DFB office? Voller always dodges
Football bosses are already celebrating lifesaver Rudi
01/17/2023, 4:12 p.m.
Rudi Völler and Hans-Joachim Watzke agree: despite all the problems, German football should face the future with more confidence – with both at the top. There are growing signs that Völler is giving up retirement to help the national team.
In a sporty jacket and with a smile, Rudi Völler listened to the eulogy speech in the pretty industrial hall in Offenbach. “There is only one Rudi Völler,” said DFL supervisory board chairman Hans-Joachim Watzke at the German Football League’s New Year’s reception. The 62-year-old is “extremely genuine” and “most people” have a “positive” attitude towards him. It’s long been an open secret that this one, Rudi Völler, is set to pry the impressive national team out of low mood and performance on their way to the European Championship on home soil in 2024.
“Let’s see,” Völler replied when asked if completion would be reported after the next working group meeting on Thursday. The former national player and DFB team boss is seen as the absolute sweet spot when looking for successors for DFB manager Oliver Bierhoff – at least for the fan-related publicity part very close to the DFB selection of the National coach Hansi Flick, who was at the World Cup had failed spectacularly at the start in Qatar.
“He has a good feeling with football”
“Rudi is a person you always feel comfortable with. He’s someone who can make you feel good, he’s incredibly good technically,” said Bayern boss Oliver Kahn, who with Völler in the Watzke and DFB working group headed by chairman Bernd Neuendorf. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Matthias Sammer and Oliver Mintzlaff also sit at the table – a concentrated football skill of the past decades, with which the near future should first be mastered. “He has a good feeling for football, for people, for individual characters,” Kahn said. Moreover, he is maximally authentic because he has won almost everything.
Neuendorf said he had “great sympathy” for Völler, but referred to orderly procedure within the DFB. The working group “makes a recommendation, and this recommendation must be confirmed by our authorities”.
Kahn calls for a “positive atmosphere”.
Kahn warned that it was necessary to create “a positive atmosphere” around the DFB selection, “which, logically, I can no longer recognize at the present time after this World Cup”. The home EM, which Watzke also hailed in his opening speech as brilliantly lit for German football, will not be a surefire success. “We are all alarmed by these issues and need to address them,” Kahn said. The working group seems to be of the opinion: Who – if not Völler?
The 1990 world champion had already stepped in after the botched 2000 EM, stayed on as team manager and led the national team to the 2002 World Cup final. After the 2004 EM preliminary round , it was finished. “As Germans we must not make ourselves too small, not like the DFL, not like the DFB, not the clubs,” said Völler, who has now personally received the DFL honorary award and is therefore appeared on the big stage. “There is definitely more to do at the European Championships. We are quite good.” ‘A few things’ should be changed, which seems like an understatement given how powerful Bierhoff left after the World Cup. Völler, who describes himself as “a bit like a child of the Bundesliga”, summed up in one sentence what national players were also missing in Qatar: “Very important: just to have more self-confidence!”
Watzke berates the media
Shortly before, Watzke had described the European Championships on home soil as a “huge opportunity to show off to the world” and berated the media. “There’s no point spoiling a World Cup before that. Nobody benefits, not even the guest workers in Qatar benefit.” Around the World Cup tournament at the end of last year in the emirate there was criticism around the world due to the human rights situation, and the DFB was also struggling to find the right note.
Kahn indicated that the Völler project, which may not last until after EM 2024, is not enough. “I don’t want to overuse the word structure, but we looked very closely and in detail at the structure that Oliver Bierhoff was responsible for – and it’s a very complex area of responsibility,” said the former national goalkeeper, who was with Völler in Japan and South Korea became vice-world champion. “Believing today that one person can do it is very ambitious.”
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