|Capital:||€ 12 million|
|Country of origin:||Germany|
|Source of wealth:||Soccer player|
Reiner Calmund is a former football official who has since expanded his popularity beyond sport as a media figure in various activities. After an early end of his career as an amateur player, he became a youth coach, from 1976 youth leader at Bayer Leverkusen, later manager. In 1999 he became its managing director until 2004. Since then he can be seen in various genres in public appearances, from readings from his biography to participation in cooking shows.
Rainer Calmund grew up in relatively simple circumstances, learned the trade of foreign trade and successfully studied business administration. As a footballer he was active at SpVg Frechen 20 until 1966 before a shoulder injury stopped him. He then became a youth coach and won the Middle Rhine Championship for juniors with the club. Further positions in underclass football followed as assistant coach before he became a youth leader and stadium spokesman for the TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen in 1976. However, he soon took over the position of manager of professional footballers, and his uncanny skill in making commitments distinguished him for a long time.
In his time as manager, the club won the UEFA Cup in 1988, the DFB Cup in 1993 and moved to the Champions League final in 2002, which was just narrowly lost to Real Madrid 1-2. In addition, the club achieved several vice championships in the Bundesliga while Reiner Calmund was at work, twice barely missing the German championship win when the race was only lost on the last matchday.
In addition, the intensive sporting connection from Bayer Leverkusen to Brazil goes back to him. So he brought in several well-known players from South America who matured into world stars during their time at Bayer Leverkusen, such as Paulo Sergio, Lucio, Ze Roberto or Jorginho. In the course of German reunification, he also proved that he was often ahead of the competition and could sign several stars of East German football for Bayer Leverkusen, especially Ulf Kirsten, who stayed with Bayer Leverkusen until the end of his career. But even with transfers of well-deserved German players towards the end of their careers, Reiner Calmund was often very lucky. Bernd Schuster, Rudi Völler or Michael Ballack can be mentioned here who ended their careers here, not without being able to offer a lot of performance for the company club.
He resigned as manager from Bayer Leverkusen in 2004 for health reasons. In fact, it became public in 2006 that irregularities in payments to player advisors resulted in this separation.
During the rest of his life, Calmund never completely let go of football, but as manager he found no employment. He was elected to the Supervisory Board of Fortuna Düsseldorf in 2005 and was the 2006 World Cup ambassador for people with disabilities. He operated a weekly column on the Bundesliga under calli.tv, was an adviser to the Austrian club SK Austria Kärnten and also to Dynamo Dresden. Since 2017 – along with many other TV appearances – he has been regularly shown to the football public again because he is an expert at the pay TV channel sky. His often never ending executions in the Rhenish singing brought him an extraordinary popularity in Germany, although many observers complain to him about the lack of expertise in football.
In sporting terms, Bayer Leverkusen’s winning of the UEFA Cup was the greatest success with him as manager. Nevertheless, one cannot ignore the many very successful transfers as the actual successes of Reiner Calmund. In his heyday he had the famous nose for signing up for upcoming world stars for relatively little money. In addition, as a full-bodied, Rhenish type of mind, he was for a long time the human figurehead of Bayer Leverkusen, which was otherwise perceived as rather gray, and which gave the club a lot of sympathy.
“It’s not the big who eat the small, but the fast who eat the slow.”
“Before we pay 15 to 20 million marks for a goalkeeper, I put myself in the goal.”
“Friendships count a lot for me, but not in this business. I put Jürgen Gelsdorf outside the door, he was even my best man. ”
“Now the odds are 50:50 or even 60:60.”
“It is important that we also convince fighters and not just do figure skating.”
For a while Reiner Calmund also appeared in the computer game Second Life, where he lived on his own island, Calli Island.
In 2008 he wanted to lose weight decisively as part of the Iron Calli campaign with the support of endurance specialist Joey Kelly. Losing more than 30 kg of body weight made it possible for him to complete his first half marathon in under 4 hours.
Reiner Calmund is married in the third marriage and has five children from his first two marriages. With his youngest wife, he adopted a girl from Thailand.
He published his autobiography in 2008 under the title “Football Crazy!”