (1982 and 1984). All, thanks to more than 310 matches and more than 162 goals. But how did he reach this fame?
Born on 25th of September 1955 in Lippstadt, a small town of only 67 thousand inhabitants, near Dortmund, Rummenigge was spotted by Bayerns’ scouts in 1974 and was immediately transferred and stayed there until 1984 when a transfer to Inter came. The best part of his career was mentioned before and that was also the essential, because the player had less success in Italy, where he didn’t win a single achievement. Even though the squad from Milan paid for him 5.7 million euro an enormous sum for that time, he dealt with many injuries and so in three seasons only played 64 matches and put in 24 goals. In 1987 he left and went on playing for two more seasons. This time in Switzerland, at Servette Geneva. No trophy here either, but at least he became top scorer of the championship, with 24 goals, at the end of 1988-1989 season. His last. Those were good memories for him, from the times when he did also was the best scorer from Germany in 1980, 1981 and 1984 with 26, 29 and 26 goals respectively.
And if you knew all of what I exposed above there still are some chances to be surprised now, because few people remember that Karl-Heinz also has a brother footballer, which was in fact a very good footballer. Michael is nine years younger, played also as a striker, but never made more than two appearances for the senior national side. One in 1983 and one in 1986. And this is a bit strange because Michael Rummenigge played football at a very high level, between 1983 and 1994 at Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, before joining Urrawa Red Diamonds from Japan. He gathered more than 300 matches in the Bundesliga and scored 80 goals in the Championship, helping especially Bayern to win trophies. Between 1985 and 1987 he won three consecutive titles of champion, equalizing his brother this way. And with three Cups and two Super Cups he almost past him, if it wasn’t for two European Finals lost. The first in the 1987 Champions Cup with Bayern, against Porto and the second in 1993, in the UEFA Cup, when he was playing at Dortmund.