Christian Ziege played seven years with Bayern Munich, where he made 185 appearances and scored 38 goals from 1990-97. After leaving Munich he had stops in Italy’s Serie A and the English Premier League before ending his playing career in Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2005. He also had 72 appearances with the German National Team and scored nine goals.
Shortly after retiring, Ziege transitioned into coaching. He bean coaching Gladbach’s U17 side and transitioned into the front office there. He quickly realized that sitting at the desk was not for him. “I missed the grass,” he said in a recent interview with AZ. After serving as both an interim coach and an assistant coach for Gladbach, Ziege took the head coaching job in Bielefeld in 2010. He went on to coach various levels of Germany youth national teams and clubs throughout Europe. He even had a brief stint in Thailand. He is now with FC Pinzgau Saalfelden in Austria.
Ziege talks Bayern
In the above-mentioned interview with AZ, Ziege was asked his thoughts on the FC Bayern of today. Having played on the left-side for Bayern for seven years, the first question was if David Alaba should go back to left-back when everyone is healthy. Ziege’s simply said, “No.” After being prompted, he went on to further say,
“FC Bayern made a virtue out of necessity. They had problems in the central defense and slid David into there. I find that he plays there as well as he has in a long time. And I personally prefer a left-footed player like him in the left center-back position. He is fast, clever, and wins the ball well. He does awesome there. There is also something else that goes into it.”
That something else is Alphonso Davies.
“Davies plays tremendously at left-back. Sure, he still has to learn a little bit of the defensive components.” When asked about Davies’ offensive strengths, he said, “Davies has that too. He can also straighten out a mistake from the back because he is simply so unbelievably fast. Due to these things I feel sorry for the rest. But if I were the trainer, both would play.”
Ziege was also asked about Hansi Flick, and if Bayern will have success in Europe again under him. His response was,
“That is always hard to predict, but it is fun again to watch Bayern. They play creatively, successful, and they have also found their balance between offense and defense. Like I said: the moving of Alaba and Davies was ingenious. On top of that, Bayern has one Joshua Kimmich — who is super important — in the midfield. I know him personally from my time with the youth with the DFB. I found then that he was always the best in the central midfield because was he is very deadly and tremendously clever. Thiago has also immensely improved under Flick and will hopefully extend his contract, because he is an absolutely wicked soccer player. There are a lot of things that were made right in a short amount of time. That gives reason to hope internationally again.”
FC Pinzgau Saalfelden and Fan Owned Club
In 2018, Ziege and his wife decided to move to the Austrian Alps. His son was playing for FC Pinzgau Saalfelden (FCPS), so he was at all the games and somewhat involved with the club. Towards the end of the 2019 season, the club fired their coach and Ziege stepped in to coach the team.
Although FCPS is in Austria’s third-division, they are not a normal amateur club. Even before Ziege’s time with the club officially started, FCPS was in talks with some American businessmen. Their vision is to take the club from the third division all the way to the Austrian Bundesliga and to compete in European competitions. To do so, they are selling shares to fans from all over the world, that want to be able to participate in owning the club. Thus, Fan Owned Club was born.
The executives of Fan Owned Club work closely with the original founders of FCPS, who are still heavily involved in the club. They have the buy-in from the players, the staff, and most importantly, the local community. Everyone wants to see FCPS be promoted and succeed at the highest levels.
In summer of last year, FCPS made a deal with Real Salt Lake, who loaned some of their players to FCPS. These players, as well as others from North America and Europe, helped FCPS find immediate success in the fall season. They put themselves in a good position to qualify for promotion into the second league. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the third division’s spring season has been cancelled making promotion to the second league impossible this year.
Last summer, I was contracting with the United Soccer League, working closely with RSL’s reserve team — the Real Monarchs. When I heard that three of their best players were being loaned out to a third-division Austrian team, I was intrigued. After looking into it further I was excited to learn about Fan Owned Club and that I could own a piece of a soccer club. After much anticipation, they finally went public a few weeks ago, and I can proudly say that I own a piece of Fan Owned Club and FCPS. I am very much looking forward to being involved in the ownership of this team.
For more information on Fan Owned Club, visit www.fanownedclub.com
If you would like to join me and many other investors from around the world, visit Fan Owned Club’s profile on Wefunder.