Veteran striker Alexander Meier, among Frankfurt fans called 'Fußballgott', is arguably one of the biggest cult players of the Bundesliga.
|Frankfurt's Alex Meier.|
34-year-old Alexander Meier has never represented Germany's senior national team, yet to Eintracht Frankfurt's fans he is known as 'Fußballgott' (God of football). Not exactly a nickname that is given to anybody, but Meier han surely done more than enough at Frankfurt to earn it.
Since Meier joined the club from Hamburger SV in 2004, he has been with the team through both good and bad times as he has evolved from a promising youngster into one of the club's biggest legends ever.
But still, Meier has kept his feet planted firmly on the ground, and that - in addition to his performances on the pitch - is one of the qualities that has made him so popular. Meier has always liked to keep his private life to himself, and as a person he hasn't changed much over the years.
"As an individual, he has stayed the way he always has been. Unusually modest, down-to-earth and just nice. He is very influenced by his parents with whom he has a close relationship," as the former Frankfurt boss Heribert Bruchhagen told Bild in 2012.
In other words you always know where you are with Meier, and that has made him very respected in general.
When it comes to Meier as a footballer, he is quite unconventional. He is nearly two meters tall, but although he is big and strong, he is no target man. Instead, he likes to play a bit further back and operate in the space behind a striker. Meier is a very intelligent footballer who has a natural ability to be at the right position at the right time.
Meier made his Frankfurt debut in 2004, and with nine goals in his first season, he helped the team to gain promotion from the second Bundesliga. In 2011, Frankfurt was relegated, but 'Die Adler' made a swift return to the Bundesliga - this time even more thanks to Meier who netted 17 times in 32 matches in the 2011/12 season and helped getting the club promoted again.
In total, Meier has scored 136 goals in 378 Frankfurt matches, making him the fourth most scoring player in the club's history. In the 2014/15 season, he was even the topscorer of the Bundesliga with 19 goals. Highly impressive, especially considering the fact that Frankfurt generally hasn't been competing for the top spots of the Bundesliga during his stay.
This season, Meier hasn't played at all due to a serious injury, and after several surgeries he doesn't have a clear return date. The 34-year-old striker may be past his best, but no matter what, he will surely always be a 'Fußballgott' in the eyes of a Frankfurt fan.