The Bundesrepublik Deutschland’s bid to qualify for the final tournament of the football competition at the 1976 Summer Olympic Games to be held in Montreal, Canada, never really did gain any sort of traction. Prohibited, as always, from using their top-shelf, professional players, the West Germans were forced to carry on with a squad of youngsters fortified by a few veterans who had managed to retain their Amateurklasse status. Only a little over half of the seventeen players engaged by West Germany in the first round knockout tie with Spain had spent the 1974/75 season with clubs in the domestic top flight.
A back line led by Bundesliga side Kickers Offenbach defender EGON SCHMITT, the captain of the host nation’s Olympic side at the 1972 Summer Games in Munich, did not concede in the first leg contested at Bielefeld in the middle of April, 1975. But a punchless attack spearheaded by striker EWALD HAMMES of second division SG Wattenscheid could not produce on home soil, either. And so visiting Spain and West Germany ground out the old goalless draw at the Stadion Alm in North Rhine-Westphalia.
One of the players featuring for the West German Olympic side in Bielefeld was 21-year-old SV Waldorf Mannheim defender GERNOT ROHR, who had made a single appearance in the European Cup of Champions for title-winning Bayern Munich the season before; yet another of note was 20-year-old Borussia Moenchengladbach midfielder ULI STIELIKE, who later spent eight years in Spain in the employment of La Liga giant Real Madrid.
Sweeper ULI STIELIKE of Real Madrid (left), who was selected 42 times and scored three goals for Deutschland in his career, marks midfielder BERND SCHUSTER of FC Barcelona during an early 1980s El Clasico derby match in the Spanish La Liga — both were in the Startelf for trainer Jupp Derwall at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome when West Germany defeated Belgium in the Final of the 1980 UEFA European Championships.
Trainer JUPP DERWALL, the national team assistant to HELMUT SCHOEN who was responsible for the Olympic side, made several changes to the West German team for the return leg against Spain to be staged at the massive Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona one month later.
Two veterans from the 1972 Olympic side that was eliminated from medal contention by the Deutsche Demokratische Republik 3-2 in the historic match at Munich, Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder JUERGEN KALB and MSV Duisburg forward RUDOLF SELIGER, were inserted into the Startelf. The 23-year-old Seliger had already earned his first international cap for the senior national team of West Germany a few days before Christmas in 1974 having come on as a substitute in the European Championships qualifier with Malta. Although Stielike was dropped, two other players from 74/75 Bundesliga season champion Borussia Moenchengladbach, midfielder GUENTER KOESTNER and defender FRANK SCHAEFFER, were brought in, as well.
Seliger did scored two goals but it would not be enough to buy a ticket for Derwall’s team to the next round of Olympic qualification as Spain defeated West Germany 3-2 in Barcelona.
One-time Bayern Munich defender GERNOT ROHR (front row, second from right) is pictured above in the Startelf for French first division side FC Girondins de Bordeaux with West Germany international striker DIETER MUELLER to his left; after leaving Kickers Offenbach in the summer of 1977, Rohr spent the next twelve seasons and captured three domestic titles in the service of the port city club of the Aquitaine region.
1976 Summer Olympic Games
Qualification, first round
West Germany 0 – Spain 0
Behrendt ; Rohr, Schmitt, H. Traser, Schneider, Stielike, Krause, Wilheimi (Eder), Hammes, Weiler, Hiestermann
Spain 3 – West Germany 2
Behrendt ; Schaeffer, Schmitt, E. Traser, H. Traser (Hiestermann), Rohr, Kalb (Koestner), Schneider, Seliger, Krause, Hammes
19-year-old midfielder NORBERT EDER of 1.FC Nuremberg, who was playing sweeper for Bayern Munich many years later when surprisingly selected by team chief Franz Beckenbauer for the West Germany squad which reached the Final at the 1986 FIFA World Cup final tournament in Mexico, appeared as a substitute for the West German Olympic side in the first leg of the qualification tie with Spain in late spring of 1975.