Story: Football

Wynton Rufer, 1992

A man in a white New Zealand football uniform leaps in the air to kick a ball during a football game while a man in a red uniform has fallen on the ground.

Wynton Rufer is acknowledged as New Zealand's finest football player. Within New Zealand he made his name as a teenage striker during the qualifying rounds and finals of the 1982 FIFA World Cup. After playing professionally in Switzerland, Rufer became a striker for Werder Bremen in the German Bundesliga. On 6 May 1992 he scored in the final of the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and helped his side claim the trophy. Soon after that Werder Bremen came to New Zealand to play three games against the All Whites. Rufer is shown here playing for New Zealand in the game at Mt Smart Stadium. The three-match series was shared. Rufer later returned to New Zealand and became player-coach of the Auckland Kingz in the Australian National Soccer League. He has been an important coach for younger players in New Zealand.

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How to cite this page:

Neill Atkinson, Steve Watters and Alida Shanks, 'Football - Men's professional football', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 16 June 2024)

Story by Neill Atkinson, Steve Watters and Alida Shanks, published 5 Sep 2013, reviewed & revised 7 Jun 2023 with assistance from Alida Shanks