One of our biggest football idols is retiring.
Rudi Völler (62) has his farewell match as sports manager in Leverkusen on Saturday against Freiburg. The 1990 World Champion then switched to the Shareholder Committee and became the club ambassador.
In PICTURE, his wife Sabrina (58) tells about the eventful life by Rudi’s side, which she calls Rudolf by his real first name …
IMAGE: Can you imagine that your husband will have less to do with football when he retires?
Full: “I can not imagine. There will be no life for him without football. Football has always been the most important thing after the health of our children. I am afraid that Rudolf will not watch fewer matches on TV.”
” data-zoom-src=”https://bilder.bild.de/fotos/25-september-1995-rudi-heiratet-sabrina-in-bergisch-gladbach-791a8a2691ab4831bf5dfad27fe92dda-80044204/Bild/3.bild.jpg”/> September 25, 1995: Rudi marries Sabrina in Bergisch-GladbachPhoto: Bongarts / Getty Images
September 25, 1995: Rudi marries Sabrina in Bergisch-GladbachPhoto: Bongarts / Getty Images
PICTURE: Will he continue to drive to Leverkusen every day?
Full: “He will be there 100 percent for the first home game of the new season. He will definitely be involved in most of the club in his new role. Bayer Leverkusen has determined our lives for 28 years. But I’m glad he’s soon not in the front row anymore and can take a deep breath and sleep through the night after a lost match. The rest will do him good. He’s 62 now. We have built a lot and now we want to enjoy it. “
PICTURE: Be honest: Is the job as club ambassador in Leverkusen really your husband’s last football stop?
Full: “In one form or another, it will always remain in football.”
PICTURE: What are you personally most looking forward to now?
Full: “That our lives become a little more regulated, and that we can also plan private things on a Sunday without having to notice the schedule. I do not know it differently: If Bayer lost on Saturday, I knew Rudolf would drive to the stadium early on Sunday to be there and, for example, talk to the coach. “
IMAGE: Will Rome now become the center of your life?
Full: “We will stay in Düsseldorf, but now plan to be in Rome more often than before. Then I will be with my mother more often, more than in recent years.”
IMAGE: How annoyed is your husband that he did not win a title as manager?
Full: “If he had wanted it for himself, he could have accepted the offer and gone to FC Bayern (Völler was to succeed Uli Hoeneß in 2009; editor’s note). But he wanted to take Bayer Leverkusen further. He feels sorry for his club that he did not win a title here because we were often very close. It’s not about him personally. “
PICTURE: Your husband always defended his coaches until the last possible day. Which dismissal was most difficult?
Full: “Definitely those from Roger Schmidt in 2017, because he was and still is convinced of his qualities. He had fought for Roger to the last and wanted to go through with him. But in the end, there was no other solution for him either. “
PICTURE: How does Rudi react after such a decision at home?
Full: “Then he will have no consolation, I pretend that nothing has happened. After a few weeks, he talks about the subject again at a time of his own accord. ”
PICTURE: You’ve never been a typical player looking for the limelight.
Full: “I never needed it and rarely traveled to international matches. The 30 percent anonymity that I was left with as Mrs Völler was very helpful for me and our children to be able to walk undisturbed in the ice cream parlor or in the cinema. “
IMAGE: Why is Rudi Völler so popular everywhere?
Full: “There is no particular reason. I would say it like this: Rudolf was always authentic, he cheats no one and is also loud when he has to. All this is not played. But above all he was and is very ambitious and always had the will to “To keep evolving. Whether it’s as a player, coach or official. That’s how he was at all stations. He loves competition – not only at work, but also in the family.”
IMAGE: What do you mean?
Full: “He can not lose. When we open the cards, I do not care if I win. My husband, on the other hand, always wants to win. Winning is a part of his life. This is where the striker comes through to him. “
PICTURE: His wheat-beer-rich speech as DFB team manager in a TV interview with Waldemar Hartmann after the 0-0 victory over Iceland in 2003 was legendary. Did you actually see it live?
Voller (laughs): “Yes, unfortunately. I invited some players’ wives from Leverkusen, and we watched the match together on the couch. When he got angry, I just hoped: ‘Please do not!’ Every time he said ‘sh …’ I thought, ‘Stop it!’ ”
PICTURE: Were you ashamed?
Völler: “No, but I felt sorry for him, that he made a ‘Brutta Figura’ (bad figure; editor’s note), as we Italians say. I did not like his behavior in this situation and I told him so. “