Annual Report 2021

In memoriam

15 min. reading time

Gerd Müller


Gerd Müller, who lifted the 1974 FIFA World Cup™ with West Germany, was one of the most prolific goalscorers in the history of the game.

Commonly referred to by his nickname, Bomber der Nation (the Nation’s Bomber), Müller rewrote the history books for both Bayern Munich and West Germany as he claimed numerous trophies and set countless records during an illustrious career. The striker plundered a total of 68 goals in 62 appearances for his country.

Standing at just 1.76m tall, Müller was the archetypal penalty-box striker, posing a constant threat to the opposition’s goal and capable of scoring from anywhere on the pitch. Whenever he picked up the ball inside the penalty area – whether on the turn, with his left foot, right foot or head, from a standing position or even lying down – fans were not usually made to wait long before seeing the net bulge following one of the striker’s ferocious trademark finishes. 

Müller netted 14 FIFA World Cup goals, a tally surpassed only by his compatriot Miroslav Klose (16) and Brazil’s Ronaldo Nazário (15). He is Germany’s second-highest all-time goalscorer behind Klose, although it took the Poland-born goal machine 137 games to reach his total of 71, whilst Müller managed his 68 goals in just 62 outings. 

The most significant goal of the Bayern Munich legend’s career was the winner he hit as West Germany ran out 2-1 winners over the Netherlands in the 1974 FIFA World Cup final in Munich. 

Müller established a reputation of delivering when it mattered most and he also notched a brace in the 1972 UEFA European Football Championship showpiece as West Germany took the crown. 

At club level, Müller is the most prolific goalscorer in Bundesliga history and struck 365 goals in 427 league appearances for Bayern Munich during a 15-year stint with the Bavarians. After leaving Bayern, he enjoyed a three-year spell with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the USA before hanging up his boots in 1982. 

Jimmy Greaves


Jimmy Greaves remains by far and away the top scorer in the history of the English top flight, thanks to the 357 league goals he netted during spells with Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United. 

Greaves was equally prolific for England and registered 44 times in just 57 games for his national team. His goalscoring exploits for the Three Lions make him the fifth-highest goalscorer in the country’s history. 

A prodigious talent from a young age and a centre-forward boasting outstanding talent, Greaves burst onto the scene with a debut goal for Chelsea in 1957 at the tender age of 17. Greaves made a habit of scoring goals on his debut appearances and repeated the trick on his bows for England, AC Milan, Tottenham and West Ham. 

Although he spent just a year with the Italian giants after checking in at the club in 1961, Greaves still managed nine goals for the Rossoneri before returning to England with Tottenham. The North Londoners signed Greaves for £99,999, with this rather unusual fee agreed because Spurs’ manager, Bill Nicholson, was keen to spare Greaves the pressure of being the first British player to command a six-figure transfer fee. 

Although an England regular throughout his career and despite starting the tournament in the starting line-up, Greaves did not feature in England’s 4-2 success over West Germany in the 1966 FIFA World Cup™ final. 

The lethal frontman struggled with injury during that tournament and was replaced in the starting line-up by Geoff Hurst, who helped himself to a hat-trick in the showpiece. 

Following his distinguished playing career, Greaves became one of British television’s most popular figures and established himself as a groundbreaking football pundit. His beloved TV presenting partner, former Scotland striker Ian St John, also passed away in 2021. 

Giampiero Boniperti


Over the course of Juventus’s decorated history, few players have represented the club’s famous black-and-white stripes with more distinction than Giampiero Boniperti. 

A creative, technical attacking player, Boniperti spent his entire 15-year playing career with Juventus, before going on to serve as a club director and enjoying a two-decade stint as president. Boniperti was one of the finest players of his generation and featured for Italy at the 1950 FIFA World Cup™ and the 1952 Summer Olympics, whilst he captained his country at the 1954 FIFA World Cup™. 

He also captured the Serie A title five times with the Turin-based outfit. A hard-working player, Boniperti was an unselfish goalscorer and equally renowned for his ability as an assist provider. 

However, that did not stop him racking up an impressive 178 goals for the Bianconeri, a record that stood for over 40 years until Alessandro del Piero sent it tumbling in 2006. 

Boniperti also holds the third highest number of appearances for the Vecchia Signora, with only Del Piero and Gianluigi Buffon standing ahead of him. 

After calling time on his playing career, Boniperti remained very much part of the Juventus family and served as the club’s president from 1971-1990, during which time he oversaw a period of sustained on-field success. 

During his presidential reign, Boniperti famously struggled to watch the second half of the team’s games and could regularly be seen disappearing from his seat at the interval as the pressure of watching on as opposed to being out on the pitch took its toll. 

Boniperti entered the world of politics in 1994 and became a member of the European Parliament. 

Jean-Pierre Adams


Jean-Pierre Adams’ story is as much about love as it is football. The former France international defender passed away in September 2021 after spending 39 years in a coma, during which time he was tended to every single day by his devoted wife Bernadette Adams. 

In 1982, at the age of 34, Adams was admitted to hospital for knee surgery, but would never regain consciousness after an error with his supply of anaesthetic. 

Prior to his retirement from the game, which came a year before tragedy struck, Adams was one of the leading lights in French football, earning 22 caps for his country and establishing a formidable defensive partnership with Marius Trésor. 

Born in Senegal, Adams moved to France at the age of ten and went on to chalk up over 200 Ligue 1 appearances during spells with Nîmes Olympique, OGC Nice and Paris Saint-Germain. 

Adams was released from hospital 15 months after entering a coma and was cared for by Bernadette at their home in Nîmes up until his passing. 

For four decades, she spent nearly every day caring for Jean-Pierre, bathing him, preparing his food, offering him treats and often talking to him. At no stage did she consider turning off his life support machine. 

Roger Hunt


Roger Hunt partnered hat-trick hero Geoff Hurst in attack for England in the 1966 FIFA World Cup final, which ended in a 4-2 win over West Germany. It remains England’s only major trophy to date. 

Often overlooked in the pantheon of England greats, Hunt scored 18 goals in 34 appearances for England, including three at the 1966 FIFA World Cup. 

Hunt is also the second-highest goalscorer in Liverpool’s illustrious history, with a total of 285 goals in 492 appearances for the Reds. Only Ian Rush, with 346 in 660, has scored more goals for the club. 

During his time with Liverpool, Hunt won two league titles and the FA Cup and was also the first player ever to score a goal broadcast on BBC’s iconic highlights show Match of the Day. 

Ebba Andersson


Ebba Andersson was one of the true pioneers of women’s football in her home country of Sweden. 

In 1973, Sweden women played their first-ever international match with Andersson leading the team as captain. The match, a 0-0 draw with Finland, would be Andersson’s only international appearance at the age of 37. 

Sweden have since gone on to become a powerhouse of women’s football, finishing as runners-up at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2003 and earning two Olympic silver medals.

Andersson was a crucial driver of women’s football in Sweden, leading Öxabäck to victory in the first-ever Swedish women’s championship, also in 1973, before going on to clinch a second title two years later. 

Tarcisio Burgnich


Tarcisio Burgnich appeared in three FIFA World Cups for Italy and was a pillar of Inter Milan’s defence for over a decade. Nicknamed La Rocchia (the Rock) by Inter captain Armando Picchi, Burgnich made 66 appearances for Italy, representing the Azzurri at the 1966, 1970 and 1974 World Cups. 

He scored a rare goal in the semi-final of the 1970 FIFA World Cup™ against West Germany, which was dubbed the Game of the Century, only to appear on the losing side in the final when Italy were beaten by Brazil. He was also a member of the Italian team that won the UEFA European Championship on home soil in 1968. 

A quick and energetic full-back, Burgnich was ahead of his time, providing an attacking threat along with defensive strength that was perfect for Inter’s counter-attacking style in the 1960s. He made 494 Serie A appearances in total, winning four titles, two European Cups and two Intercontinental Cups. 

After his playing days were finished, Burgnich became a manager, taking control of over a dozen clubs over two decades. 

Yoo Sang-chul


Widely regarded as one of the greatest Korea Republic players of all time, Yoo Sang-chul’s name will live forever in his country’s football history. 

Yoo gained 120 international caps from 1994 to 2005 and was an integral part of the historic Korea Republic team that reached the semi-finals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup™. During the tournament, co-hosted by Korea Republic and Japan, Yoo’s team were a revelation, beating the likes of Portugal, Italy and Spain en route to the semi-finals. 

Yoo scored in the 2-0 win over Poland in their tournament opener – the first-ever World Cup win for Korea Republic – and was included in the team of the tournament, such was his influence. 

An incredibly versatile player – he was named in the K League Best XI side as a defender, midfielder and forward during his career – Yoo won club league titles in his home country and Japan before retiring in 2005. 

He went into management after that but, whilst coaching Incheon United, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He battled on, lifting Incheon from the bottom of the table to avoid relegation before being forced to resign because of ill health in 2020. 

Willy van der Kuijlen


Dutch forward Willy van der Kuijlen remains the all-time leading Eredivisie goalscorer, with 311 goals in 544 appearances, the majority for his beloved PSV Eindhoven. 

Van der Kuijlen, who is also the all-time record scorer in the Netherlands’ KVNB Cup, spent most of his career in the second striker position, relying on his technique and powerful shot to score week after week. 

