Player profile

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

1999-2000 28200030
2000-2001 305513053
2001-2002 312113148
2002-2003 30119142
2003-2004 25415035
2004-2005 300310043
2005-2006 172111132

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

12Manchester United
10Newcastle United
10Birmingham City
10Manchester City
10Aston Villa
9Bolton Wanderers
8Leeds United
8Blackburn Rovers
8West Ham United
8Charlton Athletic
5Leicester City
5Crystal Palace
4Bradford City
3Coventry City
3Ipswich Town
2Norwich City
2Sheffield Wednesday
2Rapid Bucharest
2Levski Sofia
2Grazer AK
2Wigan Athletic
2Slovan Liberec
2Borussia Dortmund
2CSKA Sofia
2Spartak Moscow
1Grimsby Town
1AS Monaco
1Dynamo Kiev
1FBK Kaunas
1CSKA Moscow
1Deportivo Sap.
1AC Milan
1Real Betis
1Vitesse Arnhem
1Steaua Bucharest
1Yeovil Town
1Bayern Munich
1Rotherham United
1Huddersfield Town
1Stoke City
Total Started/substitutions
253 Started
19 On the bench
30 Substitute
40 Substituted

Goals per season

1999-2000 100001
2000-2001 210003
2001-2002 100001
2002-2003 200002
2003-2004 200103
2004-2005 000101
2005-2006 000000

A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring

TotalGoal minute period
11-15 minutes
116-30 minutes
131-45 minutes
246-60 minutes
361-75 minutes
376-90 minutes
TotalOpen play/Penalty
11Open play

Wartime Appearances / Goals

No records to display.

Stats note

Milestone Appearances

107.08.1999Sheffield WednesdayHillsboroughLeague
5029.11.2000Stoke CityBritannia St.League Cup
10017.11.2001Blackburn RoversEwood ParkLeague
15012.11.2002BaselSaint Jakob St.Europe
20028.03.2004Leicester CityThe Walkers StadiumLeague
25015.05.2005Aston VillaAnfieldLeague

Milestone Goals

11905.02.2000Leeds UnitedAnfieldLeague

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Chris Bascombe on Didi Hamann

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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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