Zoom Image

Lothar Matthäus in Munich, not in Accra

Photo: Frank Hoermann / IMAGO / Sven Simon

Lothar Matthäus, Germany's record football player, has bought the Ghanaian first division club Accra Lions together with two partners. "Of course, it's a business model. Ghana has always had a huge potential of talent, you can see that in the national team," said the 62-year-old Matthäus of the "Bild" newspaper (Tuesday). His plan: "We want to bring young players to Europe. In a serious way and already well trained. That's why we're investing in the training ground here."

There are currently four professionals with Ghanaian passports playing in the Bundesliga, compared to more than 40 in league history. Matthäus played together with the 59-time Ghanaian international Samuel Kuffour for several years at FC Bayern Munich.

First enthusiastic, then partner

The club is said to be worth around two million euros, but no information was given about the amount of Matthäus' financial contribution. According to his own statements, the 1990 World Cup winner shares the commitment with former player agent Oliver König from Frankfurt and Ghanaian professional footballer Frank Acheampong. He got to know both of them through joy – and they got him excited about the project. "So much so that we decided to partner here," said Matthew, who has already paid a visit to the Lions.

Ex-Dortmund Tanko sporting director

While König has been president of the club since January, the sporting director is also an old acquaintance from the Bundesliga. The 45-year-old ex-Dortmund player Ibrahim Tanko, who comes from Ghana, steers the sporting fortunes of the capital club, which was founded in 2015 and occupies ninth place three matchdays before the end of the season.

From 2001 to 2011, Matthäus worked as a coach in Austria, Serbia and Montenegro, Brazil and Israel. In the meantime, he was also national coach in Hungary and Bulgaria. He currently works as an expert for the pay-TV channel Sky.