Udo Lattek is number 29 in 90min’s Top 50 Great Managers of All Time series. Follow the rest of the series over the course of the next six weeks. You can find Tom Gott’s Lattek Career Overview ?here. ?
Udo Lattek did two things throughout his career: get the best out of his players, and win countless trophies.
He rose to prominence with Bayern Munich, before memorable spells with both Borussia Monchengladbach and Barcelona. Lattek could have turned any player into an all-time great, but he worked with plenty of established superstars during his career.
He was lucky enough to lead some of the world’s finest talents, so here is Lattek’s all-time best XI.
Goalkeeper & Defenders
Sepp Maier? – Not only was Sepp Maier one of Germany’s most likeable players of all time, but he was also one of the country’s finest ever goalkeepers. Known as ‘The Cat’, Maier was already an established icon with ?Bayern when Lattek arrived in 1970, and the pair went on to win three ?Bundesliga titles.
Berti Vogts – Another one-club man, right-back Berti Vogts made his name with Gladbach. He was coming towards the end of his career when Lattek arrived in 1975, but Vogts was showing no signs of slowing down. He was a vital part of Gladbach’s two Bundesliga titles under Lattek, and will undoubtedly be remembered as one of Germany’s finest.
Franz Beckenbauer – While Lattek always had what it took to be a top manager, he owed his career to Franz Beckenbauer, who recommended him for the Bayern job in 1970. ‘Der Kaiser’ was not just an elite centre-back, but he was one of the greatest to ever play football. He helped propel Lattek to stardom, and his list of individual accomplishments is almost too long to comprehend.
Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck – Lining up alongside Beckenbauer in defence was Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck. The pair formed arguably the strongest defensive partnership in history, taking Europe by storm and leaving countless teams in their wake.
Paul Breitner – Paul Breitner was a left-back by trade, but he could be seen roaming around the field to make an impact wherever he wanted. Breitner spent four years with Lattek between 1970 and 1974, often transitioning into midfield to form an incredible relationship with Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
Lothar Matthaus – ?What could Lothar Matthaus not do? He made his senior debut for Gladbach just months after Lattek left the club, but the pair soon got the chance to work together at Bayern. Lattek brought in Matthaus in 1984, and three Bundesliga titles followed. Matthaus was the only German to ever win the FIFA World Player of the Year award, and he owes a lot of his development to Lattek.
Rainer Bonhof – Comfortable either as a midfielder or a wing-back, Rainer Bonhof was a dominant force for Gladbach throughout the 1970s. He became known for his unfathomably powerful free-kicks, but his overall game made him a vital part of Lattek’s success between 1975 and 1978.
Diego Maradona – Lattek’s time with Diego Maradona may have gone about as poorly as was physically possible, but that does not mean the Argentine should be omitted from this team. He became the world’s most expensive footballer when he joined Lattek’s ?Barcelona in 1982. Their relationship lasted less than a season, but Maradona was still one of the greatest to ever play the game.
Gerd Muller – Already one of the world’s finest strikers by the time Lattek joined Bayern, Gerd Muller continued his reign of European dominance during the 1970s. His ability to find space in the penalty area was second to none, but he also had the technical ability to get the ball into the back of the net. With a frightening tally of 365 goals in just 427 Bundesliga games, it should come as no surprise to see Muller’s name in this XI.
Quini – Before Lattek’s arrival, Barcelona had spent plenty of years pushing to sign Quini, and they finally got him in 1980. By that team, he was undoubtedly past his prime, but he remained one of Spain’s most dangerous forwards. His time in Barcelona was marred in 1981 when he was kidnapped at gun point and went missing for 25 days, but he was still a vital part of their success.
Allan Simonsen -? Allan Simonsen endured a tough time with Gladbach before Lattek’s arrival, but quickly blossomed into one of Europe’s best under the German. He was a vital part of their success in the late 1970s, and his form earned him a move to Barcelona in 1979, where he reunited with Lattek two years later. Maradona’s arrival forced Simonsen out of the club, and he ultimately swapped Barcelona for Charlton Athletic. I bet you haven’t heard of many players to do that.
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