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Football mourns celebrated Germany defender Andreas Brehme

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Tributes have been paid to the former Germany left-back whose penalty won the 1990 World Cup.

Andreas Brehme pictured in 2019
Andreas Brehme pictured in 2019 Bongarts/Getty Images

Just a few weeks after the death of Franz Beckenbauer, German and European football is mourning the loss of another of West Germany's 1990 FIFA World Cup heroes, as it was announced today that former international Andreas Brehme has died unexpectedly of heart failure at the age of just 63.

During his playing career, left-back Brehme wore the jerseys of Kaiserslautern, Bayern München and Inter, among others, but he may be remembered above all for his penalty in the FIFA World Cup final between West Germany and Argentina in Rome on 8 July 1990, his 85th-minute strike securing his nation's third world title. Brehme later said that he was asked about this goal "every day and everywhere, even by complete strangers, but that's no problem for me".

Born in Hamburg, Brehme began his career at HSV Barmbek-Uhlenhorst in 1978, and joined Bayern in 1986 following spells at Saarbrücken and Kaiserslautern. Two years and a Bundesliga title later, he moved to Milan, where he helped Inter to win Serie A in 1988/89 and the UEFA Cup in 1990/91. After a spell at Zaragoza, he returned to Kaiserslautern in 1993, where he won the 1995/96 DFB Cup and the 1997/98 Bundesliga crown. In addition to lifting the 1990 World Cup, he was also a runner-up at the 1986 World Cup and the 1992 UEFA European Championship, collecting 86 caps overall.

After his career, Brehme acted as an ambassador for the German Football Association (DFB) and as a TV pundit.

UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin

"Andreas was a remarkable player, admired for his skill, determination, and sportsmanship, whose legacy transcends the boundaries of sport. The news of his passing has the football world in disbelief and sorrow. His contributions to German football, especially his unforgettable role in West Germany's World Cup victory in 1990, have cemented his place in sports history. During this time of grief, I extend my heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and the entire German football community."

DFB president Bernd Neuendorf said: "I'm shocked, moved and deeply saddened. My condolences go out to his friends and family, and I wish them strength in this difficult time. Andreas Brehme will be remembered as one of Germany's greatest and best players of all time. German football owes him a lot. He was honest and sincere, and I will remember him fondly as a great person. He was always prepared to help others. We will never forget Andreas Brehme, both as a footballer and as a person. He will be extremely missed by us all."

Rudi Völler, a former team-mate of Brehme and current national team sporting director, added: "I cannot believe it. I am deeply saddened by the news of Andreas' sudden passing. Andi was our World Cup hero, but also so much more – he was a close friend of mine to this very day. I will very much miss his joy for life. My thoughts are with those he leaves behind, his friends and especially his two sons. My deepest condolences go out to them."

Andreas Brehme scores from the spot against Argentina in the 1990 World Cup final
Andreas Brehme scores from the spot against Argentina in the 1990 World Cup finalBongarts/Getty Images