This Is Nice To Read: The story of Rudi Gutendorf


Alfie Harmer produces the HITC Sevens youtube channel, where he tells obscure stories from the world of football.  And I do mean both obscure and world.  He’s a passionate fan who is aware of the game on every continent.  His stories range from funny to sad to interesting, some about politics and some about corruption in the game, some just speculation and opinion.  Harmer’s latest video on German manager Rudi Gutendorf (his career record) is worth watching, even if you’re only a casual fan of the game.

Gutendorf was born in 1926, and was seven when the Nazis rise to power, nineteen when the war ended, so he was never involved.  But he grew up witnessing the atrocities first hand, and it likely affected his outlook on life.  He coached in Chile in the early 1970s, and was friends with then president Salvador Allende.  He coached in Iran during the Iran/Iraq war, and he coached in Rwanda after the genocide, uniting the Tutsis and Hutus into one team that the nation supported.  His trophy case isn’t large, but coached longer and held more manager positions and national teams than anyone else and his effect on football worldwide (including at home in Germany) makes for an amazing story.

Harmer himself admits the title is click bait-y, but that doesn’t detract from the feel good nature of it.  Gutendorf died in 2019, age 93.

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