In his new role as national team director at the German Football Association (DFB), Rudi Völler wants to involve the clubs in the processing of sporting deficits in particular. “The DFB,” said Völler when he took up his post with the DFB on Wednesday in an interview with the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, “is not to blame for everything.”
The 62-year-old underlined his view with reference to the problems of the DFB-Elf, which came to light again after the preliminary round at the last World Cup tournament in Qatar. “The clubs are also responsible for the fact that we are complaining about a lack of center forwards or currently have too few full-backs, because they help train the players,” said Völler.
“You also have to win duels”
In the future, the former top striker also hopes that the campus of the DFB youth academy will eliminate past mistakes. “For decades we have trained not only good strikers but also wonderful defenders who have won tackles and mastered the game of headers. But today, even in the fourth division, it’s all about how a central defender opens the game. That’s important, of course, but you also have to win duels. The basics have to be right,” stated Völler, wishing for more players of the type of “nonconformist street footballer who isn’t afraid of making mistakes”.
Regardless of their obvious difficulties, the team of national coach Hansi Flick Völler does not have to shy away from comparisons with top nations such as world champions Argentina: “Apart from Lionel Messi, who is outstanding and who everyone has treated to this World Cup title, nobody should tell me that the Argentines are better than us. But they defended with incredible passion.”
Appeal to the clubs
With this logic, the 1990 World Champion sees the term “rescue mission” for his task as “a bit exaggerated”. “After all, we still have a good team,” said Völler. Against the background of the failures of the German team at the past three major events, however, the crowd’s favorite also describes the current phase as a “difficult time”.
All the more Völler, who has suspended his membership in the shareholders’ committee of Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen for the duration of his DFB commitment, expects support from the clubs on the way to the European Championships at home next year.
In the opinion of the former world-class goalscorer, the friendly international matches up until the start of the tournament should be viewed as “compulsory matches” by the clubs, despite possible other interests: “We all have to be loyal to one another and support one another. But everyone must be aware that the national team is important. Not only for the DFB, but also for the clubs.”