FRANKFURT: Former Germany defender Karl-Heinz Schnellinger, who played at four World Cups, has died in Italy at the age of 85.

Considered one of the best defenders in the world at his time, the former AC Milan and AS Roma player died in hospital on Monday evening.

Schnellinger scored a stoppage-time equaliser for West Germany in their 4-3 semi-final loss to Italy in the 1970 World Cup, a match dubbed the “Game of the Century” due to a record five goals scored during extra time.

It would be Schnellinger’s fourth and last World Cup after 1958, 1962 and 1966. It was also his only goal in 47 international matches.

At club level, Schnellinger was a German champion with 1FC Köln in 1962 and was subsequently named Footballer of the Year. Then he went to Italy. After one season each at Mantova and Roma, he moved to AC Milan with whom “Carlo il biondo” won eight major trophies in nine years, including Serie A in 1968 and the European Champions Cup a year later.