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Interview with DFB sporting director Rudi Völler: "Gender is not my thing"


DFB sports director Rudi Völler on modern developments in the German language, political actions and social networks, which he does not like.

DFB sports director Rudi Völler on modern developments in the German language, political actions and social networks, which he does not like.

Mr. Völler, what can you do better: national coach in need in 2000 or sports director 23 years later?

Difficult question.

I experienced everything in Leverkusen, as a player, coach, sporting director, managing director.

The same with the DFB: U21 players, A national players, team boss, now sports director.

You didn't really think you could do the job of national coach without a coaching license at the time.

Is correct.

I was only supposed to do that for a year so that Christoph Daum could take over...

But then because of his cocaine affair, he was not allowed to take up the high office.

So I just stayed a little longer.

Interview with Rudi Völler: “For diversity and for human rights” – despite changing pads

And then, quite unexpectedly, you became Vice World Champion.

What are you aiming for at EURO 2024?

We want to play for the title in our own country next year.

At that time we also had some outstanding footballers with us, but we managed it mainly with German virtues and won a few more duels than our opponents.

The German captain will wear black, red and gold again in the future.

You raised the issue.

There was prompt applause from the AfD.

Did the praise come from the wrong corner?


But basically, as a national team, we don't have to justify the fact that our captain wears a black, red and gold armband on his way to the European Championships in Germany.

Anyway, there is no doubt that I and the DFB stand for free and democratic values.

Also for diversity and for human rights.

The DFB and the national team drew attention to this again and again before the World Cup in Qatar.

But at some point it's good.

Of course, we will also start campaigns and every player can give their opinion.

But in the right place at the right time.

There are a few other issues as well.

Which one?

Global warming due to climate change, for example, and what we are leaving behind for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

But whether that's why you have to stick your hands on the streets, I'll leave it open.


Confident stadium announcer during public training: DFB sporting director Rudi Völler.

© IMAGO/Hartenfelser

Interview with Rudi Völler: "The discussion about pads took far too long"

Don't you think that's a good way to draw attention to the urgency?

The people who do that here in Germany experience a remarkable forbearance on the part of many of those affected, who are stuck in traffic for hours because of it.

I feel like I'm half Roman and advise the activists: Please don't do that in southern Europe.

The understanding of the police and population is not quite as great as it is here.

VfB Stuttgart played against VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday with a chest ring in rainbow colors as a symbol of diversity.

The action was of course supported by the Stuttgart board member Alexander Wehrle, who makes no secret of his homosexuality.

Wehrle is also the head of the supervisory board of the DFB.

What did you think of VfB's campaign?

Everyone can decide for themselves, that's absolutely okay.

I have an excellent relationship with Alex.

We often call each other.


Meeting for the interview in the Frankfurt office: Rudi Völler (left) with FR reporter Jan Christian Müller.

© FR

But specifically this action?

Many Stuttgart fans also wore the jerseys.

You can do it, everything in its own time.

But I thought, to come back to that, that the discussion about pads for the national team, for example, just took far too long.

You should have drawn a line earlier and put football in the foreground.

We all agreed on that internally.

You and Hansi Flick basically only want the national team to play football.

As tournament director, Phillip Lahm also wants to set an example for diversity, freedom and democracy.

Shouldn't you actively support Lahm in his request?

That goes without saying, I already do that.

We have already called several times.

I was also over there in the old DFB, where Uefa and Philipp are now with the organizing committee.

We will implement one or the other action with the EM-Ok.

Choupo-Moting, Calhanoglu, Boateng: These players decided against the DFB

Choupo-Moting, Calhanoglu, Boateng: These players decided against the DFB

DFB sports director Rudi Völler on football in Italy: "You get insulted from time to time"

How is your relationship with Lahm?

You were really angry when he wrote in his book twelve years ago that your training was "fun but unsystematic".

I got one, of course.

But that doesn't matter.

I've also attacked one or the other when I thought it was appropriate, for example referee Markus Merk.

But I always knew: Markus doesn't put up with anything.

I then had to endure the echo, just like Philipp did with me.

You have to accept that in business.

But I can assure you: I didn't have any sleepless nights because of Philipp's criticism.

Our relationship is perfectly fine.

Like the one about Oliver Bierhoff, by the way.

You once described your predecessor at the DFB as a Maltafüßler because you were annoyed by his critical analyzes of the level of German football...

… these are things that happen over the course of a long career.

That's where my Roman culture of debate comes through a bit.

Whenever there is an argument on TV in Italy, and not just in football, things get really heated.

You get insulted there.

In comparison, the number with Waldemar Hartmann and me 20 years ago was a children's birthday party.

You gave a legendary angry speech in front of the TV cameras after a 0-0 draw in Iceland.

