One of German football’s most famous names is about to take over the challenging job of rescuing the country’s struggling national team.
The final steps to an official announcement are yet to go, but the return of 1990 world champion Rudi Voller appears the only sense-making option after the team and fans seem trapped in an emotional and sportive crisis.
One year ahead of the 2024 Euro hosted by Germany, the 90 time-capped former striker as the managing director must fill the emptiness caused by painful World Cup group exits in 2018 and 2022 and a disappointing Euro 2020.
After approval rates for the national team dropped significantly over the past years, Voller is expected to revitalize the broken relationship between the national team and fans, like a lifesaver.
The 1993 Champions League winner and long-standing CEO of Bayer Leverkusen as the successor of managing director Oliver Bierhoff must turn into a feel-good-manager supporting coach Hansi Flick.
The sports magazine Kicker called the news “a logical surprise,” and the Sueddeutsche Zeitung spoke about “an expert for a good atmosphere.”
Voller seems to meet the desires of German fans as over 70 per cent in a Kicker survey voted in favour of the man, who had retired last spring, reports news agency Xinhua.
Other than Bierhoff, Voller won’t cover all of Bierhoff’s jobs but will concentrate on the national team. The German association must find a man taking care of the academy and talent development.
The emergency call for rescue worker Voller gives proof of the crisis the German national team is facing.
“I never experienced a country that is so little behind its national team like Germany. That makes me sad and thoughtful,” said first-tier side coach Steffen Baumgart.
A survey by the news agency DPA revealed over 50 per cent of the population has lost interest in the national team.
Figures appear absurd for a football nation having won the World Cup four times and was seen as one of Europe’s top dogs taking the continental title three times, as often as Spain.
Voller is the man for the hard nuts to crack as he most likely is returning to get things into place again.
From 2000 to 2004 the popular fan-pleaser took over and reached the 2002 World Cup final against Brazil.
Reports speak of Voller’s job outlined until 2024. Pundits throughout the country agree the chance for a turnaround until the 2024 Euro must be taken.
The task couldn’t be harder as Germany dropped back to position 14 in the FIFA World ranking list after the disappointing performance at the tournament in Qatar.
A job that seems a perfect match for a man counting on a unique mixture of expertise, network, and popularity.
Until the final approval, sobered German fans, the struggling association and Hansi Flick are eagerly awaiting the word of consent from Voller.