Völler with Bayer Leverkusen in 2014
|Full name||Rudolf Völler|
|Date of birth||13 April 1960|
|Place of birth||Hanau, West Germany|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Bayer Leverkusen (Sporting director)|
|1979–1982||West Germany U21||19||(10)|
|1980||West Germany B||3||(0)|
|1996–2000||Bayer Leverkusen (sporting director)|
|2005–||Bayer Leverkusen (sporting director)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Rudolf "Rudi" Völler (pronounced [ˈfœlɐ]; born 13 April 1960), nicknamed "Tante Käthe" (English: "Aunt Käthe"), is a German former professional footballer and a former manager of the Germany national team. A forward, he won the FIFA World Cup in 1990 as a player. He also scored an equalizing goal to make it 2–2 in the 81st minute of the 1986 FIFA World Cup Final vs Argentina, but it ended up with a 3-2 victory for Argentina.
Völler started his career with 1860 Hanau, then played for second division sides Kickers Offenbach and TSV 1860 Munich, before joining Bundesliga club Werder Bremen in 1982, winning his first cap for West Germany that same year. Following a successful season in which he was the Bundesliga's top scorer, foreign clubs became interested in the striker, and in 1987 he was transferred to Roma, where he became a mainstay of the team and earned the nickname "er tedesco" ("the German") and also "il tedesco volante" ("the flying German"). He won the Coppa Italia in 1991 and was the club's top scorer on several occasions.
In 1992, Roma decided to sell Völler to Marseille, where he was intended as replacement for superstar striker Jean-Pierre Papin. That also allowed Roma to add Claudio Caniggia as its third foreigner to the squad, so both parties were happy to let the deal go through. There he won his biggest club honour in a very successful first season, thanks to the UEFA Champions League won with Olympique de Marseille against AC Milan coached by Fabio Capello, in 1993 (1-0, goal scored by Basile Boli). Völler started the match, playing 78 minutes. Marseille was then caught in a bribery scandal, however, and was stripped of its 1993 league title, and were relegated despite a second-place finish in 1994. Völler scored 24 league goals for the club but departed after its relegation. Returning to Germany, he joined Bayer Leverkusen in 1994, where he ended his career as a player in 1996 and started a career in the management of the club.
Völler also played at three UEFA European Championships, starting with Euro 1984, where he scored twice in a group match against Romania which the Germans won 2–1. A 90th minute defeat against Spain in their next match, however, saw West Germany eliminated when all they needed was a draw.
At the 1986 FIFA World Cup, Völler scored the West Germans' equalizer in a 2–1 win over Scotland in the group stage. He bagged a last minute goal against France in the semi-final to seal a 2–0 win and in the final itself his 80th-minute goal made it 2–2 against Argentina. Germany had recovered from 2–0 down but eventually lost the match 3–2. Völler became the third player to score as a substitute in the World Cup final, after Dick Nanninga in 1978 and Alessandro Altobelli achieved this feat in 1982.
Völler was a member of the team that won the 1990 World Cup in Italy. He scored three times in the tournament, including one goal in a 4–1 win over Yugoslavia, and then found the net twice against the United Arab Emirates in a 5–1 win. During the second-round match against the Netherlands, Völler and Dutch player Frank Rijkaard were sent off the field after the Dutchman spit on Völler twice. Völler came back to play and start for Germany in both the semi-final against England and the final against Argentina, which Germany won 1–0 to claim their 3rd World Cup title.
The unsavoury incident that took place during the second-round match with the Netherlands started when Rijkaard was booked for a bad tackle on Völler. As Rijkaard took up position for the free kick, he spat in Völler's hair. Völler complained to the referee and was booked as well. From the resulting free kick, a furious Völler then jumped up and punched the ball with his hand (although it looked like he had used his head) and then dived to avoid a collision with Dutch goalkeeper Hans van Breukelen, although it did also look as if he dived for a penalty. Van Breukelen was angry at this, but Rijkaard again confronted Völler by twisting his ear and stamping on his foot. The temperamental and tough Argentine referee Juan Carlos Loustau finally had enough of Völler and Rijkaard's antics and he sent both players off. Rijkaard then again spat in Völler's hair as they left the pitch and was rumoured to have repeated this on the touchline. Rijkaard later stated that it was his fault: "That day I was wrong. There was no insult. I always had much respect for Rudi Völler. But I went berserk when I saw that red card. I talked to him after the match and I apologized. I'm very happy that he accepted. I have no bad feeling about him now. We even posed for a very funny advert together, years after." (Rijkaard had family problems in this time).
