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Willi Lippens

Personal information
Date of birth10 November 1945(age 71)
Place of birthBedburg-Hau, West Germany
Height1.70 m
Playing positionMidfielder

     Home | Football Player | Willi Lippens

Willi Lippens (born 10 November 1945 in Bedburg-Hau, Niederrhein, Germany) is a former Dutch football player.

Born near the German-Dutch border to a Dutch father and a German mother, Lippens spent most of his career playing for German clubs. He played for Rot-Weiss Essen from 1965 76 and in 1980 81. Between 1976 and 1979 he played for Borussia Dortmund before leaving to play one season for the Dallas Tornado in the NASL (North American Soccer League).

Lippens played in 242 Bundesliga matches, scoring 92 goals, making him the player who appeared most often for Rot-Weiss at that level of play, as well as their top scorer. Lippens also played an international match for the Netherlands, making him one of only six Dutch football players to have been selected for the Dutch national team while never having played in the Dutch Eredivisie. The other capped players are Jeffrey Bruma, Jordi Cruyff, Jerrel Hasselbaink, Rob Reekers and Wim Hofkens.

Lippens, who spoke only very basic Dutch, is the only native German-speaker ever to have played for the Dutch national team. Lippens received several invitations to join the German National selection as well, but always declined as his Dutch father had forbidden him to play for Germany. Lippens has said that he would have liked to have played for Germany, but that his respect for his father, and the experiences his family lived through during the Second World War outweighed this.

Lippens was known for his imaginative footwork, which earned him the nickname Ente (Duck), and was a fan favorite because of his irreverent good humour. One particular anecdote about Lippens has become a cliché in German football culture: A referee once gave Lippens a yellow card, saying: Ich verwarne Ihnen! ("I book you!"), in defective German grammar, using a dative pronoun instead of accusative. Lippens replied: Herr Schiedsrichter, ich danke Sie! ("Sir, I thank you!"), sarcastically using an accusative pronoun instead of a correct dative this time. Lippens was immediately sent off by the referee.

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