Jürgen Grabowski’s importance to German football history can be retold in many scenes, only one here as an example: 1974 World Cup Final, Munich Olympic Stadium, Germany vs. Netherlands. A stopwatch had just been shown on TV, it was lying on the football field and it could be seen that half time was approaching. From this clock, so to speak, Jürgen Grabowski passed the ball to Rainer Bonhof, “yes, Grabowski is playing,” commentator Rudi Michel said with a slightly enthusiastic tone, and then Bonhof ran forward, ran past all the beautiful advertising boards from the 1970s. , “Martini”, “C&A”, “Europa Möbel” finally passed the ball inside to Gerd Müller. So it was boom.
2-1, the gateway to the World Cup. Müller, the executor, completed what Grabowski had started. It was July 7, 1974, Grabowski’s 30th birthday.
When one speaks of winning the 1974 World Cup, one naturally speaks first and with some justification of Beckenbauer, Maier, Müller, Breitner. But the title was also the title of Jürgen Grabowski, who had temporarily slipped out of the World Cup squad before returning and making it 3-2 as a substitute in the rain-soaked match against Sweden. Yes, this World Cup was also the tournament of Grabowski, the great strategist of Frankfurt Eintracht. A rarity in professional football, which is often so wide-legged: a quiet majesty. Even later, in old age, thin, short gray beard, tie pin, the whole man is enveloped in completely unassuming melancholy.
Grabowski hit the cross, which became a game of the century.
Grabowski is one of the old football heroes who didn’t follow up his playing days with a meaningful second career as an official, coach, pundit or know-it-all. He was world champion, second in the World Cup, third in the World Cup, European champion, DFB Cup winner, UEFA Cup winner. The quiet artist was an extraordinarily successful artist, not a diva, as his club is said to be, but always part of the team. His former teammate Uli Hoeneß put it this way: “He had an ability that everyone envied: whenever he was replaced, he was there immediately, he could completely change games and decide.” And next to the square? No scandals, no angry interviews. After the cup final in 1974, there was a bit of a mess, because after the shirt change he was wearing an HSV shirt with Campari advertising, and later he received some bottles of Campari.
Sometimes popular culture reached out to him, for example in the form of the Frankfurt thrash metal band. pitcher. In their Eintracht anthem “Schwarz-weiß wie Schnee” they pay tribute to Hesse’s saints in general and to Hesse’s hero Grabowski in particular: “We saw Eintracht in the final, with Jürgen, with Jürgen.” There is also a video with Grabowski, holding guitars and trophies, and it shows that thrash metal is not his music. But the appearance of him is nevertheless of a certain dignity. And the furry musicians are remarkably enthusiastic.
Being successful is one thing, but you also have to be able to face it. Like Franz Beckenbauer, you can be omnipresent and at some point stumble. Like Uwe Seeler, it can be a permanently visible lucky charm. Like Berti Vogts, you can fight underestimation throughout your life. Like Lothar Matthäus, as an expert in pay TV, you can stay in touch. How to deal with the public interest after your career is a challenge, and in fact, everyone responds differently.
Grabowski’s importance to German football history can be retold in many scenes.
Grabowski’s approach to fame is reminiscent of the writings of American mythologist Joseph Campbell, who defined what makes a hero a hero. In a nutshell: someone quietly sets off, ventures out into the world, faces challenges, overcomes difficulties, achieves triumph, and after triumph, a crucial step in Campbell’s heroic journey, returns to silence.
The crowd remembers the hero and the crowd longs for a reunion. After all, the hero isn’t dead, he just keeps a low profile. And he doesn’t have to write columns saying how his old club would have done well. He doesn’t have to be on talk shows all the time. He is there even when he is not there. As soon as they sing “Black and White Like Snow,” Grabowski is back. 441 Bundesliga games, 109 goals, all for Eintracht. He received the UEFA Cup as a civilian after beating Mönchengladbach because he was injured. The fans roared “Grabi, Grabi”, it was May 21, 1980, and the echo resonates to this day.
The importance of Jürgen Grabowski for the history of German football can be recounted in many scenes, another example: semi-finals of the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, Germany against Italy, the game is almost over, referee Yamasaki is already taking a breather to finally blow the whistle. , Karl-Heinz Schnellinger slides to the flank and then the game goes into overtime, and only then does it become the game of the century. The flank that made all this happen was taken by the man they called Grabi.
Jürgen Grabowski, 77, died Thursday night, he had been ill for a long time, a dialysis patient, most recently a fracture of the femoral neck. Right now is the sad time of the minutes of silence. On Sunday, before the home game against Bochum, Eintracht silently remembers its best football player.