Ernst Kuzorra

Ernst Kuzorra

Football Biography
Football Biography Less

Ernst Kuzorra

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Ernst Kuzorra (16 October 1905 in Gelsenkirchen – 1 January 1990 in Gelsenkirchen) was a German footballer of the pre-war era. During his entire career, he played for Schalke 04, whom he led to six national championships and one national cup. He is commonly regarded as the greatest Schalke player of all time.


Ernst Kuzorra was born as the son of Karl Kuzorra from East Prussia and his wife Bertha in the industrial town of Gelsenkirchen where his father worked as a coal miner. Ernst joined the club in 1924 at the age of 14, allegedly playing his first match in his confirmation shoes after being asked to join the team while watching from the sidelines. Three years later, he advanced to the first team, where he soon became one of the starting players. During the years 1930–31, he and thirteen teammates were banned for a relatively minor infraction of the strict amateur statutes, having received ten instead of the allowed five Reichsmark as compensation for playing in an away game.

In the following years, Kuzorra along with his brother-in-law Fritz Szepan led Schalke to become the dominant team in German soccer, winning six national championships from 1934 to 1942. He was one of the main axes of what became known as the Schalker Kreisel, a system that used quick, short passes to confuse and overwhelm the opponent.

Even though he may have been the best German player on his position at the time, he only had 12 appearances for the national team, a fact that is widely...
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