Söder congratulates Matthäus: 'A deserved son of Bavaria'
Lothar Matthäus had a special weekend as he marked his 60th birthday on Sunday. The former FC Bayern player had an exhibition dedicated to him as the FC Bayern Museum called "IL GRANDE LOTHAR - World Cup winner, World Player of the Year, Record-breaker". During the opening, Bavaria's Minister-President Markus Söder also congratulated Matthäus via video message and was pleased to be able to use the opportunity to "give something back that he had lost".
Almost 20 years after receiving the Bavarian Order of Merit, Söder presented Matthäus with the award virtually for a second time. "It's an honour for me to once again honour one of the greatest sportsmen of our time and a deserving son of Bavaria. Lothar Matthäus was one of my idols as a child. I still remember reading about the super talented youngster who played at Herzogenaurach," said Söder. "He then particularly caught my eye when the national team went to South America in the early 1980s. A young player was brought in to stop Diego Maradona and Zico. Since then, Lothar Matthäus has been one of my great heroes."
"Always spoke the Franconian dialect"
In addition to "sportsmanship, fighting spirit, team service and commitment", Söder emphasised another characteristic of Matthäus that he particularly likes: "No matter where in the world, he always spoke the Franconian dialect." A few years ago, Matthäus was shocked to discover that the medal was no longer there when he unpacked after a move. Now he has it back to cherish. "It won't work a third time," Söder said with a wink.
Watch our big documentary on Matthäus to mark his 60th birthday: