Karl-Heinz Schnellinger started his career at a very young age in the Duren 99 team. Then after having played in various national juvenile teams, on April 2nd, 1958 he made his debut in the German National Team playing against Czechoslovakia in Prague. He played two matches during the FIFA World Cup in Sweden which was the first of his four World Cup championships.
At the same time he was transferred to the Cologne team winning the title of German Champion in the 1961-1962 season. Immediately after he flew to Chile with the German National Team and played up to the quarter finals loosing against Yugoslavia. In 1962 he became the German Player of the Year and the Cologne Athlete Number One. In the summer of 1963 he moved for a three year deal to Italy playing one season with the Mantua team, one with Rome and then he was acquired by AC Milan playing there nine seasons, winning four Italian Cups, two Cup Winners’ Cups, one Italian Championship title and one Intercontinental Cup. He played also the FIFA World Cup in England in 1966 and in Mexico in 1970 gaining respectively a second and third place
A football legend. Schnellinger is and will be a legend for millions of Italians. His goal during the FIFA World Cup Mexico 1970 has placed him among the football greats. It is indeed strange that this player is remembered for one goal only, after having dedicated his entire career in defense, introducing the concept of a clean slide on the ball without ever going over the mark, never a foul out of place nor one expulsion from the field.
Karl-Heinz is much more than one single goal kicked at the 91st minute…..he is a man of strong principles, an athlete, a fair but harsh defender who reached the top of professional football, winning with different clubs everything that was there to win, except for a FIFA World Cup.
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