Player profile

Didi Hamann

Didi Hamann

Birthdate: 27 August 1973
Birthplace: Waldasson, Germany
Other clubs: Bayern Munich (1989-1998), Newcastle United (1998-99), Bolton Wanderers (2006), Manchester City (2006-09), Milton Keynes Dons (2010-11)
Bought from: Newcastle United
Signed for LFC: £8m, 22.07.1999
International debut: 15.11.1997 vs. South Africa
International caps: 59/5 - (42/3 at LFC) - 17.08.2005
Liverpool debut: 07.08.1999
Last appearance: 13.05.2006
Debut goal: 05.02.2000
Last goal: 22.02.2005
Contract expiry: 11.07.2006
Win ratio: 54.06% W:153 D:66 L:64
Honours: FA Cup 2001, 2006; League Cup 2001, 2003; Champions League 2005; UEFA Cup 2001
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 4 / 0
LFC league games/goals: 191 / 8
Total LFC games/goals: 283 / 11

Player profile

Dietmar or simply "Didi" grew up in Bavaria and was snapped up by Bayern from Wacker Munich when he was 16 years old. He enjoyed tremendous success with Bayern, winning two Bundesliga titles, the UEFA Cup, the German cup and the German league cup. He played 106 Bundesliga games, scoring six goals for Bayern before testing himself in English football. After starring for Germany in the 1998 World Cup he was transferred to Newcastle United for £5.5million. Hamann had a single season at Newcastle playing 31 League and cup matches and scoring five goals, losing an FA Cup final against Manchester United and getting himself sent off in a fiery Premier League match against his future employers Liverpool at Anfield. A goal up at the time of his dismissal, Newcastle increased their lead before Liverpool hit back with four second-half goals of their own. Hamann was one of several new signings unveiled by Gerard Houllier during the summer of 1999. He made his League debut for the Reds at Sheffield Wednesday on the opening day of the 1999/00 season, as did Titi Camara, Sami Hyypia, Vladimir Smicer, Sander Westerveld and Eric Meijer. The German's debut lasted only 24 minutes as he ruptured his ankle ligaments. Fortunately he healed quickly, was back in seven weeks and represented Liverpool in another 29 matches by the end of the season.

Didi missed very few matches over the next three seasons as he cemented his place in the team as a defensive midfielder with an occasional eye for a beautiful goal. He could always be relied upon, although Jamie Carragher, who was one of his many friends at the club, nominated him as the worst trainer. "Didi! He's a joke. He shouldn't be at the club, should he?" Carra quipped. In 2000/01 Hamann won his first winners' medals in English football by appearing in all three of Liverpool's successful cup finals. A second League Cup winners' medal would follow in 2003, that, in fact, he wanted to give to one of the younger players who had appeared in earlier rounds. Didi explained: "Valuing everyone who had made an effort for us was more important to me than personal gratification.” It was soon apparent that new manager Rafa Benítez saw the tall German as an equally important member of the squad as Houllier had done. Hamann played in 43 of Liverpool's 60 competitive matches in 2004/05 but probably his most important contribution came in the final game of the season, that astonishing Champions League final in Istanbul. His half-time substitution for Steve Finnan was one of the catalysts for Liverpool's truly amazing comeback. He also proved typically cool when scoring a penalty in the shoot-out, later discovering that he actually took that kick with a fractured foot! A year later he would again successfully cope with the same pressure when the FA Cup final against West Ham in Cardiff was settled in the same way. But 2005/06 was a season in which Hamann's influence was waning as Momo Sissoko's influence grew. At the age of 32 he was told by Benítez that he should expect not featuring a lot for the first team and he signed a contract with Bolton Wanderers in the summer of 2006. He changed his mind but it was too late to cancel his transfer to Bolton and in one of the most bizarre transfers ever he moved from Bolton to Manchester City 24 hours later for £400,000. Probably the most expensive "free transfer" in history! Hamann explained: "I had the offer from Bolton for a few weeks and thought it was the right thing to do. But after going on holiday I felt it wasn't the right decision. It is something I have got to live with and they allowed me to speak to other clubs. As soon as I heard Man City was interested I made my mind up pretty quickly." 

