Posten des Sportdirektors: Alle loben Retter Rudi: Völler auf dem Sprung zum DFB
At the DFL New Year’s reception, the home EM 2024 will be highlighted as a lighthouse project. There is only one person who is supposed to pull the national team out of the deep by then. On Tuesday he was a guest star.
In a sporty jacket and with a smile, Rudi Völler listened to the speech of praise in the pretty Offenbach industrial hall.
“There is only one Rudi Völler,” said DFL supervisory board chairman Hans-Joachim Watzke on stage at the German Football League’s New Year’s reception. The 62-year-old is “extremely authentic” and “most people” have a “positive” attitude towards him. It has long been an open secret that this one Rudi Völler should tear the staggering national team out of the mood and performance low on the way to the home European Championship in 2024.
Völler dodges the question – praise from Kahn
“Let’s see,” Völler replied when asked whether completion would be reported after the upcoming task force meeting this Thursday. The former national player and DFB team boss is considered the absolute ideal solution when looking for successors for DFB director Oliver Bierhoff – at least for the fan-related, publicity part very close to the DFB selection of national coach Hansi Flick, who was at the World Cup had failed dramatically early on in Qatar.
“Rudi is a person who you always feel comfortable around. 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 Task Force headed by President Bernd Neuendorf. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Matthias Sammer and Oliver Mintzlaff are also sitting at the table – concentrated football competence 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,” said Kahn. On top of that, he’s maximally authentic because he basically won everything.”
The goal: to be successful at the home EM
Kahn warned that “a positive atmosphere” had to be created around the DFB selection, “which, logically, I can no longer recognize at the moment after this World Cup”. The home EM, which Watzke also praised as brightly lit for German football in his keynote speech on Tuesday, will not be a sure-fire success. “We are all alarmed when it comes to these issues and have to tackle them,” said Kahn. The task force seems to be of the opinion: Who – if not Völler?
The 1990 world champion had already stepped in after the botched EM 2000, remained as team manager and led the national team to the final at the 2002 World Cup. After the preliminary round at the EM 2004 it was over. “As Germans, we must not make ourselves too small, not as DFL, not as DFB, not the clubs,” said Völler, who was personally awarded the DFL honorary award on Tuesday and therefore appeared on the big stage. “There’s definitely more to be had at the European Championships. We’re good enough.”
A “few things” would have to be changed, which seems an understatement given the power of Bierhoff, who left after the World Cup. Völler, who described himself as “a bit like a child of the Bundesliga”, condensed in one sentence what the national players had also been missing in Qatar: “Very important: just be more self-confident!”
Kahn on DFB posts: More than one person needed
Shortly before, Watzke had described the European Championships at home as a “huge opportunity to present ourselves to the whole world” and reprimanded the media. “It’s no use to anyone if you ruin a World Cup in the run-up to that. Nobody benefits from that, not even the guest workers in Qatar benefit from it.” Around the World Cup tournament at the end of last year in the emirate, there had been criticism worldwide about the human rights situation, and the DFB also had trouble finding the right tone.
Kahn indicated that the Völler project, which may only last until after the EM 2024, is not enough. “I don’t want to overuse the word structure, but we took a very close and detailed look at the structure that Oliver Bierhoff was responsible for – and that’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. “To believe today that one person can do it, that’s very ambitious.”
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