Club: Hamburger SV
Growth type: Late/Lasting
Horst Hrubesch (born 17 April 1951 in Hamm) is a retired German football player employed as of 2010 as a youth trainer at the DFB. His nickname was Das Kopfball-Ungeheuer (the Header Beast) for his heading skills.
Hrubesch was the typical late bloomer. He played in small clubs until the age of 24 before he was signed by Rot-Weiss Essen. There he played well enough that Hamburger SV bought him, where he blossomed into one of the most productive forwards of the Bundesliga and was soon called up for the German national team. Hrubesch was known for his symbiotic relationship with fellow HSV player Manfred Kaltz, a right wingback whose crosses Hrubesch often headed into the goal.
West Germany's match-winning hero in the 1980 UEFA European Championship final against Belgium, Horst Hrubesch scored two goals in Rome, the second of them a trademark bullet header in the 89th minute. It was a day of glorious redemption for the big, bulky Hamburger SV centre-forward who a few weeks earlier had hobbled around the field with an ankle injury as his club lost the European Champion Clubs' Cup final to Nottingham Forest FC. A latecomer to the international scene, Hrubesch had only been called into the West Germany squad after Klaus Fischer broke his leg, and the game against Belgium was only his fifth international appearance. He would win just 21 caps in all, the last of them in the 1982 FIFA World Cup final. A German champion three times, he also won the European Cup with Hamburg in 1983, captaining the team to a sensational 1–0 win against favourites Juventus in the Athens final.
His greatest successes were the win of the European Championship in 1980, where he decided the finals with two of his late Ungeheuer header goals, and 1983, where he won the Champions Cup against Juventus Turin. He also was German champion in 1979, 1982 and 1983. He scored 136 goals in 224 games in the Bundesliga and was capped 21 times.
He is also famous for having scored the winning penalty which knocked France out of the 1982 FIFA World Cup semi-finals after an epic game which was tied 3–3 after extra-time. Irish television commentator Jimmy Magee during the shoot-out coined the phrase that made Hrubesch best known in the English-speaking world: "The man they call 'The Monster'".
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