Lutz Pfannenstiel

Lutz Pfannenstiel

Pfannenstiel as reporter for CNN during FIFA World Cup in Brazil (2014)
Personal information
Full name Lutz Pfannenstiel
Date of birth (1973-05-12) 12 May 1973
Place of birth Zwiesel, West Germany
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 1 12 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
(head of international relations and scouting)[1]
Youth career
1986–1989 SC Zwiesel
1989–1991 FC Vilshofen
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1993 1. FC Bad Kötzting 68 (0)
1993–1994 Penang FA 12 (0)
1994–1995 Wimbledon 12 (0)
1995–1997 Nottingham Forest 5 (0)
1996–1997Orlando Pirates (loan) 7 (0)
1997 TPV 8 (0)
1997 FC Haka 14 (0)
1998–1999 SV Wacker Burghausen 14 (0)
1999–2000 Geylang United 46 (0)
2001 Dunedin Technical 18 (0)
2001–2002Bradford Park Avenue (loan) 1 (0)
2001–2002 Huddersfield Town 0 (0)
2002 Dunedin Technical 18 (0)
2002 ASV Cham 12 (0)
2002–2003Bradford Park Avenue (loan) 14 (0)
2003 Dunedin Technical 18 (0)
2003Bærum SK (loan) 13 (0)
2004 Calgary Mustangs 28 (0)
2004–2006 Otago United 36 (0)
2006–2007 Vllaznia Shkodër 14 (0)
2007 Bentonit Ijevan 12 (0)
2007 Bærum SK 9 (0)
2007 Vancouver Whitecaps 4 (0)
2008 Hermann Aichinger 24 (0)
2008–2009 Flekkerøy IL 14 (0)
2009 Manglerud Star 11 (0)
2009–2011 Ramblers 45 (0)
Total 477 (0)
National team
1986–1987 Germany U-17 5 (0)
Teams managed
2007 Bentonit Ijevan
2008 Flekkerøy IL (assistant coach)
2008–2009 Cuba (goalkeeper coach)
2009 Manglerud Star (goalkeeper coach)
2009–2010 Ramblers (head coach & technical director)[2]
2009–2010 Namibia (cotrainer)
2009–2010 Antarctica XI (manager & goalkeeper coach)
2011– TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
(head of international relations and scouting)

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

Lutz Pfannenstiel (born 12 May 1973 in Zwiesel, Bavaria[3]) is a retired German footballer, who played as a goalkeeper. He is known for being the first, and so far the only player to have played professionally in all six FIFA confederations.[4]


Pfannenstiel is mostly famous for having played for 25 different clubs all around the world during his career,[5] including stints in Germany, England, New Zealand,[6] Singapore, United States, Brazil, South Africa, Finland, Malaysia, Belgium, Canada, Namibia, Norway, Armenia and Albania.[7] Pfannenstiel showed immense promise as a youngster and represented Germany’s under-17s. By the time he was 19, Bayern Munich had come knocking, but Pfannenstiel had greater aspirations, even greater than representing the undisputed giants of German football. He turned them down in favour of embarking upon a truly unimaginable adventure.[8][9] After signing for Hermann Aichinger in Brazil, he became the first (and only) professional to have played in all six FIFA confederations.[10][11]

Pfannenstiel was a playing coach at Norwegian side Manglerud Star,[12] making his debut in the 2–1 away win against Asker on 13 April 2009. He has played for Manglerud Star in Norway[5] and joined on 3 October to Namibian club Ramblers.[13]

International career

Pfannenstiel is a former member of the Germany U-17 national football team.[14]

Coaching career

Pfannenstiel began his coaching career in April 2008 when he became the Goalkeeper Coach for Reinhold Fanz coaching the Cuba national football team[15] and signed in January 2009 a contract for Manglerud Star who was named as player-goalkeeper coach.[16] In September 2009 Pfannenstiel left Norway and Europe to sign for Namibian club Ramblers who signed a contract as Player-Coach and Sport director besides working as goalkeeping coach of the Namibia national football team.[17] Since February 2011, he has been working as a scout for the Bundesliga club TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.[18]


Pfannenstiel is today best remembered as the first, and so far only, football player to have played professionally in all six FIFA confederations.[4] Since his retirement from active footballing he has worked as a scout for German side TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, whilst also pursuing television and writing.

