Growth type: Late/Lasting
Andreas "Andy" Brehme (born 9 November 1960 in Hamburg) is a German football coach and former football defender. He is best known for scoring the winning goal for Germany in the 1990 FIFA World Cup Final against Argentina on a 85th minute penalty kick.
He is considered to be one of the greatest free-kick takers and crossers of all time. Brehme's special skill was the fact that he was one of the few players in the world who could play with both feet equally well, making him very valuable as an outfield player. He was well known for taking penalties (although not exclusively) with his right foot and taking free kicks and corners with his left foot. It's believed that Brehme felt his right foot was more accurate than his left, but his left was harder. This is shown when in 1990, Brehme placed spot kick was taken with his right, but four years earlier in 1986 Brehme scored in the quarter final penalty shootout against Mexico, with a left foot piledriver.
Though more often a defender, Brehme has shown an exceptional knack for finding the back of the net, scoring at every club he played for.
He had a ironwill, so typical of the germans but was not reckless with his efforts, he was pragmatic and attempted always a simple style of football, not direct, but without too much sugar on it which led him to, most of the times, take the correct decision to his team needs. Strong, reliable, he attacked based on simple lines football with a lot of crosses and defended based on reaction and antecipation to put himself as a master on man covering. He was a very competent sideback with a strong sense of tactical awareness.
Through the 1980s and 1990s, Andreas Brehme was arguably the finest full-back in the world. Winning domestic honours with several clubs alongside a successful career with the powerful West German and unified German national teams, he was recognised as one of the best defenders in the game as well as having the ability to score crucial goals in big games.
Having started out in amateur football in Hamburg with HSV Barmbek-Uhlenhorst, Brehme made his professional breakthrough with 1. FC Saarbrücken in 1980. In just one season, his performances impressed some of West Germany's bigger clubs and in 1981 he moved on to 1. FC Kaiserslautern. He would enjoy two spells as a player at Kaiserslautern, and in the first of these he forced his way into the national team, playing in both the European Championship and the Olympic Games in 1984.
After an impressive World Cup in Mexico in 1986, where West Germany reached the final, he moved on to Bayern Munich and won the Bundesliga title in his first season. In 1988, having been in the West German team that reached the European Championship semi-final on home soil, Brehme moved to Italy to play for Internazionale. Again he won a league championship medal in his first season as Inter won Serie A in 1989.
Brehme's finest hour came in the 1990 World Cup, where he scored three vital goals as West Germany won the title, none of them more important than the winner from the penalty spot in the final against Argentina. Having won the U.E.F.A. Cup with Inter in 1991, he moved to Spain for one season with Real Zaragoza, and played in the European Championship final in 1992 as the unified Germany lost to Denmark. Returning to Kaiserslautern in 1993, his international career ended after a disappointing 1994 World Cup for the German team.
Brehme's second spell with Kaiserslautern brought success in the German Cup in 1996 and another Bundesliga title two years later, after which he ended his playing career aged 37. Brehme returned to Kaiserslautern again in 2000 as coach and led the team to the U.E.F.A. Cup semi-final in 2001, but was sacked a year later. In 2004, he took a job as coach of SpVgg Unterhaching but left the club the following year, and was also briefly assistant coach at VfB Stuttgart.