THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Bundesliga mourns the death of its first goal scorer



German football is mourning the death of Friedhelm “Timo” Konietzka, the first goal scorer in the history of the German Bundesliga. The 73-year old Konietzka, who was suffering from an incurable gall bladder cancer, made use of euthanasia in Switzerland to end his life.

Konietzka has played his professional football for Borussia Dortmund, TSV 1860 Munich and Swiss club FC Winterthur. He played 100 matches in the Bundesliga, while scoring a total of 72 goals. But Konietzka needed only one goal to enter the history books!

The Bundesliga kicked-of its inaugural season on August 24, 1963 and Konietzka’s Borussia Dortmund took on Werder Bremen at the Weserstadion. The striker just needed 58 seconds to find the back of the net and to give his team a 1-0 lead. A historic goal – but sadly uncaptured by any of the five photographers and television cameras at the ground!

Konietzka, who was born in the small city of Luenen, has described his most remembered goal on so many occasions. “I received a pass by Lothar Emmerich and I easily slotted it home with my right feet from a distance of seven metres,” he once told.

The man from the Western part of Germany has won the German Championship with Borussia Dortmund in 1963 before the introduction of the Bundesliga. He also won the German Cup in 1965, before he clinched his only Bundesliga title in 1966 with TSV 1860 Munich.

Konietzka was considered as one of the best strikers in Germany in those times, but he had less success with the German national team. Then Germany coach Sepp Herberger called the Dortmund player inconsistent and his international career was limited to nine caps for the “Mannschaft”.

“The Bundesliga is mourning the loss of Timo Konietzka,” Bundesliga President Dr. Reinhard Rauball told. “Having scored the first-ever Bundesliga goal, he will live long in the memories of fans in Germany, even though the moment was not captured on film.”

German football has lost one of its historic players. May his soul rest in peace.