Legend with charm and killer instinct: Jean-Marie pfaff in Hirschfeld

When a penalty is awarded in a football match, the goalkeeper is in most cases only the second winner. Not so with jean-marie pfaff. The goalkeeper thwarted far more than half of the penalties imposed on him. He revealed the secret of his success to around 20 youth coaches and junior goalkeepers. And this about 650 kilometers away from brasschaat near antwerp, the current home of the former belgian national goalkeeper: in the upper frankenwald on the sports field of the FC hirschfeld.

Here, a goalkeeper training course had just taken place, initiated by the rennsteig junior team, in which goalkeeper trainer marcel renner from the coburg junior training center and ralf brockner, the DFB training center trainer in poppenreuth, provided practical training aids.

The right movement

But after one and a half hours, both were dismissed by the goalkeeper legends. After pfaff buried everyone present with a handshake, the belgian immediately lapsed into his goalkeeping element. With four local junior goalkeepers, he demonstrated, among other things, how a goalkeeper should move, where his line of sight should go, how he should react to his opponents or how he should set a wall.

He was almost disappointed that some goalkeepers today move toward the ball like volleyball or handball players, even in the higher leagues. "As a goalkeeper, you always have to play along, think along, be on the move and direct your teammates from behind as if you were the second coach." the conducting must be so loud that it is also heard. The goalkeeper had to give the impression of being a "bad man" as soon as he entered the pitch arouse respect for the opponent and the supporters of the opposing team. "If a goalkeeper has feelings of fear, he has already lost."

Training tips from the starkeeper

Pfaff, who experienced his heyday between 1982 and 1988 between the posts of FC bayern munchen and in the european championship final two years earlier with the belgian national team, gave tips on boot material and glove handling. Often these were only wetted with water by auben. No, the water has to be put in the finger cuffs.

He also explained how and what a goalkeeper has to train. After all, this was also one of the most important reasons for the actual training sessions. The soccer icon pleads for an extra goalkeeper coach with appropriate knowledge in the clubs. However, he did not forget that a goalkeeper must also train on his own, for example by training in the hall on a mat or on a wooden wall. Using a two-meter-long wooden pole, he demonstrated various exercises and said with a smile to the attentive training participants: "but don’t copy everything today, otherwise you won’t be able to sleep at night"." in general, he always came up with a light-hearted saying and thus ensured an extremely relaxed atmosphere.

Interesting language

After the actions on the field followed a round of talks in the FC-sportheim, but the present were quite taciturn. However, this had become insignificant, because when pfaff commented on something in his charming and authoritative manner, then this was so detailed and interesting that further questions were not necessary.

JFG director thomas loffler wanted to know how to manage to be one of the world’s best players at the goalkeeper position over a longer period of time: "fight, don’t let yourself be influenced, prove your mentality, strengthen your morale." one sentence that came over pfaff’s lips several times was: "you play like you train"." in the end, the secret of a top goalkeeper lies in the mixture of reflexes, jumping power, technique, concentration and the will to catch the ball in all situations.

Apropos secret to the penalty killer instinct of the belgian: shortly before the execution from the penalty spot to give himself completely uninterested and scratched, still a little grumbling with the alleged wrong decision of the referee, move to the goal home. But when you look at the ball and the guard, you have to be highly concentrated for yourself. At the end, thomas loffler, who is also mayor of steinbach, thanked the superstar with down-to-earth attitude for his motivational and expert comments, which he delivered with great passion and heart and soul.

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