Rainer Rauffmann

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Rainer Rauffmann (born February 26, 1967 in Amberg, Bavaria), is a retired German/Cypriot football player, considered the best foreign player, to have played in the Cyprus First Division.

Rauffmann was a striker, known for his speed and his ability to score with both feet. During his seven seasons with AC Omonia he managed an incredible record, scoring 236 goals in 209 appearances.

Rauffmann became a Cypriot citizen and played in five International Games before retiring in 2003. He scored 3 international goals.

Club career

Rauffmann joined his first team, Simens Amberg, at the age of five. When he turned sixteen, he got a transfer to FC Amberg, a local team playing in the German 3rd Division, but he only managed to stay a season, before moving to the 7th Division. After five seasons in the lower leagues, Rauffmann returned to FC Amberg, as a semi-professional.

In 1991 he signed for Blau-Weiss Berlin, which at the time was playing in the German 2nd Division, which was a big step in his career. However back then he was playing as a right-back, so in 34 games he only managed 7 goals. For the next three seasons he continued in the second division, but playing for SV Meppen, where he changed his position, now playing as a striker.

In 1995 Rauffmann made the biggest move of his career when he signed for Eintracht Frankfurt, who were playnig in the German Bundesliga. Sadly for him he didn't manage to fit in the team, and was unable to show his abilities. He played just one season for the club, scoring just four goals. The following season he moved to another Bundesliga team, Arminia Bielefeld. Rauffmann once again was unable to find his form, so the following year he moved to Austria, after managing just 7 appearenses for Arminia.

He joined LASK in 1996, on a loan deal, and was ready to make one final attempt to put his career on the right track. Sadly once again he had a bad season scoring only three goals in sixteen appearenses.

AC Omonia Nicosia

In the summer of 1997, Rauffmann moved to AC Omonia Nicosia, one of the biggest teams of the island, which was unsuccessful of winning a championship title for four years. He didn't had a good scoring record, so the fans were sceptical about his transfer. However Rauffmann made an immediate impact on his new team, scoring two goals on his debut. He was reborn as a player, and in the 1997/98 season at the age of 30, he scored 42 league goals (47 in total), which was record in European domestic leagues for that year, however he did not win the European Golden Boot because of the level of Cypriot football. He forged a strong partnership with the teams star and captain Kostas Malekkos. However a penalty-kick miss, on the 25th game of the season by Rauffmann against Anorthosis, cost the team the title.

The following year, he again had a great season, however his 42 goals in all competitions weren't enough to win Omonia any titles. It wasn't until the 1999/2000 season, that Rauffmann helped his team to a title, winning the Cyprus Cup, after scoring twice in the final against rivals APOEL, in an easy 4-2 win. In the 2000/01 season with the departure of Malekkos, and a very bad start, Omonia's season looked over by mid-October. However an inspired Rauffmann, who was now captain, led his team come-back with 30 goals, and Omonia was crowned champion after eight years on the last day of the season.

The 2001/02 season, was Rauffmann's worst with Omonia. He managed to score 16 goals in the league, however he was out of form through the whole duration of the season due mostly to outfield problems.

Rauffmann won his second championship with Omonia the following season. In the 2002/03 season he scored 41 goals in a total of 40 games and at the age of 36 he looked a long way from retiring. However in a game for the forth day of the 2003/04 season, Rauffmann was injured on his knee, that would be the final game of his career. He still managed to score 3 goals in the 3 first matches of the season, reaching the total of 286 goals in 378 career games.




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