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Rüdiger Abramczik

Rudiger Abramczik
Rüdiger Abramczik and Werner Kasper
Personal information
Date of birth18 February 1956(age 60)
Place of birthGelsenkirchen, West Germany
Height1.72 m (5 ft 7.7 in)
Playing positionStriker

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Rüdiger Abramczik (born 18 February 1956 in Gelsenkirchen-Erle) is a former German football player and coach, best known for his ability to cross the ball ("Flankengott").

Abramczik, whose younger brother Volker later became also a professional footballer for Schalke 04, joined the ranks of the city's biggest club, FC Schalke 04, from native SV Erle 08 at the age of ten after former German international Bernhard Klodt spotted him. Schalke's former Bundesliga player Friedel Rausch was partly coaching him in the youth of Schalke then, getting impressed by his unique mobility and pace. It was Rausch who warmly recommended young Abi to Schalke's manager Ivica Horvath, feeling the schoolboy international (23 caps) could already do a job on the highest level.

For the kick-off of the 1973 74 Bundesliga season, FC Schalke 04 travelled to VfB Stuttgart to see Horvath handing him a starting role. Schalke lost, with Stuttgart's Hermann Ohlicher's hat-trick the only goals in the game, but Abramczik's appearance on that 11 August made him the youngest ever player used on Bundesliga level at that time. Making fourteen appearances in his Bundesliga debut season, he went on to become a key player for his club in less than three years, netting ten goals for Schalke in 1976 77, when they finished runner-up behind Borussia Mönchengladbach. The yield of ten goals scored by the then 20-year-old Abramczik remained the best effort of a young Bundesliga player until Lukas Podolski hit ten for 1. FC Köln as an eighteen year old in 2003 04.

Köln's Müngersdorfer Stadion witnessed Rüdiger Abramczik's Germany debut when the side of Helmut Schön beat Northern Ireland (5 0) on 27 April 1977. Abramczik, who was forming a formidable striker duo with Klaus Fischer for Schalke at that time, was called up further by Schön and with the 1978 FIFA World Cup at stage, Abramczik enjoyed his taking part in it for the defending champion. Tipped to be a delight for Germany, failing to produce greater consistency in his game appeared to be the bar to his further proceedings in Die Nationalmannschaft. His life as a German international lasted for only nineteen caps in between 1977 and 1979, with a 3 1 win against Malta at Gzira his last international cap, an abrupt end furthered by a voiced conflict with then DFB president Hermann Neuberger.

Joining FC Schalke 04's bitter arch-rival Borussia Dortmund at the end of the 1979 80 season, Abramczik's days in Dortmund lasted until he joined 1. FC Nuremberg in 1983. That worked out to be a disastrous career move for the Gelsenkirchen-born, his new club was relegated from Bundesliga with him getting suspended by the club for committing misconduct. He then showed up for Galatasaray Istanbul under Jupp Derwall and had a spell with Rot-Weiß Oberhausen in the 2nd Bundesliga before heading back to hometown club FC Schalke 04 in October 1987. Coming to action in four further Bundesliga matches in the space of five weeks for them, a campaign in which Schalke was chanceless to avoid the drop to 2nd Bundesliga, Abramczik decided to retire from the professional game to go on playing on amateur level for Wormatia Worms and FC Gütersloh.

Rüdiger Abramczik's career in coaching was caused by his decision to work as assistant-manager of Peter Neururer at 1. FC Saarbrücken when he run a dyeworks shop in Gelsenkirchen. A year later, Saarbrücken appointed him Neururer's successor in 1992. He managed Antalyaspor from 1999 to 2000.

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