When will he finally arrive, the numerous children asked themselves, just like the many spectators who attended the soccer training of the FC herzogenaurach E-youth team?. Lothar matthaus had signed up to visit his hometown club and drove up at 5 p.M. On the dot. After slipping into his training outfit, he answered the first questions from the waiting journalists. Rather reluctantly, because he actually wanted to take the young soccer players out onto the artificial pitch before talking to the press. Matthaus made it clear right away: "I’m happy to help out in the youth area here. This is my hometown club."
In the past few years, it was difficult to put this affair of the heart into practice, as the 1990 world champion had too many other appointments and tasks on his plate. Currently, however, matthaus has more free time and is taking it. "I’m in herzogenaurach every six to eight weeks anyway and visit my parents. That’s why I like to come to the FCH, because that’s the place where I scored my first goals. Back there is my old school", says the 56-year-old, who lived in his hometown until he was a senior: he started playing soccer for the pumas when he was nine and came out at 18, when he was signed by borussia monchengladbach.
Old departures as fence toasts
He wanted to pass on a bit of what helped him to his world career to the up-and-coming kickers during training. "I want to give the kids motivation, because without motivation you can’t do it", said matthaus, who also discovered old departures on the sidelines such as manfred bierlein ("you’re still around, too"), with whom he once played together in the bavarian league for FC herzogenaurach.
After the obligatory team photo and the speech of the guest coach, the ball was rolling. Everyone could get an idea of what kind of bite the ex-world champion must have had in the past. That lothar matthaus lives fubball became clear in every sentence. "If you’re just going for a walk here, then you’ve got to stay home", the trained interior decorator admonished one of the young players and gave him an encouraging pat on the back before turning to the goalkeeper: "we’re going to do the drill just like i said we would."