DThis time, Hans-Joachim Watzke took on the role of Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder. In July 2000, Mayer-Vorfelder, then president of the German Football Federation (DFB), after the debacle with the exit after the preliminary round of the European Championship, made the decisive decision in the round which was to find a national coach to succeed Erich Ribbeck Phrase: “You do it, Rudi.” Rudi Völler did it and led the German national team as a team manager to the 2002 World Cup final before his time ran out ends with the exit of the European Championship at the beginning of 2004.
So it was Watzke who made the breakthrough. “I spontaneously said: ‘Rudi, that would be something for you,'” Watzke reported from the internal workings of the working group, which was to indicate a successor to Oliver Bierhoff and in which DFB President Bernd Neuendorf, Oliver Kahn, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Oliver Mintzlaff and Matthias Sammer were seated. However, Völler did not make it easy for himself or others during this “little deja vu” with his commitment to the transition from the semi-passive phase to the highly active phase of the semi. -retreat. It was only after further discussion and some time to think about it that he told the group, “If you all support this, then I’m ready.”
Officially, Völler, who is temporarily stepping back from his second-line role at Bayer Leverkusen on the shareholders’ committee and as the Bundesliga club’s ambassador, is ‘director of the senior men’s national team’ from February 1. and also for the U-21 team managers. But twelve days earlier, during his presentation alongside Neuendorf and Watzke on the DFB campus on Friday, he had explained why he had “let himself be convinced”.
“It is important that we have sporting success”
The main reason was the prospect of EM 2024 in their own country. “It’s a huge pound. We have four weeks of a wonderful opportunity to show ourselves as Germany.” Prior to that, Völler has 511 days with national coach Hansi Flick, who is still on vacation. For the national team to be fit not only in terms of sport but also in terms of the atmosphere for the tournament in their own country.
Even if we look to the future, we have talked a lot about the past, that of Völler, 62, but also that of the national team. The leaden years between the 2018 World Cup disaster and 2022 hang like a dark cloud over German football. It’s not just driven by the fact that Völler is hoping for “good weather at the European Championships like in 2006” at the World Cup on home soil. The withdrawal of love from many fans isn’t just glaring since the “One Love” bandage debate in Qatar.
Asked about specific measures, however, Völler remained relatively vague. Only with the old buzzwords of humility, team spirit and solidarity between the DFB and the clubs he conjured up won’t work. Völler knows this from experience: “It is important that we have sporting success. He is convinced that it will happen: “We have a very, very good team that can play for the title. I’m totally optimistic.”
Thinking back to the World Cup, he felt that “we can’t hide from the Argentines or the Croats”. Germany will play a good European Championship: “We can do it.” On the way to the tournament, which kicks off on June 14, 2024 in Munich with the Germans in the opener, only non-competitive test matches await. The first two will take place at the end of March, with opponents and locations to be announced in the coming days.
Völler’s time as DFB director should be limited until the end of the EM. He has ruled out staying after the tournament, like 22 years ago when Christoph Daum didn’t become national coach as planned because of the cocaine affair. “No, that’s my plan and the reason why I’m doing this.”
What worries Voller
But he also thinks about the future. As optimistic as he is about the European Championship in a year and a half, even he sees the future of German football as bleak. “What will it be in six, eight, ten years?” he asked and gave the answer himself: “You have to worry about what happens after.” The DFB first team still has hopeful talents like Jamal Musiala, Florian Wirtz or Youssoufa. Moukoko. So what?
Some weaknesses were already apparent in Qatar, in defence, on the flanks and, since Miroslav Klose ended his national team career after winning the 2014 World Cup, also at centre-forward. After all, World Cup discovery Niclas Füllkrug will soon be 30 years old.
Völler still sees good prospects until the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico, after which it could turn bleak from now on. There is talent, but German football has recently failed to develop it globally.
If Völler follows the current plan and nothing comes back, he will effectively retire and watch the future of German football from afar. The moment is taken care of with Völler as the face of the next tournament in your own country. But just as important as the short-term success of the EM campaign is the concern for the future of German football. Völler will not tolerate it, so much has not been clear just since Friday.
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