After that they were even more popular than before.

Already remarkable.

Can you explain?

I've been asked about it many times and I don't like talking about it anymore.

What I can assure you is that there are no longer any problems with anyone I have had arguments with over the past 30 years.

But there weren't that many either.

To person

Rudi Völler

welcomes the interview on the first floor of the new DFB campus in a good mood.

He took over Oliver Bierhoff's glass office - with a view of the training ground.

The 62-year-old has now started his third job as sports director

at the German Football Association .

Before that he was a world-class international, culminating in the 1990 World Cup where he won the winning penalty against Argentina.

As a team boss, the native of Hanau led Germany to the Vice World Championship in 2002. jcm

Rudi Völler self-confident in an interview: "We want to play a top European Championship and make it to the final"

In 2004, after the European Championship preliminary round, you immediately broke up with the DFB.

What is different now under Hansi Flick after the World Cup preliminary round in 2022?

We were a lot more unlucky this time.

That's not nice talking.

That's why it's not fake optimism when I say: We want to play a top European Championship and make it to the final.

You dodge, Mr. Völler.

You hinted at the time that you were no longer the man to lead the national team to the 2006 World Cup.

You are too burdened for that.

Why can Flick now and you couldn't?

Because Hansi has already proven that he is a top trainer.

With Bayern Munich, for example, in the 2020 Champions League victory.

You did that when you took part in the 2002 World Cup final, which nobody thought you and your team could do.

Hansi deserves the opportunity, also because he's more of a coach than I've ever been.

The alienation from the national team seems pretty big.

Is correct.

I can feel that at the moment too.

DFB sports director Rudi Völler in an interview: "By the way, I won't be gendered"

Isn't it going to be damn difficult to get people excited again like we did in 2006?

It is certainly not something that can be taken for granted, and of course the DFB shares responsibility for that.

But in the end, as I said to the players in my welcome speech, what matters is to inspire on the pitch.

It must be recognizable that everyone is tearing themselves apart.

As with the Argentines and the Moroccans.

They were on a mission at the World Cup.

We too must see the European Championship as a mission.

Which team is stronger: the one that Rudi Völler coached at the beginning of the millennium or the current one?

We are certainly better positioned across the board now.

Back then, not many were allowed to drop out.

Michael Ballack, Bernd Schneider, Oli Kahn, Didi Hamann – to name just a few – we needed them.

Legends of your time, just like you.

The old ones know you and like you.

But many of the boys don't really know who this Völler is.

Don't you want to counter it with social media?



At least Twitter?

To foist me on the boys there?

No way, I don't need that.

You used to watch a football game or a political program and have an opinion as to whether it was good or bad.

Today, many first have to check the social networks to see what the mood is like.

And only after that they decide how they found it.

You don't want to use that now to address people who are out and about there?


My children like to do that.

But not me.

By the way, I won't gender either.

Gender is not my thing.

You journalists have to do that, right?

DFB sporting director Rudi Völler in an interview: "I can also talk tacheles sometimes"

Yes, we do in the editorial office.

So, I have my clear opinion on that.

I come from the Brothers Grimm town.

It is well known that Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm not only collected and told fairy tales, but also helped shape the German language and even polished it.

Therefore, as a Han native, I can say with full conviction that I will stick to the old spelling.

The direction behind gender is okay?

Everyone should do what they want.

Of course I accept that.

But I don't follow every trend, and I should be allowed to do that.

Florian Wirtz said recently that you are "very honest" in dealing with the players.

Sounds like you could help national coach Hansi Flick with a clear announcement in the dressing room?

This is a sensitive subject.

As a sports director or managing director, you have to keep within limits.

I've certainly given a speech in Leverkusen before when I thought it was the right moment.

But rarely.

At the DFB you have now got a new job completely unexpectedly, just like back then.

This time it was an inner inspiration from league boss Aki Watzke.

Would you agree: your job profile as Rudi Nationale is to ensure a good mood in the country?

I'm not offended when you describe it like that.

But you also know me a little bit: I can also talk tacheles and put my finger in a wound.

I'm sure not everyone likes that, I've experienced that many times.

But I honestly said so to the task force that chose me.

I only exist 100 percent.

Who will feel this now?

There are always issues where the DFB and clubs are not in the same boat or at least are not rowing in the same direction.

For example?

There will always be friction when it comes to shutdowns or deployment times.

It is my aim that the clubs play along, especially now with a view to the EM 2024 in their own country.

Everyone knows that they can not only take, but also have to give something.

Without going into detail about it now: you will notice that in the coming months.

List of rubrics: © IMAGO/Hartenfelser

Source: merkur

All sports articles on 2023-03-27

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