“#Zimbabwe” FORMER Zimbabwe senior soccer team coach Rudi Gutendorf, the globetrotting German who is in the Guinness Book of Records for having coached 55 teams in 32 countries across five continents from Antigua to Zimbabwe, has died age 93.
Gutendorf’s managerial career spanned half a century, including time at top-flight teams in his native Germany and 18 national sides that included Australia, China and Fiji.
‘Restless Rudi’ , as he was dubbed, was born in Koblenz and enjoyed a nine-year playing career for his home-town club TuS Koblenz after World War II. After taking a coaching course, he secured his first management role with Swiss side Blue Stars Zurich in the 1950s. His final job in management was with Samoa in 2003.
In Africa, Gutendorf managed no fewer than seven countries – Botswana, Tanzania, Sao Tome e Principe, Ghana, Mauritius, Zimbabwe and Rwanda.
According to Insidefootball, When at Rwanda in 1999-2000 the country was still recovering from the 1994 civil war in which up to a million people were slaughtered.
“Such hate, you cannot believe. I was able to unite these two tribes to play football, and good football,” he said in a 2013 interview referring to the mixed Rwandan team of Hutu and Tutsi players.
German vice-president Dr Rainer Koch called him an “outstanding ambassador of German football”.insidefootball