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IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation
Judo ambassador and top football player Lothar Matthäus was the star of the 1990 World Championships in Italy where Germany captured the FIFA World Cup. Matthäus is a close friend of IJF President Marius Vizer. Twenty years ago Matthäus lost a legendary Champions League final against Manchester United.
Matthäus will soon again be lined up alongside Stefan Effenberg, Mario Basler and Sammy Kuffour against a Manchester United team containing Beckham, Ole Gunnar Solskjær and co in a charity match at Old Trafford on Sunday, to mark the 20th anniversary of that famous final.
Log on to Matthäus’s website, and the first words that greet you are “Persistence, perfection”, with the tagline “for success, there are no compromises”. It encapsulates Matthäus. What is more, unlike a tired motivational slogan painted across the wall of a dressing room, reading his words you believe them and his pursuit of something greater.
As a judo ambassador, Lothar Matthäus is invited at the major Judo events in the world, but also at the football events as an ambassador of Bayern Munich where he spoke to another judo passionate, Vladimir Putin. “I know Vladimir Putin from London 2012,” he says. “Putin speaks very good German and we talked about football and judo, the best restaurants and the Brexit, American politics and Russian politics. My wife is from Russia. I like the country, the mentality of the people.”