At the 1994 World Cup, Völler was kept out of the starting line up for all three group games by Jürgen Klinsmann and Karl-Heinz Riedle who scored five between them. He made just one sub appearance in the group stages. He did start the second round tie with Belgium and scored twice in a 3–2 win.
After a disappointing Euro 2000 for Germany under manager Erich Ribbeck, the German Football Association (DFB) appointed Völler as new manager, accepting his lack of coaching qualifications at the time. Initially he only planned to take interimistic responsibility for one year, following the decision by Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Völler himself (as Sporting Director of the Club) not to make Christoph Daum step down from the national team before 2001. However, Völler extended his contract due to good results, after Daum became involved in a controversial drug scandal. Despite losing to England 5–1 at home and two disappointing draws against Finland during qualification he managed to lead the team to a surprising appearance in the final of the 2002 World Cup against Brazil.
Following his resignation from the German national job, Völler briefly made a comeback at Roma in 2004 as manager. Hired in late August as a last-minute appointment after the shock resignation of Cesare Prandelli, he left the club only one month later after a series of poor results and high-profile disagreements with players, notably Antonio Cassano. He only signed a one-year contract to allow a return of Prandelli the next year, but presided over only one draw and two defeats in the league.
Moving back to the support ranks at Bayer Leverkusen, Völler was named caretaker manager of Leverkusen on 16 September 2005 after the club sacked coach Klaus Augenthaler. Völler served in that role until Michael Skibbe was named as the club's new permanent coach that October. After the arrival of Skibbe, Völler was promoted to become for the second time sports director at Leverkusen.
Völler was (and still is) very popular in Germany. Even when the national squad achieved only modest results, Völler never lost his popularity as the German public knew he was achieving as much as possible with a relatively limited squad. His predecessor Berti Vogts, by contrast, was widely "slagged off" by everybody even during periods of success with a far more talented German squad. The public even forgave Völler when – during a TV interview after a 0–0 draw against Iceland in September 2003 – he lost his temper and yelled at the presenter Waldemar Hartmann in order to defend his team against, what he thought was, unfair press statements.
|Kickers Offenbach||1977–78||2. Bundesliga||6||1||—||—||—||6||1|
|Germany national team|
|1||30 March 1983||Qemal Stafa Stadium, Tirana, Albania||Albania||1–0||2–1||UEFA Euro 1984 qualifying|
|2||7 September 1983||Népstadion, Budapest, Hungary||Hungary||1–1||1–1||Friendly|
|3||5 October 1983||Parkstadion, Gelsenkirchen, Germany||Austria||2–0||3–0||UEFA Euro 1984 qualifying|
|4||5 October 1983||Parkstadion, Gelsenkirchen, Germany||Austria||3–0||3–0||UEFA Euro 1984 qualifying|
|5||26 October 1983||Olympic Stadium, Berlin, Germany||Turkey||1–0||5–1||UEFA Euro 1984 qualifying|
|6||26 October 1983||Olympic Stadium, Berlin, Germany||Turkey||3–0||5–1||UEFA Euro 1984 qualifying|
|7||15 February 1984||Spartak Stadium, Varna, Bulgaria||Bulgaria||2–0||3–2||Friendly|
|8||29 February 1984||Heysel Stadium, Brussels, Belgium||Belgium||1–0||1–0||Friendly|
|9||28 March 1984||Niedersachsenstadion, Hanover, Germany||Soviet Union||1–1||2–1||Friendly|
|10||17 June 1984||Stade Félix-Bollaert, Lens, France||Romania||1–0||2–1||UEFA Euro 1984|
|11||17 June 1984||Stade Félix-Bollaert, Lens, France||Romania||2–1||2–1||UEFA Euro 1984|
|12||24 February 1985||Estádio da Luz, Lisbon, Portugal||Portugal||2–0||2–1||FIFA World Cup 1986 qualifying|