In his 18 years at PSV, Van der Kuijlen won three Eredivisie titles, two KVNB Cups and the UEFA Cup in 1978. Despite his sensational form for PSV, he was restricted to just 22 caps for the Netherlands during their glory years in the 1960s and 1970s. The difficulty for Van der Kuijlen was that he played in the same position as the great Johan Cruyff and was subsequently often deemed surplus to requirements at international level. 

Despite this, he still notched seven goals for his country, with his final appearance coming in 1977. After retirement, “Mister PSV” remained at the club, working in various guises as youth coach, assistant manager and scout. A statue of Van der Kuijlen was erected outside PSV’s stadium in 2004. 

Holger Obermann


Holger Obermann was a man who shone in a crisis and who was wholeheartedly committed to FIFA’s vision and values of making a difference through football. 

After an accomplished if unremarkable playing career in his homeland Germany and the United States, Obermann made his name first as a journalist and then as a technical consultant for a huge number of member associations. 

Known for his development expertise, he travelled on behalf of FIFA, the German Football Association and the German government to a multitude of countries, including Gambia, Malaysia and, most prominently, Afghanistan. 

He was the man entrusted with rebuilding Afghan football in 2003 after decades in the footballing wilderness. The hard work of Obermann – who briefly managed the Afghan men’s national team – was a key factor in restoring the status of the Afghanistan Football Federation as a FIFA member association. 

After the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, FIFA turned to Obermann again, appointing him as a technical consultant for the reconstruction programme in Sri Lanka. In the same year, Obermann was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and he also received the FIFA Order of Merit in 2010 for his commitment to football development. ­

Leopoldo Luque


Leopoldo Luque may have only featured at one FIFA World Cup, in 1978, but he certainly made his mark at it by scoring four goals as Argentina won the trophy on home soil. 

After scoring in Argentina’s first two matches of the tournament, Luque was struck with a double tragedy; he dislocated his elbow and his brother was killed in a traffic accident. 

Luque missed the next two games but returned to score twice against Peru and play the full 120 minutes in the final against the Netherlands as Argentina won their first FIFA World Cup. 

He scored 22 goals for Argentina, the last coming in 1980, and won five domestic league titles with River Plate. 

Horst Eckel


Horst Eckel was the last surviving member of the West Germany side that won the 1954 FIFA World Cup. On 3 December 2021, he passed away at the age of 89. A highly versatile player, Eckel was an integral part of the West German side that upset the much-favoured Hungary in the 1954 final that became known as the “Miracle of Bern”. 

A universally admired figure, Eckel was the last surviving member of the team that won West Germany’s first World Cup and laid the foundation for the decades of consistency and excellence of Die Mannschaft since. Eckel made 32 appearances for West Germany, the pinnacle of which was the 3-2 win over the golden generation of Hungarian players in the 1954 final. 

Coach Sepp Herberger built his team around a nucleus of players from 1 FC. Kaiserslautern, including Eckel, but with all the German players being semi-professional, they were not among the favourites coming into the tournament. 

However, their performance in the finals – and the final in particular – has gone down in German football folklore as a uniting moment for a new nation still reeling from World War Two, lost and in real need of inspiration. 

Eckel achieved great success at club level too, making his debut for Kaiserslautern in 1950 and going on to win two German league titles. After his playing days were over, Eckel retrained and worked as a teacher until his retirement in 1997. 

FIFA remembers

As COVID-19 continued to impact on lives across the world, 2021 was another challenging year for the global population and one in which the football family had to say goodbye to some of its most treasured members. FIFA honours the memories of those named below and countless others who made a difference to the game and our lives.

