Uwe Seeler, one of Germany’s greatest football players, dies at 85

Pele, the great Brazilian footballer, included Seeler in his list of the world’s greatest living players in 2004.

“His possession was perfect, his shots were accurate, and what really impressed me was his ability to head,” said Pelé.

In a special supplement to Seeler’s 80th birthday celebration in 2016, the Hamburg club wrote: “If Uwe Seeler had laced up his boots, the opposing goalkeeper could have dressed warmer and preferably a second pair of gloves, because Seeler scored from everywhere and in every possible way. Whether it’s overhead shots, mid-air headers, long range shots, volleys, crosses, adventurous shots, he always found a way to get the ball over the line.”

Seeler won the German championship in 1960 and the German Cup in 1963 with Hamburger SV, but he also suffered grief from misses in the European Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup. Hamburg lost to Barcelona in the semi-finals of the European Cup in 1961 and to Milan in the final of the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1968.

Seeler, born in Hamburg on November 11, 1999 on September 5, 1936, has suffered numerous health problems in recent years. In May 2020, he underwent surgery to repair a broken hip after a failed fall at home. He lost hearing in his right ear and had balance problems after a car accident in 2010. He also had a pacemaker installed and a tumor removed from his shoulder, the DPA news agency reported.

Seeler and his wife Ilka have been married for over 60 years. They had three daughters. His grandson Levin Oztunali plays for Bundesliga club Union Berlin. Seeler’s older brother, Dieter, also played for Hamburg. His father, Erwin, worked on a barge in the port of Hamburg and was also known for playing football in that city.

Full information about the survivors was not immediately available.