Jorg Albertz “Der Hammer” : Part One

Posted on August 4, 2011

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The original “Der Hammer” is held affectionately in the hearts of football fans in both Scotland and Germany. In particular, those supporting Hamburger SV and Rangers will have fond memories of Jorg Albertz and to this day, he is still treated like a messiah in the blue-half of Glasgow and Hamburg.

Albertz played over 100 times for HSV after joining from Fortuna Dusseldorf and his form with Die Rothosen attracted interest from Rangers who swooped in 1996 to take the midfielder to Glasgow.

It was in the West of Scotland where Jorg enjoyed his finest years, winning three league championships from five seasons with the club. He played an integral part in both Rangers sides which toppled Bayer Leverkusen in 1998 and drew with FC Bayern in 1999.

Having played for Borussia Monchengladbach for nearly ten years as a teenager, Albertz was engrossed in their enthralling end to the season where they pulled off the Great Escape by beating VfL Bochum over two legs in the Bundesliga play-offs.

He said: “Of course it was interesting because nobody thought they could manage to get to this point even for the relegation place, but they did it and they stayed in the league which is a great thing for the city and of course for the club. It was amazing to achieve it after the first period of the season.

“They didn’t play good football and they deserved to be down there and all of a sudden things changed. The new coach turned things around and they managed to stay in the league which is very big for the club.”

Marco Reus played a crucial part in Gladbach’s excellent form in the second half of the season and the 22-year-old is one of the country’s hottest talents.

He made over 30 appearances last season for Die Fohlen and Albertz thinks Reus will attract some of Europe’s top clubs in the next year.

He added: “Marco was one of the key players for the year. Ter Stegen, the young goalkeeper, came in for the last few games but Reus was outstanding and he had a great season and no doubt another interest will be in for that boy but they managed to keep him which was very important.

“If he has another season like the last, I can’t see Gladbach holding on to him.”

Champions Borussia Dortmund kick off their campaign tomorrow night against Hamburg at Signal Iduna Park and Albertz enjoyed seeing Jurgen Klopp’s side secure their first Bundesliga in nine years.

“Dortmund played the best football. It was a young team with Klopp as a coach which is very good and they deserved to be the champions without a shadow of a doubt. They played the best football and deserved to be champions.

“It’s interesting to see the best players coming along. Most of the clubs don’t have the money to buy good players but they look after the young players and sell them on.

“We are producing some good players and look at BVB who produced loads of young players and kept them, except for Sahin, and hopefully they can prove themselves in the UCL.”

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