Rudi Völler

Portrait of Rudi Völler
  • DFL Honorary Award recipient
  • World Cup winner in 1990
  • Coach of the national team (2000 to 2004)
  • Top scorer in the Bundesliga 1982-83
  • Former CEO of Sport Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fußball GmbH

Rudolf “Rudi” Völler, born in 1960 in Hanau, Hesse, bade farewell to professional football at the end of the 2021-22 Bundesliga season after 44 years. Following his retirement from playing in 1996, the former striker launched his second career in management. He initially took up the role of sporting director at Bayer 04 Leverkusen but also had two spells as caretaker coach and coached the German national team from 2000 until 2004, leading it to the runners-up spot at the 2002 World Cup.

Rudi Völler remained a popular figure in the football community – he was well liked by fans throughout Germany. He had acquired his reputation as a darling of the public in his playing days through an unfailingly sincere and friendly demeanour – and, of course, also as an effective striker. At his Bundesliga clubs TSV 1860 München, SV Werder Bremen and Bayer 04 Leverkusen, he scored 132 goals in 232 appearances, with 23 goals for SV Werder Bremen in the 1982-83 season making him the top scorer. The highlight of his sporting career was winning the World Cup in 1990 with a 1:0 victory over Argentina in the final in Rome, where he was playing for AS Roma in Serie A at the time. At his next club in France, Rudi Völler won the UEFA Champions League with Olympique Marseille in 1993. One year later, he returned to the Bundesliga with Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

During the 2022 General Assembly, Rudi Völler was distinguished as a DFL Honorary Award recipient.

Photo: Markus Burke