2021 Palmas FR plane crash, Brazil
Abukari Gariba, Ghana
Adnan Al Sharqi, Lebanon
Agustín Balbuena, Argentina
Ahmed Mghirbi, Tunisia
Ahmed Salmeen, Bahrain
Alan McLoughlin, Republic of Ireland
Albert Beiso, Gibraltar
Albert Bers, Belgium
Alberto Dualib, Brazil
Aleksandar Shalamanov, Bulgaria
Aletta Ngidi, South Africa
Alfred Teinitzer, Austria
Alireza Azizi, IR Iran
Amatsia Levkovich, Israel
Amela Fetahović, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Antoine Bonifaci, France
Anton Urban, Slovakia
Antonio Calpe, Spain
Antonio de la Torre Villalpando, Mexico
Audu Adamu Ejo, Nigeria
Barnabas Imenger, Nigeria
Bertil Johansson, Sweden
Celso Güity, Honduras
Clyde Leon, Trinidad and Tobago
Colin Baker, Wales
Colin Bell, England
Cornel Drăgușin, Romania
Daniel Guerini, Italy
Danilo Popivoda, Serbia
Doug Cowie, Scotland
Dragan Pantelić, Serbia
Dzyanis Kowba, Belarus
Egbert Mulder, Netherlands
Eleazar Soria, Peru
Enrique Chazarreta, Argentina
Erhan Önal, Turkey
Eugeniusz Faber, Poland
Faisal Abdulaziz, Bahrain
Faisal Al-Shuhail, Saudi Arabia
Fortunato Franco, India
Francesco Morini, Italy
Frank Arok, Australia
Frank Worthington, England
Franz Xaver Wengenmayer, Germany
Georgi Georgiev Dimitrov, Bulgaria
German Zonin, Russia
Gilmar Fubá, Brazil
Giuseppe Perrino, Italy
Guillermo Sepúlveda, Mexico
Gustavo Peña Velasco, Mexico
Hamid Jasemian, IR Iran
Hassan Mohamed Mahmoud, Somalia
Henri Cirelli, Luxembourg
Ian Ormond, New Zealand
Ian St John, Scotland
Inge Danielsson, Sweden
Italo Vassallo, Ethiopia
Ivan Toplak, Slovenia
Jacques Zimako, France
Jamal Al-Qabandi, Kuwait
Jean Nelson, Jamaica
Jiří Čadek, Czech Republic
Jiří Feureisl, Czech Republic
Jóhannes Eðvaldsson, Iceland
John “Jock” Aird, Scotland/New Zealand
John Mario Ramírez, Colombia
John Mortimore, England
José de la Paz Herrera, Honduras
José Luis Lamadrid, Mexico
José Villegas, Mexico
Jozef Vengloš, Slovakia
Juan Espínola, Paraguay
Juan Masnik, Uruguay
Juan Rodríguez Vega, Chile
Julio César Anderson, Guatemala
Ken Worden, England

Kenny Hope, Scotland
Kim Suominen, Finland
Lamine Dieng, Senegal
Lars Høgh, Denmark
Len Ashurst, England
Leroy Lewis, Belize
Luis del Sol, Spain
Luton Shelton, Jamaica
Marcos Ferrufino, Bolivia
Mario Osbén, Chile
Martí Vergés, Spain
Martín Pando, Argentina
Maurizio Mattei, Italy
Mauro Bellugi, Italy
Mehdi Cerbah, Algeria
Mehrdad Minavand, IR Iran
Miguel Miranda, Peru
Mike Smith, England
Milan Živadinović, Serbia
Misheck Chidzambwa, Zimbabwe
Mohamed Noh Hussein, Singapore
Momčilo Vukotić, Serbia
Muamer Abdulrab, Qatar
Nelly Sauter, Switzerland
Nelson Marcenaro, Uruguay
Neno, Portugal
Nikolay Shirshov, Uzbekistan
Norbert Owona, Cameroon
Norberto Boggio, Argentina
O. Chandrasheka, India
Olav Nilsen, Norway
Osagi Bascome, Bermuda
Özcan Arkoç, Turkey
Pachín, Spain
Park Kyung-ho, South Korea
Paul Gludovatz, Austria
Paul Mariner, England
Paulão, Angola
Pavol Molnár, Slovakia
Peter Lorimer, Scotland
Porfirio Armando Betancourt, Honduras
Rafael Albrecht, Argentina
Rafi Levi, Rateb Al-Awadat, Jordan
Raúl Madero, Argentina
Ray Kennedy, England
Rildo da Costa Menezes, Brazil
Rinus Bennaars, Netherlands
Robert Hosp, Switzerland
Roger Machin, France
Romano Fogli, Italy
Ron Flowers, England
Rubén Israel, El Salvador
Ryszard Grzegorczyk, Poland
Sabah Abdul-Jalil, Iraq
Sami Hasan Al Nash, Yemen
Sándor Puhl, Hungary
Shankar Subramaniam Narayan, India
Syarhey Herasimets, Belarus
Syed Shahid Hakim, India
Terry Cooper, England
Tommy Troelsen, Denmark
Tremaine Stewart, Jamaica
Urbain Braems, Belgium
Valentin Afonin, Russia
Vic Sison, Philippines
Vicente Cantatore, Chile
Vicky Peretz, Israel
Walter Smith, Scotland
Wálter Taibo Martínez, Uruguay
Wijnand Vermeulen, Netherlands
Wilfried Van Moer, Belgium
William David “Dai” Davies, Wales
Willy Ta Bi, Côte d’Ivoire
Yisa Sofoluwe, Nigeria
Yvon Douis, France
Zablon Amanaka, Kenya
Zhang Enhua, China PR
Zlatko Kranjčar, Croatia