Werner Liebrich

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Werner Liebrich
Personal information
Full name Werner Liebrich
Date of birth (1927-01-18)18 January 1927
Place of birth Kaiserslautern, Germany
Date of death 20 March 1995(1995-03-20) (aged 68)
Place of death Kaiserslautern, Germany
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 12 in)
Playing position Defender
Youth career
1938–1943 1. FC Kaiserslautern
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1943–1962 1. FC Kaiserslautern 273 (25)
National team
1951–1956 West Germany 16 (0)
Teams managed
1965 1. FC Kaiserslautern

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Werner Liebrich (18 January 1927 – 20 March 1995) was a German footballer who played in the centre back position. He is notable for his role in West Germany's triumph in the 1954 FIFA World Cup, and spending his entire playing career of almost twenty years with hometown club Kaiserslautern, with whom he also briefly coached.


Early life

Liebrich was brought up in Kaiserslautern to a worker's family who were members of the Social Democratic German party SPD.[1]


At club level, Liebrich played solely for Kaiserslautern, and made his professional debut in 1944 at the age of 17.[2] He was part of the team that won the German championship in the 1950–51 and 1952–53 seasons.

He appeared sixteen times for the West German national football team,[3] and was a member of the West Germany team that won the 1954 FIFA World Cup, in which he played in the final. He was the player who injured Hungarian team captain Ferenc Puskás during the two teams' first game in the tournament in the group stage. Puskás was forced to miss the next two matches of his team, and has only shown up in the final against Germany again, still in a questionable condition.[citation needed]

In 1950, AC Milan offered him a contract which he declined to stay at his hometown club.[1]

Apart from winning the German championship with Kaiserslautern in 1951 and 1953, the pinnacle of Liebrich's career were his defensive performances during the 1954 FIFA World Cup, especially in the quarter final against Yugoslavia. After the 1954 World Cup, one of his best performances came in the game against England at Wembley on 1 December 1954. He effectively marked English centre forward Ronnie Allen and also helped out covering Stanley Matthews.[citation needed]

Liebrich retired from playing in 1962, after nearly twenty years with his hometown club; however he came back for a coaching stint in the 1964–65 season and was celebrated as saving his club from relegation.[1]

In March 1995, Liebrich died of heart failure aged 68, in Kaiserslautern.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Bitter, Jürgen (1997). Deutschlands Fußball Nationalspieler (in German). Sportverlag. p. 284. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Werner Liebrich" (in German). weltfussball.de. Retrieved 23 January 2010. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Werner Liebrich" (in German). fussballdaten.de. Retrieved 23 January 2010. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>