He wrote his biography Unhaltbar — Meine Abenteuer als Welttorhüter; the book was released on 1 October 2009.[19] and the UK bestseller The unstoppable keeper released in August 2014.[20] During the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups, Pfannenstiel worked as a pundit for the German television station ZDF, alongside fellow goalkeeper Oliver Kahn.[21][22] He also works as an expert for BBC World and CNN as well as Eurosport. Furthermore, Lutz Pfannenstiel works as a coaching instructor for FIFA and the German Football association (DFB) to educate coaches all over the world.

While playing football in Singapore, Pfannenstiel was accused of match-fixing and jailed for 101 days. However he was released due to a lack of evidence, and later cleared of the charges.[22][23]

Pfannenstiel stopped breathing three times after a collision with Clayton Donaldson while playing for Bradford Park Avenue against Harrogate Town in a Northern Premier League match on 26 December 2002. The injury was so serious that the referee, Jon Moss, abandoned the match.[24] Bradford Park Avenue were leading 2–1 at the time of the incident.[25]


  1. "Wir sind Hoffe". (in German). Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  2. "Fußball-Weltenbummler will nun Namibia voranbringen". (in German). 29 September 2009. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
  3. "Lutz – Global Goalie". (in German). Retrieved 16 November 2009.
  4. 1 2 "Lutz Pfannenstiel, gardien du monde". (in French). 23 January 2009. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
  5. 1 2 "Pfannenstiel — globetrotting German goalie with 24 clubs". AFP. 26 January 2009. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
  6. "Soccer: Have ball, will travel – and there's plenty of that for goalie". The New Zealand Herald. 15 December 2004. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
  7. Lutz Pfannenstiel, intercontinental (with photo)
  8. Lutz Pfannenstiel,The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
  9. Lutz Pfannenstiel,the only player to have played professional football on all six continents
  10. "Prost Amerika Interviews Lutz Pfannenstiel". 8 October 2007. Retrieved 10 February 2008. In 2008, I'll be playing in South America and in doing so, I'll become the only player ever to play professional football on every continent.
  11. "La drôle d'histoire d'un gardien de but globe-trotter". Les Dessous du Sport (in French). 20 January 2009. Retrieved 8 February 2009.
  12. "Globetrotter Pfannenstiel zieht es nach Afrika". Focus (in German). 5 October 2009. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
  13. "Malaysia wirkte auf Pfannenstiel wie eine Droge". Die Welt (in German). 26 September 2009. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
  14. Myrrhe, Anke (30 July 2008). "Keine Fluchtgefahr". Der Tagesspiegel (in German). Retrieved 15 October 2009.
  15. "Lutz Pfannenstiel unterschreibt bei Manglerud Star in Norwegen". 30 January 2009. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
  16. "Globetrotter Pfannenstiel zieht es nach Afrika". FIFA. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
  17. "Traumjob für Lutz Pfannenstiel – Zwiesler Weltenbummler wird Scout bei der TSG Hoffenheim". FUPA. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
  18. Krull, Patrick (27 September 2009). "Sagenhafte Abenteuer eines unhaltbaren Torwarts". Die Welt (in German). Retrieved 15 October 2009.
  20. Benninghoff, Dirk (15 June 2010). "Noch mehr als die Tröte nervt das Gerede darüber". Die Welt (in German). Retrieved 15 June 2010.
  21. 1 2
  23. "Footballer saved by kiss of life". Telegraph & Argus. Newsquest Media Group. 27 December 2002. Retrieved 10 May 2008.
  24. "Goalkeeper's wife tells of match terror". Craven Herald & Pioneer. Newsquest Media Group. 28 December 2002. Retrieved 10 May 2008.
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