Remembering Matthaus’ fine strike for West Germany against Yugoslavia

Long before Gazza’s tears and Waddle’s penalty, West Germany started the 1990 World Cup with a crushing win over Yugoslavia.

Four years after their final defeat to Argentina, Franz Beckenbauer’s side were among the favourites to emerge victorious in Italy.

A squad featuring the likes of Rudi Voller, Jurgen Klinsmann and Andreas Brehme would have fancied their chances of going one step further – and swept Yugoslavia aside in their first game.

Skipper Lothar Matthaus led the way, curling home the opener with his left foot from outside the box.

Klinsmann doubled the lead but Yugoslavia pulled one back before Matthaus came up with one of the goals of the tournament.


Matthaus picked up the ball deep inside his own half before skinning an onrushing defender (think Michael Owen France ’98).

As the Yugoslavia defenders backed off, the angle opened up for the midfielder – who wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity.

Matthaus launched a fierce drive from 30 yards, which flew into the bottom left-hand corner.


Voller added a fourth as Germany started the tournament with a win.

They cruised into the last four where they beat England on penalties *sobs* – and then got their own back on Argentina with a 1-0 victory in the final.

A very good Germany team – with an even better Germany kit.

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