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Uwe Seeler, One among Germany’s Best Soccer Players, Dies at 85

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Pele, the Brazilian soccer great, included Seeler in his list of the world’s biggest living players in 2004.

“His handling of the ball was perfect, his shot precise, and what really amazed me was his ability to go the ball,” Pele said.

In a special complement to rejoice Seeler’s eightieth birthday in 2016, the Hamburg club wrote: “If Uwe Seeler laced up his boots, then the opposing goalkeeper could dress up warmly and preferably placed on a second pair of gloves, because Seeler scored from in every single place and in every possible way. Whether overhead kicks, flying headers, shots from distance, volleys, lobs, opportunist strikes — he at all times found a method to get the ball over the road.”

Seeler won the German championship in 1960 and the German Cup in 1963 with Hamburg, but he also endured heartbreak with near misses within the European Cup and the European Cup Winners’ Cup. Hamburg lost to Barcelona within the European Cup semifinals in 1961 and to Milan within the Cup Winners’ Cup final in 1968.

Seeler, who was born in Hamburg on Nov. 5, 1936, suffered repeated health setbacks lately. In May 2020 he underwent an operation to repair a broken hip after a foul fall at home. He lost his hearing in his right ear and had problems with balance after a automotive accident in 2010. He also had a pacemaker fitted and needed to have a tumor faraway from his shoulder, the news agency DPA reported.

Seeler and his wife, Ilka, were married for greater than 60 years. That they had three daughters. His grandson Levin Öztunali plays for the Bundesliga club Union Berlin. Seeler’s older brother, Dieter, also played for Hamburg. His father, Erwin, worked on a barge in Hamburg’s port and was also known for enjoying soccer in that city.

Complete information on survivors was not immediately available.

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