Former West Germany forward Haller dies

Helmut Haller, who scored 13 goals in 33 games for West Germany, including the opener in their 1966 FIFA World Cup final defeat by England, has died at the age of 73.

Helmut Haller represented his country on 33 occasions
Helmut Haller represented his country on 33 occasions ©Getty Images

Former Bologna FC and Juventus forward Helmut Haller, who won three Italian league titles and registered 13 goals in 33 games for West Germany, has died at the age of 73.

The man who scored the opener in West Germany's 1966 FIFA World Cup final defeat by England was among the first generation of German players to move abroad when he joined Bologna four years earlier from home-town club FC Augsburg.

After helping Bologna to the Scudetto in 1964 – famously overcoming FC Internazionale Milano in a play-off after the two sides had finished level on points – he signed for Juventus two years later. In his time with the Bianconeri, Haller won two more Italian titles and appeared as a substitute in their 1973 European Champion Clubs' Cup showpiece loss to AFC Ajax. He returned to Augsburg in 1973.

"With Haller's passing we have lost a big piece of our history," said Bologna president Albano Guaraldi. "I was deeply saddened when I heard the news. I remember him as a great champion, who was a key member of the side that won the Scudetto for the first time. All the Bologna fans have shown their support to his family and we are all feeling the pain after the loss of an extraordinary man."

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