5. OBITUARY: Max Merkel made mark with wins and wit
Austrian Max Merkel coached four clubs to league titles in three
countries and coached the Dutch national team. As a player, he was capped by Germany
in 1939 and Austria in 1952.
As a coach and later as a columnist for Bild, Merkel was known for his sense of
humor and many of his remarks fill German soccer quote books.
He once called midfielder Mario Basler "the most expensive parking meter.
He just stands still while Bayern keeps sticking money inside him."
Of coach Christoph Daum, Merkel said, "He eats only macaroni so he can
keep talking through the holes when he is eating."
Of current Greece coach Otto Rehhagel he said, "He used to find it
difficult to distinguish omelette from Hamlet."
Merkel won the Austrian league with Rapid (1957), the Spanish La Liga with
Atletico Madrid (1973) and won the German Bundesliga with 1860 Munich (1966) and
FC Nürnberg (1968). He coached the Netherlands in 1954-56 and lost only once in
He wrote columns for Bild for nearly 29 years and said of German soccer
federation bosses, "They think the soccer ball bounces because there's a frog
Regarding team discipline, Merkel said he once pitted the boozers on his team
against teetotalers in a scrimmage: "The boozers won, 7-1. So I said, "Keep
Merkel died on Tuesday in his Munich home on Tuesday at age 87.
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