Lutz Pfannenstiel — the epitome of a journeyman.

Daniel Thomas
3 min readDec 18, 2019


Image — Fuguito

The word “journeyman” gets banded about in football to describe people like Nicholas Anelka, who played for twelve different clubs, but that’s nothing compared to German goalkeeper Lutz Pfannenstiel, who played for twenty seven clubs during his career of twenty years.

Twenty. Seven. Clubs.

That’s not even the most impressive part, during his travels, he has played in a match in every single one of FIFA’s 6 confederations.

Pfannenstiel started his senior career in 1991 with 1.FC Bad Kotzting. 2 years and 68 fixtures elapsed before he was out the door, and getting his second continent under his belt. He joined Penang FA of Malaysia, and played twelve times for the club until his return to Europe with the original Wimbledon. Twelve more games for the Wombles followed until he transferred to Nottingham Forest. He played precisely 0 league fixtures for Forest before making a loan switch to South Africa with Orlando Pirates (Incredible name for a club, by the way) where he played 7 times. 3 Confederations down, 3 to go. In the next five years, Pfannenstiel played for four more clubs, two Finnish, a German and a Singaporean, so no new confederations, but he was wrongly imprisoned for 101 days for match fixing whilst in Singapore, so that’s something,

2001 brought his fourth, and probably the most challenging continent, Oceania. He joined Semi-Pro side Dunedin Technical of New Zealand, and played eighteen times, before being loaned to Bradford Park Avenue, where he almost died following a collision with Clayton Donaldson, having stopped breathing three times. He then moved back to England on a permanent (or, knowing him, not so) basis when he joined Huddersfield. He then went straight back to New Zealand after never playing for the Terriers, and doubled his appearance tally.

A loan in Norway preceded a move to his fifth continent, North America. he joined Calgary Mustangs in 2004 and played 28 games. Spells in Armenia, Albania, another in Norway, and a spell at Vancouver Whitecaps stood in between his final goal. The last confederation. South America. in 2008 he joined Brazilian side Hermann Aichinger, and with his debut, he became the first, and as of 2019, only, player to ever play in every single FIFA confederation.

A couple of years in Norway after that preceded two seasons at Namibian side Ramblers, where he also acted as manager, and then a coach for the Namibian national team. After his retirement he joined German side Hoffenheim as a scout, because who better to explore the world looking for the special someone than someone who’s done it all before? He spent 7 years at Hoffenheim, before leaving in 2018. Since then he’s been hired as the Technical Director of Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Also, Wikipedia tells me he was player-manager for Antarctica XI briefly, but I sort of doubt that. A 2015 Guardian article did mention a potential charity event in Antarctica, however, though nothing seems to have materialised in the four years since.

Below is a map of all the places Lutz has played. Sorry about the German, the only English one I could find was by The S*n



Daniel Thomas

I used to write about sport here but now Its just random stuff