Hamann had three seasons at Eastlands, during which he continued to show that his ability to perform at a high level was undiminished. 54 Premier League and 17 cup appearances for City took his combined club total in Germany and England past the five hundred mark. After a year out of the game, Hamann signed a one-year deal on 20 May 2010 to become player-coach with the Milton Keynes Dons in League One. On 3 February 2011 the German left the Dons to join Leicester City as a first-team coach under the management of Sven-Göran Eriksson. Five months later Hamann became manager of Stockport County where he faced a massive task trying to lead the club immediately back into the Football League. Unfortunately, Stockport made a very poor start to the 2011/12 Conference season and with the team having won just three of its opening 19 League fixtures, Hamann resigned from his post on 7 November 2011. 

"When I played for Liverpool they said I was the only man who could run faster going backwards than forwards." A gem from Didi who was immensely popular among the Liverpool players, becoming an adopted Scouser in his seven years at the club. He liked a flutter on the horses and tried to impress on the dance floor as Chris Kirkland noted: "Didi fancies himself as a bit of a dancer, which is a shame because when you've seen him dance it's not a pretty sight! Didi likes his karaoke too and he's not usually too far behind Carra grabbing the microphone. Didi's a great laugh." Steven Gerrard has plenty of praise for his midfield partnership with Hamann: "He allowed me to go forward, score and set up goals, and he did all my defensive work and tackling for me," Stevie enthused. "At the time we had him, he was in his prime and he was up there with the best holding midfielders in the world. There’s no Liverpool fan, player or coach at Anfield who wouldn’t love him to be 26 or 27 now and still doing his stuff because that’s how good he was."

Appearances per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 191 16 12 61 3 283
1999-2000 28 2 0 0 0 30
2000-2001 30 5 5 13 0 53
2001-2002 31 2 1 13 1 48
2002-2003 30 1 1 9 1 42
2003-2004 25 4 1 5 0 35
2004-2005 30 0 3 10 0 43
2005-2006 17 2 1 11 1 32

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

Total Opponent
14 Chelsea
12 Manchester United
11 Arsenal
11 Tottenham
10 Newcastle United
10 Birmingham City
10 Everton
10 Manchester City
10 Aston Villa
9 Middlesbrough
9 Southampton
9 Bolton Wanderers
8 Leeds United
8 Blackburn Rovers
8 West Ham United
8 Sunderland
8 Charlton Athletic
7 Fulham
5 Leicester City
5 Crystal Palace
5 Portsmouth
5 Derby
4 WBA
4 Bradford City
4 Leverkusen
3 Barcelona
3 Roma
3 Olympiacos
3 Watford
3 Coventry City
3 Ipswich Town
2 Norwich City
2 Wolves
2 Sheffield Wednesday
2 Celtic
2 Rapid Bucharest
2 Marseille
2 Porto
2 Levski Sofia
2 Grazer AK
2 Deportivo
2 Wigan Athletic
2 Valencia
2 Slovan Liberec
2 Borussia Dortmund
2 CSKA Sofia
2 Benfica
2 Boavista
2 Galatasaray
2 Spartak Moscow
1 Basel
1 Auxerre
1 Wimbledon
1 Grimsby Town
1 AS Monaco
1 Dynamo Kiev
1 TNS
1 FBK Kaunas
1 CSKA Moscow
1 Deportivo Sap.
1 AC Milan
1 Real Betis
1 Wycombe
1 Alaves
1 Haka
1 Vitesse Arnhem
1 Steaua Bucharest
1 Yeovil Town
1 Bayern Munich
1 Anderlecht
1 Rotherham United
1 Huddersfield Town
1 Stoke City
Total Started/substitutions
253 Started
19 On the bench
30 Substitute
40 Substituted
Total Competition
191 Premier League
37 Champions League
22 UEFA Cup
16 FA Cup
12 League Cup
2 European Super Cup
1 World Club Championship
1 Charity Shield
1 Community Shield