|13||17 April 1985||Rosenaustadion, Augsburg, Germany||Bulgaria||1–0||4–1||Friendly|
|14||17 April 1985||Rosenaustadion, Augsburg, Germany||Bulgaria||4–1||4–1||Friendly|
|15||25 September 1985||Råsunda Stadium, Stockholm, Sweden||Sweden||1–0||2–2||FIFA World Cup 1986 qualifying|
|16||11 May 1986||Ruhrstadion, Bochum, Germany||Yugoslavia||1–1||1–1||Friendly|
|17||14 May 1986||Westfalenstadion, Dortmund, Germany||Netherlands||1–0||3–1||Friendly|
|18||14 May 1986||Westfalenstadion, Dortmund, Germany||Netherlands||2–0||3–1||Friendly|
|19||8 June 1986||Estadio La Corregidora, Santiago de Querétaro, Mexico||Scotland||1–1||2–1||FIFA World Cup 1986|
|20||25 June 1986||Estadio Jalisco, Guadalajara, Mexico||France||2–0||2–0||FIFA World Cup 1986|
|21||29 June 1986||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico||Argentina||2–2||2–3||FIFA World Cup 1986|
|22||29 October 1986||Prater Stadium, Vienna, Austria||Austria||1–1||1–4||Friendly|
|23||12 August 1987||Olympic Stadium, Berlin, Germany||France||1–0||2–1||Friendly|
|24||12 August 1987||Olympic Stadium, Berlin, Germany||France||2–0||2–1||Friendly|
|25||23 September 1987||Volksparkstadion, Hamburg, Germany||Denmark||1–0||1–0||Friendly|
|26||17 June 1988||Olympic Stadium, Munich, Germany||Spain||1–0||2–0||UEFA Euro 1988|
|27||17 June 1988||Olympic Stadium, Munich, Germany||Spain||2–0||2–0||UEFA Euro 1988|
|28||31 August 1988||Olympic Stadium, Helsinki, Finland||Finland||1–0||4–0||FIFA World Cup 1990 qualifying|
|29||31 August 1988||Olympic Stadium, Helsinki, Finland||Finland||2–0||4–0||FIFA World Cup 1990 qualifying|
|30||22 March 1989||Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia, Bulgaria||Bulgaria||1–1||2–1||Friendly|
|31||4 October 1989||Westfalenstadion, Dortmund, Germany||Finland||4–0||6–1||FIFA World Cup 1990 qualifying|
|32||15 November 1989||Müngersdorfer Stadion, Cologne, Germany||Wales||1–1||2–1||FIFA World Cup 1990 qualifying|
|33||25 April 1990||Neckarstadion, Stuttgart, Germany||Uruguay||2–1||3–3||Friendly|
|34||30 May 1990||Parkstadion, Gelsenkirchen, Germany||Denmark||1–0||1–0||Friendly|
|35||10 June 1990||Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan, Italy||Yugoslavia||4–1||4–1||FIFA World Cup 1990|
|36||15 June 1990||Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan, Italy||United Arab Emirates||1–0||5–1||FIFA World Cup 1990|
|37||15 June 1990||Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan, Italy||United Arab Emirates||5–1||5–1||FIFA World Cup 1990|
|38||10 October 1990||Råsunda Stadium, Stockholm, Sweden||Sweden||2–0||3–1||Friendly|
|39||31 October 1990||Stade Josy Barthel, Luxembourg, Luxembourg||Luxembourg||3–0||3–2||UEFA Euro 1992 qualifying|
|40||19 December 1990||Neckarstadion, Stuttgart, Germany||Switzerland||1–0||4–0||Friendly|
|41||16 October 1991||Frankenstadion, Nuremberg, Germany||Wales||2–0||4–1||UEFA Euro 1992 qualifying|
|42||20 November 1991||King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels, Belgium||Belgium||1–0||1–0||UEFA Euro 1992 qualifying|
|43||30 May 1992||Parkstadion, Gelsenkirchen, Germany||Turkey||1–0||1–0||Friendly|
|44||14 October 1992||Rudolf-Harbig-Stadion, Dresden, Germany||Mexico||1–0||1–1||Friendly|
|45||8 June 1994||Varsity Stadium, Toronto, Canada||Canada||2–0||2–0||Friendly|
|46||2 July 1994||Soldier Field, Chicago, United States||Belgium||1–0||3–2||FIFA World Cup 1994|
|47||2 July 1994||Soldier Field, Chicago, USA||Belgium||3–1||3–2||FIFA World Cup 1994|
|Germany||2 July 2000||24 June 2004||53||29||11||13||54.72|||
|Bayer Leverkusen||21 October 2000||11 November 2000||7||5||2||0||71.43|||
|Roma||31 August 2004||27 September 2004||6||1||1||4||16.67|||
|Bayer Leverkusen||16 September 2005||9 October 2005||5||2||1||2||40.00|||
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