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Bernd Hölzenbein

Personal information
Date of birth9 March 1946(age 70)
Place of birthDehrn, Germany
Height1.72 m (5 ft 7.7 in)
Playing positionWinger, Striker
Club information
Current clubretired

     Home | Football | Bernd Holzenbein

Bernd Hölzenbein (born 9 March 1946 in Dehrn, Germany) is a former German football (soccer) player (winning the World Cup in 1974). He is best known for being fouled in the final against Netherlands, which led to the Germans' equalising penalty.

A qualified merchant, Holz debuted for Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga in 1967 to serve for this club until his departure in 1981. A three times German Cup winner with them in 1974, 1975 and 1981, Holzenbein also won the UEFA Cup with Frankfurt in 1980. His output of 160 goals in his 420 Bundesliga matches is still club record achievement for Frankfurt. His departure was due to his unwillingness to accept a pay cut to stay on with Frankfurt and made him become a team-mate of Gerd Müller at Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the United States. Over there he was also playing for Memphis Americans and Baltimore Blast in the Major Indoor Soccer League. He finished off his career in Germany, playing a handful of games alongside Klaus Toppmöller for FSV Salmrohr before hanging up his boots at FC Rhein-Main and starting to work as assistant to Horst Heese at Viktoria Aschaffenburg.

In his international career, Hölzenbein scored five goals in those forty caps he won for Germany in between 1973 and 1980, but the foul that lead to the German equaliser in the 1974 FIFA World Cup final against the Netherlands (2-1) remained his moment in time. With the Dutch claiming their defender Wim Jansen had not even touched him when he ended up on the floor inside the Dutch penalty-box, Hölzenbein successfully fought off stories in newspapers in which he supposedly confessed diving. One of his international goals was the late equaliser in the UEFA Euro 1976 Final against Czechoslovakia. West Germany would however go on to lose the game on penalties.

In 1988 he returned to Eintracht Frankfurt, taking the role of vice-chairman and enjoyed a growing reputation in the game as someone who has an eye for top-talents. He was seen as the main architect behind Frankfurt's rise to an undoubted top side of Bundesliga at the start of the 1990s, mainly because of adding players such as Uwe Bein, Anthony Yeboah and Andreas Möller to the clubs Bundesliga squad. This trio, together with sweeper Manfred Binz and goalkeeper Uli Stein was the driving force behind Eintracht's title bid in 1991 92, unfortunately missing out on the Bundesliga crown of 1992 due to a bad result on the final day of that season. This bad result was a turning point in Hölzenbein's career as official and couldn't stop the downfall of Eintracht Frankfurt in the following years. Relegation to the 2nd Bundesliga happened to Frankfurt in 1996 and let Hölzenbein resign a few months later.

His ongoing involvement in the daily business of Eintracht Frankfurt over those years turned out to be the reason for him to be summoned to court for statements regarding a proposed 'immense tax evasion' of Anthony Yeboah in the players years in German football.

Nowadays Bernd Hölzenbein is living in Neu-Isenburg and engaged as scout for Eintracht Frankfurt. He had been a representative for the city of Frankfurt during the 2006 FIFA World Cup and involved in a project originated by Jürgen Klinsmann to support a better development of young footballers.

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