Sepp Maier rages: “Mia san mia” cue from the Bayern legend: the players “don't know what's behind it”

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Franz Beckenbauer became world champion as a DFB player and coach, Sepp Maier as a goalkeeper and goalkeeping coach. On the occasion of his big birthday, Sepp talks about Franz, the next Euro Cup, Bayern and the current identity crisis of the record champion.

Sun, beach, sea and golf. Sepp Maier spends his 80th birthday relaxing, thousands of kilometers from the turbulence of the club he loves FC Bayern Munich. The German goalkeeping legend enjoys his special day with his wife Monika in the Indian Ocean island state of Mauritius.

On Wednesday (February 28) he will be on call by phone, Maier jokes during the preliminary meeting at his home in Hohenlinden, outside Munich, expecting to receive numerous calls. The former football prankster and world champion goalkeeper since 1974 has long since abandoned the custom of celebrating his birthdays, even round ones. “We don't celebrate Christmas or Easter either, we don't need gifts,” he explains. He gives himself a birthday in paradise.

As a professional footballer, he traveled all over the world. “But what did we see? Airport, stadium, hotel.” Now things are different. The Maiers like to be on the move. Included in the trip to Mauritius is the “Sepp Maier Golf Trophy,” an annual golf trip in which he is the star. His handicap is 4.9. “Of course I'm still a good guy,” he says, laughing.

Despite offers from Manchester United, Atlético de Madrid, Boca Juniors (Argentina) and, at the end of his career, Cosmos, he was attracted to professional football. NY not to the wide world. “A Bavarian has a homeland that cannot be transplanted.” Besides, they were different times. “Nowadays players go where there is more money,” but Maier doesn't want to blame them. “You'd be stupid not to accept it.”

“We lived Mia san mia, today the players don't even know how to pronounce it in Bavarian”

Football has also brought him wealth and fame, although in a different dimension. “Back then we also won well. A normal worker earned perhaps 1,000 marks. And we had between 8,000 and 9,000 marks,” explains Maier.

Conversations with him are always fun. And, of course, it's always about football. Although he has been gaining distance with age, according to him, after 17 professional years at FC Bayern and two decades as a goalkeeping coach in Munich. in the DFB.

Maier also has strong opinions as a retired footballer. “We live la mia san mia,” he tells the famous generation of Bayern players around Franz Beckenbauer, “Katsche” Schwarzenbeck, Gerd Müller, “Bulle” Roth and himself. Today the players didn't even know how to pronounce “Mia san mia” in Bavarian. “And they don't even know what's behind it,” says Maier about the club's leitmotif. Bayern's special DNA is usually just a brand slogan.

Maier almost doesn't go to the Allianz Arena anymore. “I will certainly continue FC Bayern after having been at the club for 50 years as a player and as a goalkeeping coach,” he says. And, of course, he wants his Bayern to play well and win. “But I'm not in a bad mood for a day because Bayern lost.” That is why his world will not collapse if for once another club, Bayer Leverkusen, is proclaimed champion of Germany this season. “Well, then FC Bayern won't win any titles,” says Maier.

Sepp Maier with distance from current football

Look at today's football business from a distance. “All the talk” on TV Before and after the games, the spectator does not need Maier on the sofa at home. Shaking his head, he observes that current Bayern stars like Manuel Neuer and Thomas Müller (have to) turn around even after crushing defeats, because that's what the fans expect. “When we lost 5-0, we no longer went to the corner, but to the locker room and we were embarrassed. Today the players run and applaud,” says Müller. He just can't understand something like that.

The year began with sad news for him. First Franz Beckenbauer died and then, on the eve of his trip to Mauritius, Andreas Brehme, the hero of the 1990 World Cup final, died. Maier was then responsible for the goalkeepers in the coaching staff of DFB boss Beckenbauer. “63 years is not an age,” Maier says calmly about Brehme, who died too soon.

He also mourned Beckenbauer's death, which was less surprising. “I had known Franz for 65 years. Franz was 14, I was 15 and we met when we were young,” says Maier. It was the beginning of a shared football success story and friendship. “We experienced all the successes from the beginning with Bayern,” Maier recalls about the promotion the Bundesliga, the numerous national and international titles as well as the glorious moments as a national player. “Of course you grow up together there. That unites us. “Franz and I always get along very well.”

Sepp Maier: the Euro title for Germany will be “very difficult”

Maier, Beckenbauer, MülIer: that was the famous Bavarian axis that also made Germany happy. This summer marks the 50th anniversary of winning the 1974 World Cup title on home soil, with a 2-1 victory in the final against Netherlands at the Olympic Stadium in Munich. It was “the most beautiful moment” of Maier's career, which he had to end after a serious traffic accident in 1979, when he was 35 years old. “Who will be world champion? How many millions of soccer players are there in the world? And everyone wants to be world champion,” says Maier.

Beckenbauer became world champion as a player (1974) and team manager (1990). Maier became world champion as a goalkeeper (1974) and goalkeeping coach (1990). Friends joined in success.

Will he win the European Championship in his own country 50 years after his home victory in the 1974 World Cup? “Oh, that will be very difficult,” Maier says, referring to the struggling national team. What is missing is a well-coordinated team with a clear hierarchy. “You can't try more than 40 players in a year. No team can grow together. I must have a tribe. Anyone who can run straight is a national player. As a coach you have to have players you trust,” is how Maier describes the current situation.

“I hope they go very far in their own country. I also envy them the title of European champion. Because after 28 years it is time to return,” she states anyway. 1996, last victory in the German Euro Cup In England, was still there as a goalkeeping coach. And if he still occupied that position, it would also be clear who would be in goal for the DFB in the opening Euro match against Scotland on June 14 in Munich. “Just the new one. He was injured for a long time after his skiing accident. But now he is fit again.” And for Maier “he is still the best.”



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