Rudi Völler will be the sports director of the German national soccer team on February 1st. The German Football Association (DFB) followed the recommendation of its external expert council, which, as expected, made it after its meeting on Thursday. The 62-year-old Völler will be the successor in one area to the former managing director Oliver Bierhoff, from whom the DFB parted ways after being eliminated from the national team at the last World Cup in Qatar.
“After many great years at Bayer 04 Leverkusen, I’m returning to the place where I was able to experience wonderful times as team boss. That’s why I’m approaching my new task with the national team with gratitude, passion and great motivation,” said Völler. “With Rudi Völler, we have found the ideal team for the next 20 months,” said DFB President Bernd Neuendorf: “Rudi Völler is one of the greatest in German football. I look forward to working together and look forward to Euro 2024 with optimism.”
Order: spirit of optimism before EM
Völler, world champion from 1990, who gave up his post as sports director at the Bundesliga club from Leverkusen after last season, is returning to the DFB. In 2000, the native of Hesse took over the national team, which was also on the ground at the time, and led it to the World Cup final two years later as team boss. In 2004, Völler resigned from the post after the preliminary round of the European Championship.
The task of the former goalscorer and crowd favorite should primarily be to create a spirit of optimism in the approximately 500 days until the 2024 European Championships at home. Völler should overcome the alienation between fans and national team, for which Bierhoff is held responsible. In addition, as the face of the DFB selection, he should draw attention to himself and thus take the ailing national coach Hansi Flick and the heavily criticized professionals out of the line of fire.
It is still unclear who will take on Bierhoff’s remaining administrative tasks, including academy management, trainer training and the promotion of young talent. An internal DFB committee headed by General Secretary Heike Ullrich is currently working on the exact shape of this field of work.
The Frankfurt am Main III tax office has meanwhile revoked the non-profit status of the DFB for the years 2014 and 2015. The association also announced this on Thursday evening. As a precaution, the DFB had made provisions in its budget for the resulting additional demands from the tax authorities. The association assesses the underlying facts differently than the tax authorities and will therefore file an objection against the decisions issued in a timely manner, it said in a statement.