New task for Lothar Matthäus: “They have a lot of nonsense in their heads”

Record national player Lothar Matthäus explains why he now trains the little ones – including his own son.

He is a world and European champion, was named “World Football Player of the Year”, has coached the national team and works as an RTL and Sky expert: Lothar Matthäus, the superstar! Now the 61-year-old has a new job – coach for E-Youth in TSV Grünwald near Munich. His son Milan, 8, also plays there.

GALA: Congratulations! Your team just won 8-2.

Lothar Matthäus: (laughs) Thanks! But it’s not just about winning, it’s about the children’s development. Football has given me a lot, and in this way I can now give something back.

How did you get the new job?

The old coach left, so I agreed to take on the big responsibility for the little guys.

How often are you on the pitch?

The boys train twice a week. Don’t overwhelm the children, they have school commitments or are sometimes invited to birthday parties. And many have another hobby – Milan also plays tennis.

What should you pay special attention to with eight-year-olds?

Of course, they still have a lot of nonsense in their heads. What surprised me a lot: Some people can’t tie their own shoes yet. The mothers must teach them that now. Not everyone who has their shoes open can run up to the coach and say, “Tie them for me!”

What is your motivation as a youth coach?

I’m having fun and I think I’m doing something good. I try to convey to them the values ​​that football brings with it – and that it is a unity. I think I’m good at it because I have one of these players at my house 24 hours a day. (laughs) The kids know that I am not only their coach, but also their friend. Everyone has a dream, they want to improve and score goals.

Are you a tough trainer? If a child gets hurt, can they run to mom or dad?

If a child has a problem at school, they are not allowed to go home. We should clarify that among ourselves in the team. We must trust each other. And when it comes to injuries, I might even be a little more familiar with them than others.

When you train your own son, are you in danger of favoring him?

On the contrary! I expect respect from my son precisely because he knows me better than anyone else. He shows me that in our father-son relationship, but he must also show me that as a coach. And he does.

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Has he inherited your football talent?

He has good ideas. But they all have kids on this team. There is no one that stands out in particular, but all have their strengths. One is fast, the other has a good shot, the next is great at dribbling. I observe that and try to promote the respective strengths. Milan has some things that I really like, but he definitely also has things that need improvement.

What is important to you when it comes to parenting off the court?

All three of us live in Munich, my ex-wife and I still have a very good relationship, maybe even better than before. We both want the best for Milan – and for us. Above all, we expect him to show us respect and to achieve his academic results. He has 100 percent support from us. He has his daily schedule and he should try to stick to it himself. For example, he needs to understand that he packs his school backpack himself in the morning.

Do the children only know you as Milan’s father or also as a football star?

They all know who I am. There are Fifa trading cards these days so they know I’m not just Milan’s dad, even if they’ve never seen me play football.

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How do the other parents react to you?

I have a very good relationship with all parents. So it’s always nice to be together. From time to time we all go out and eat together after training, also with the kids – and not just at McDonald’s!


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