Rudi Voller lands new Germany job after being talked into replacing Bierhoff


Rudi Voller revealed his first reaction at being asked to become director of the Germany national team was: “Is there nobody else?”

The former Germany striker and head coach ultimately agreed to take on the job, filling the role previously held by Oliver Bierhoff until he departed after a second successive World Cup failure.

Voller’s appointment was confirmed by the German Football Association (DFB), with head coach Hansi Flick among those who welcomed his arrival.

It came after deliberations from a DFB task force that included Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Oliver Kahn, Matthias Sammer and Oliver Mintzlaff, plus Voller himself.

Hans-Joachim Watzke offered 62-year-old Voller the job, and the vide-president may have been surprised by the initial response.

“First I asked: ‘Is there nobody else?’ I wasn’t really convinced,” said Voller. “In the end I let myself be convinced.”

Watzke, speaking at a press conference on Friday said there were “arguments” between the pair to begin with.

“Then we found each other more and more. In the meantime, a friendship and a total relationship of trust have developed from it,” Watzke said. “Rudi is actually ideal for this position.”

Voller will begin work on February 1, the DFB said. He won 90 caps for West Germany and later Germany, playing a significant part in the Italia 90 World Cup triumph.

He went on to become head coach of the team that lost to Brazil in the 2002 World Cup final.

Voller has held various roles at Bayer Leverkusen but will direct his energy to the Germany job for now.

Germany will host the Euro 2024 finals, and bringing about success in that tournament will be the priority for Voller and Flick. Group-stage exits at the last two World Cups came either side of a Euro 2020 last-16 defeat to England, leaving the national team in the doldrums.

Voller said: “First of all, we have to lay the foundations for a successful home European Championship in 2024, supported by the whole of Germany. We have the players to do this.

“Out of these top players, we want to form a close-knit community, a strong-willed and likeable national team with the clear purpose of winning back the complete support of the fans. Above all, I would like to give plenty of support to head coach Hansi Flick and his coaching team.”

Flick said of the appointment: “Rudi is a constant in German football. He has thrilled the fans in both his manner and his successes as a player, coach and general manager.

“At this point in time, with his experience with the national team and his years of work at Bayer Leverkusen, he is the right appointment for the task ahead. My coaching team and I are looking forward to working together with him towards the home European Championship next year.”

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