Jean-Marie Pfaff

Jean -Marie Pfaff (2007)

Jean -Marie Pfaff ( born December 4, 1953 in Lebbeke, Flanders, Belgium ) is a former Belgian football goalkeeper.

Pfaff counted in the 1980's to the world's best players to the goalkeeper position and celebrated his greatest successes in club football with FC Bayern Munich. From Pele, he was put on the list of the best 125 living footballers still (FIFA 100).



Pfaff grew up with eleven siblings in a poor family and had to contribute early to the livelihood of the family, but also began simultaneously with the football. Was quickly recognized the boy's talent as a goalkeeper and he joined as a youth player for SK Beveren. There Pfaff was from the 1973/74 season with 20 years of first-choice goalkeeper and won the 1978 Association Cup. Pfaff was one of the best players in the league and was Belgium's Footballer of the Year in 1978. A year later, winning the championship, the first title for the small club from East Flanders followed.

Following the 1982 World Cup Pfaff left the SK Beveren and changed for the transfer fee of around one million DM in the Bundesliga for Bayern Munich. In his first Bundesliga game on August 21, 1982 ( 1st Round ), he made a curious own goal for an anecdote that is visible to this day over and over again in various flashbacks: Against Werder Bremen, he drew a throw of the Bremen striker Uwe Reinders into own goal. Despite this false start Pfaff underwent successful years in Munich and with strong performances he soon became one of the best goalkeepers in the Bundesliga. The Bavaria saw Pfaff as a worthy successor to the Bayern legend Sepp Maier, who had to end his career in 1979. The success gave him right, as he ranked in the team to Lothar Matthäus, Klaus eyes Thaler, Andreas Brehme and Dieter Hoeness title to title. In the 1984/85 season Pfaff was after an injury temporarily only second choice behind Raimond Aumann. Only when Aumann injured his hand, Pfaff again found the back of the net. In 1987, he met with Munich before even into the final of the European Champions' Cup, in which one however FC Porto defeated 1-2.

After six years in Munich he returned in the summer of 1988 back to Belgium and joined Lierse SK, where he still spent a season which, however, was marked by injuries. The now 35 -year-old graduated only 23 games. His last career station should be Trabzonspor in Turkey, but Pfaff played only 22 games and finished the season in the summer of 1990 his career.


As early as 1974 stood Pfaff than 21 years in the squad of the national team of his country; However, his first appearance he graduated three years later in the World Cup qualifier against Iceland. Since the former goalkeeper Christian Piot had to end his career due to injury, Pfaff became the undisputed number 1 in the "Red Devils ".

His international star went on at the European Championships in Italy in 1980. Pfaff played his first major international tournament and Belgium occupied surprising first place in the preliminary round. Spain was defeated 2-1 against England (1-1) and Italy ( 0-0) enter draw. In the final, but they lost 2-1 Germany; Horst Hrubesch hit it twice. This surprise hit, should be the beginning of a strong phase of the Belgians, who probably experienced the most successful period of their national team. Coach Guy Thys formed a strong team to Pfaff, Eric Gerets Jan Ceulemans and Erwin Vandenbergh.

In 1982, Belgium for the first time since 1970, again at a World Cup finals. In Spain, the Belgians surprised when she defeated defending champion Argentina 1-0 in the opening game and was named after victories over El Salvador and a draw against Hungary group winners. Pfaff had been injured and could not play at the World Cup after disputing; Belgium lost in the second round against Poland and the Soviet Union and had to return home. However, Belgium had reported back after the European Championships in 1980 and the 1982 World Cup on the big football stage.

At the World Cup 1986 in the great attempt was to follow; Pfaff was one of the strongest goalkeepers in the tournament. After a mixed first round, the Soviet Union was defeated in a dramatic game 4-3, with Pfaff had his front people driven again and again. In the quarter- final against Spain, he delivered a world-class game and brought the Spanish striker with its parades to despair; Belgium won on penalties 5-4. However, in the semi-final, which was lost 0-2 to Argentina proved to superstar Diego Maradona too large than one number. In the third place match France won 4-2, but the fourth place for Belgium is to become the biggest success in the history of football in the country.

A year later, he finished his career with the national team after 61 caps.


With the turned on 2 November 1983 in the 2nd round of the group stage of the UEFA Cup return match against PAOK Salonika and to progress decisive penalty for 9:8, Pfaff is the first goalkeeper of Bayern, who (from Bundesliga start) scored a competitive goal.

His father Jean- Baptist Pfaff was active in the 1960s in the Belgian football, brought it but only on a few missions in the highest Belgian league. Even Jean- Marie's brothers Anthony " Toon " Pfaff Pfaff and Danny were once active in the Belgian professional football.

In 1987, Pfaff a guest role in the movie Tender anarchists alongside Thomas Gottschalk, Michael Winslow, Helmut Fischer and Pierre Brice. In addition, Pfaff took on a largely unknown in Germany disk on which he "I was a Belgian and now I'm a Bayer " sang. However, this single got loud Pfaff's statement in Belgium Gold status. The corresponding gold record he donated during an audience with Pope John Paul II, which he should have graduated in leather pants. By his own testimony, this transfer was done because in a car accident not caused by him, a nun came to death.

After his playing career, he worked as a public relations manager in the field of sports, including he worked for the AC Beerschot.

As of 2003, the Belgian TV station VTM showed a docu-soap with 267 episodes ( " De Pfaff " ) in which Pfaff and his family were seen weekly in a 40 -minute episode.

In Germany Jean -Marie Pfaff was briefly re - footballing supporting an active member of the BFC Dynamo. He promoted the Berlin Oberliga primarily the establishment of a youth performance center that would bear his name. After a year, he announced in August 2006 and this contract but admitted that it would have simply been a wayward PR campaign.

In Brasschaat near Antwerp Pfaff has let a ranch-style house built where he lives with his large family.


  • Fourth in the World Cup 1986
  • Second in the 1980 European
  • Belgian Cup winners 1978
  • Belgian Champion 1979
  • Finalist European Cup of Champions 1987
  • German champions in 1985, 1986, 1987
  • DFB Cup winners in 1984, 1986
  • DFB - Supercup winner 1983, 1987


  • Belgium's Footballer of the Year 1978
  • World's Best Goalkeeper of the Year 1987
  • FIFA 100