Goals per season

Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 8 1 0 2 0 11
1999-2000 1 0 0 0 0 1
2000-2001 2 1 0 0 0 3
2001-2002 1 0 0 0 0 1
2002-2003 2 0 0 0 0 2
2003-2004 2 0 0 1 0 3
2004-2005 0 0 0 1 0 1
2005-2006 0 0 0 0 0 0

A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring

Total Started/substitutions
11 Started
0 Substitute
Total Competition
8 Premier League
1 UEFA Cup
1 Champions League
1 FA Cup
Total Goal minute period
1 1-15 minutes
1 16-30 minutes
1 31-45 minutes
3 61-75 minutes
3 76-90 minutes
Total Open play/Penalty
11 Open play

Milestone Appearances

# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 07.08.1999 Sheffield Wednesday Hillsborough League
50 29.11.2000 Stoke City Britannia St. League Cup
100 17.11.2001 Blackburn Rovers Ewood Park League
150 12.11.2002 Basel Saint Jakob St. Europe
200 28.03.2004 Leicester City The Walkers Stadium League
250 15.05.2005 Aston Villa Anfield League

Milestone Goals

# Minute Date Against Stadium Competition
1 19 05.02.2000 Leeds United Anfield League

Related Articles

The Didi Man: My Love Affair with Liverpool

This book will make you laugh and occasionally cry (apart from crying with laughter, that is!) but above everything else it will make you glad that you read it as it's filled with warmth and happiness.More

Croatian hoping to fill Hamann void

By Andy Hunter Chief Football Correspondent of the Liverpool Daily Post on 25 March 2005.More

Hamann's stunner

Sports news from the Daily Post and Liverpool Echo on 10th August 1999.More

Impressive Owen claims hat-trick to knacker Newcastle

The Observer report on Liverpool - Newcastle on 05.05.2001.More

Reds win war of nerves

Liverpool Echo report on Liverpool - Manchester City on 09.09.2000.More

Liverpool Echo report

Liverpool Echo report on Arsenal - Liverpool on 21.08.2000.More

GREATNESS is as greatness does

Liverpool Daily Post match report on Sheffield Wednesday - Liverpool on 07.08.1999. More

Dietmar Hamann: Man for all seasons

An interview from the Independent with Dietmar Hamann from 14th of October 2006.More

Hamann explains his strange exit from Liverpool

Didi Hamann left Liverpool in bizarre circumstances in the summer of 2006.More

Seven arrive in the summer of 1999

There has been a lot of activity on Liverpool's behalf in the transfer market in the summer and we wanted to refresh your memories how Liverpool has done in the market in recent years.More

U-turn as Hamann heads for City

By Guy Nelson on Wednesday, 12th July 2006.More

Chris Bascombe on Didi Hamann

It says everything about Didi Hamann's reputation that on hearing of the decision to sell the German, one wag commented: 'That's another Scouser out the door then.' More

Carragher awards of 2005

An article from liverpoolfc.tv in December 2005.More

Liverpool see red over Essien challenge

Match report from The Guardian on Chelsea - Liverpool on 06.12.2005.More

Related Quotes

"Didi fancies himself as a bit of a dancer, which is a shame because when you've seen him dance it's not a pretty sight! Didi likes his karaoke too and he's not usually too far behind Carra grabbing the microphone. Didi's a great laugh. I think he's become a bit of a Scouser since joining Liverpool."

Chris Kirkland

"Our German midfielder is known as The Kaiser but he has also picked up the nickname Basil Fawlty. Sammy Lee, one of our coaches, reckons he is a dead ringer for John Cleese. I am big mates with him because we share the same love of horses and often spend an hour or two at the races together."

Owen in 2001 on Hamann

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