Name: Josef “Sepp” Maier
Club Appearences: 536 – Bayern Munich 1965-1980
National Appearences: 95 – West Germany – 1966-1979
Sepp Maier was one of the greatest keepers during a period which saw many great goalkeepers rise to prominence, particularly in Europe.
He spent his entire playing career at Bayern Munich – which is an achievement in itself – though he achieved great things with Bayen, winning the Bundesliga four times, and the European Cup three times.
The Duck Hunt
Sepp Maier’s goalkeeping ability was matched only by his eccentricity, as Maier was regarded as a bit of a joker by a lot of players and fans. This idea was enhanced in one match which Bayern were dominating easily, Maier turned his attention to hunting a duck which had got stricken in the Olympia Stadion, rather than concentrate on the game.
You can witness Sepp Maier diving for that duck at the beginning of this video (apologies for the awful music and commentary):
Aside from his sense of humour, he was a truly great keeper, who had the fortune of winning almost every competition he played in at least once, including a World Cup (for West Germany 1974), a European Championship (1972), the Intercontinental Cup (1976), UEFA Cup Winners Cup (1967), European Cup (1974, 1975, 1976), Bundesliga (1969, 1972, 1973, 1974).
Maier in Action
Watch Sepp Maier in action in the 1974 European Cup Final in the video below. Watch his great save near the start of the tape – pure commitment – a penalty? No way. That was football then.