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Happy 65th birthday

5 special moments in Karl-Heinz Rummenigge's career

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During his playing days, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was one of the best and most feared strikers in the world. After hanging up his boots, he became one of most successful and influential figures in world football. To celebrate his 65th birthday, looks back at five moments in the extraordinary career of the club’s CEO.

1. Beginnings at Bayern

In 1974, FCB signed the young 18-year-old forward from hometown side Borussia Lippstadt and handed him his first professional contract. It took Rummenigge just three games to get his name on the scoresheet for the first time, putting his new club 1-0 up in the 3-2 win over VfB Stuttgart in the first round of the DFB Cup. One week later, he headed home his first Bundesliga goal (see above photo) to round off a thrilling 6-3 victory at home to Köln.

2. First title with the European Cup

After just a year in Munich, Rummenigge already had his first winner's medal as Bayern defended their European Cup title in 1975. Twelve months later, they did it again to make it three years as the best team on the continent (see above photo). The 21-year-old Rummenigge scored three goals in his 13 European Cup appearances across those two seasons.

3. Officially the best 

Following in the footsteps of the likes of Sepp Maier, Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Müller, Rummenigge developed into one of Bayern’s leaders. In 1980, he was crowned Bundesliga top scorer with 26 goals, playing a major role in FCB’s first league title in six years. That summer, he led the national team to glory in the European Championship in Italy. As such, Rummenigge was awarded the 1980 Ballon d’Or. He received the honour again in 1981 to cement his place among the best players in the world.

4. Bayern farewell and retirement in Switzerland

After the completion of the 1983/84 season, Rummenigge said “Auf Wiedersehen”. Following 422 appearances and 217 goals for Bayern, he left for Inter Milan. He spent three years in Italy before joining Swiss side Servette in 1987. His list of honours is extensive. Rummenigge won two Bundesliga titles (1980, 1981), two European Cups (1975, 1976), two DFB Cups (1982, 1984), the Intercontinental Cup (1976), was the Bundesliga’s top scorer three times (1980, 1981, 1984), top scorer in Switzerland (1989), was awarded the Ballon d’Or twice (1980, 1981) and crowned Germany’s Footballer of the Year (1980).

5. Leading Bayern to success as CEO

After an incredibly successful playing career, Rummenigge began his new adventure in November 1991 when he was elected Bayern vice-president alongside Franz Beckenbauer. When the football section was changed into a limited company in November 2002, he was named CEO. Together with long-time colleagues, especially Uli Hoeneß, he ensured that FCB enjoyed a remarkable financial development that translated into countless titles on the pitch. The highlights of his tenure are without doubt the trebles of 2013 and 2020.

Happy birthday, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge!

Check out more images from Rummenigge’s impressive career: