Former serbian football player & coach

Dragoslav Stepanović was one of the world’s best full-backs in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In 1976 he was called up to a world eleven. He played for Manchester City and Frankfurt Eintracht, among others. He played 34 times for Yugoslavia’s national team. In Germany he was active as a player for Eintracht Frankfurt and Wormatia Worms.

In April 1991, he was hired by Bernd Hölzenbein, then manager of Eintracht Frankfurt, as a coach for the Bundesliga. “Stepi’s” friendly manner and easygoing tone quickly endeared him to players, fans and the media, but also led to doubts about his authority and expertise as his success waned. In the 1991/1992 season, Eintracht Frankfurt led the table for a long time with coach Stepanović. However, the club narrowly missed out on the German championship after a highly dramatic season finale, losing at Hansa Rostock.

Dragoslav Stepanović Lecture Topics

  • Lebbe geht weider – Failure, falling down, getting up and moving on
  • Stepi makes happy – Positive communication, even when it’s difficult

Dragoslav Stepanović has cult status. Wherever Stepi appears, doors and hearts open because he has retained his approachability. He has cult status. The language he cultivates, with its characteristic dialect, is repeatedly referred to by himself as Serbo-Hessian. Good humor, which he also used to exude as a pub landlord in the Hessen-Center in his home town of Bergen-Enkheim and still does today whenever he appears at Eintracht.

Stepi: “If the ball doesn’t go in, it doesn’t go in”.

His manner made him a perfect fit for Eintracht in the 1990s, wrote the Frankfurter Rundschau a few years ago, “diva-like, rip-off, amiable and a bit loudmouthed. Today, he’s still the lovable, colorful dog who also does volunteer work, as the Hessian ambassador for a sports program for refugees, for example. Ultimately, however, it was the defeats and how he dealt with them that made ‘Stepi’ visible as a person. He never lamented or resented his fate; instead, the ‘Lebbe weider’ went on.