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World champion and European champion: Jürgen Grabowski has died

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Eintracht Frankfurt and German football mourn the loss of a 1974 world champion: Jürgen Grabowski died in a hospital in Wiesbaden on Thursday night at the age of 77. This was confirmed by his wife on Friday.

Grabowski earned 44 DFB caps and 441 Bundesliga caps for Eintracht, was a world and European champion, winner of the Uefa Cup in 1980 and 1974, and winner of the DFB Cup in 1975.

In Frankfurt, Grabowski was the playmaker, in the national team he acted mainly as a right winger, due to his competitors Wolfgang Overath and Günter Netzer. “For me, he was one of the best artists we had in Eintracht, if not the greatest,” says Bundesliga record player Karl-Heinz Körbel once. For Overath he was “a very good person, a great guy. He could do everything with the ball.”

World champion and European champion: Jürgen Grabowski.

Jurgen Grabowski.

(Photo: Arne Dedert/dpa)

Together with his club colleague Bernd Hölzenbein, Grabowski was part of the 1974 World Cup squad. On his 30th birthday, Grabowski started the winning goal 2-1 in the World Cup final in Munich: pass to Rainer Bonhof, cross, goal and Gerd Müller jump. That July 7, 1974, Grabowski thought: “The world is yours.” He was kicked out of the team after the embarrassing 1-0 draw against East Germany hit him deep. As a substitute, however, he managed the decisive 3: 2 against Sweden, and was once again in the top eleven. “I owe everything to this game,” he kept saying.

After winning the World Cup, Grabowski resigned from the national team but continued to triumph at Eintracht. From 1965 to 1980 he played for Hessen, previously only for Biebrich. When he won the UEFA Cup in 1980, Grabowski lifted the heavy cup in civilian clothes. Klaus Hölzenbein was the first to introduce him to his fellow world champion and friend. A foul by Lothar Matthäus and a serious foot injury had just ended Grabowski’s splendid career. More than 40,000 fans attended his farewell match between Eintracht and the 1974 World Cup team in what was then the Waldstadion.

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