Former Werder Bremen and Greece coach Otto Rehhagel became the fourth German manager to be honoured with a lifetime achievement award by the country’s football association (DFB) on Thursday.
The 75-year-old, whose biggest success was leading Greece to the Euro 2004 title, spent 14 years at Werder Bremen and also coached Kaiserslautern and Bayern Munich among other teams.
“Otto Rehhagel has left his mark on German football with his incomparable way,» said DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach.
“He won a string of titles with Werder Bremen, won the sensational title with newly promoted Kaiserslautern in 1998 and made history by winning the Euro 2004 title with outsiders Greece.”
“Otto is a great personality and an absolute role model.”
Having played in the inaugural Bundesliga season in 1963, Rehhagel started his coaching career in 1972.
He won the German Cup with Fortuna Dusseldorf in 1980 before taking over Werder in 1981.
He won two Bundesliga titles and two German Cups with them as well as the European Cup Winners Cup in 1992.
Most Germans had written off the hard-talking disciplinarian, known also for his off-the-cuff remarks, after an unsuccessful spell at Bayern Munich who sacked him four days before the 1996 UEFA Cup final.
But he came straight back and clinched another Bundesliga title in 1998 with Kaiserslautern, which became the first team to win promotion and the championship in successive seasons.
Rehhagel left his best for last, enjoying shock international success with Greece in 2004.
He also led the country to the 2010 World Cup before retiring after a brief spell at Hertha Berlin in 2012.
Bayern Munich’s former coach Dettmar Cramer, Udo Lattek who also coached Bayern, Borussia Moenchengladbach and Barcelona and former women’s national team coach Gero Bisanz are the other winners of the award.