Rudi Völler

Rudolf "Rudi" Völler (pronounced [ˈfœlɐ]; born 13 April 1960), nicknamed "Tante Käthe" ("Aunt Käthe"), is a German former professional football player and manager who serves as the sporting director for Bayer Leverkusen.

Rudi Völler
Völler in 2016
Personal information
Full name Rudolf Völler
Date of birth (1960-04-13) 13 April 1960
Place of birth Hanau, West Germany
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Position(s) Striker
Club information
Current team
Bayer Leverkusen (sporting director)
Youth career
1966–1975 TSV Hanau
1975–1977 Kickers Offenbach
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1977–1980 Kickers Offenbach 73 (19)
1980–1982 1860 Munich 70 (46)
1982–1987 Werder Bremen 137 (97)
1987–1992 Roma 142 (45)
1992–1994 Olympique Marseille 58 (24)
1994–1996 Bayer Leverkusen 62 (26)
Total 542 (257)
National team
1979–1982 West Germany U21 19 (10)
1980 West Germany B 3 (0)
1982–1994 Germany 90 (47)
Teams managed
1996–2000 Bayer Leverkusen (sporting director)
2000 Bayer Leverkusen
2000–2004 Germany
2004 Roma
2005 Bayer Leverkusen
2005– Bayer Leverkusen (sporting director)
Men's football
Representing  Germany (As player)
UEFA European Under-21 Championship
FIFA World Cup
Runner-up1986 Mexico
Winner1990 Italy
UEFA European Championship
Runner-up1992 Sweden
Representing  Germany (As manager)
FIFA World Cup
Runner-up2002 South Korea-Japan
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

A forward, Völler 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. Along with Mário Zagallo, Franz Beckenbauer and Didier Deschamps, Völler has the distinction of reaching a World Cup final as both a player (1986 and 1990) and as a manager (2002).

Club career

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").[1] He won the Coppa Italia in 1991 and was the club's top scorer on several occasions.[2]

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.

International career

Völler was capped 90 times for the Germany national team, scoring 47 goals, including eight in World Cup final rounds.[3]

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.

West Germany hosted the Euro 1988, and Völler scored twice in a 2–0 win over Spain but the hosts lost to eventual winners the Netherlands in the semi-final.

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.[4] 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).[5]

Völler was again selected for the Euro 1992 but was sent home when he suffered an injury in the opening game with CIS.

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.

Managing career

Völler signs the book of his hometown Hanau, 2002

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.[6] Initially, he only planned to take interimistic responsibility for one year,[6] 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.[7] 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.

After a first-round exit from Euro 2004, he resigned from his post.[8]

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,[9] he left the club only one month later after a series of poor results and high-profile disagreements with players, notably Antonio Cassano.[10] 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.

Career statistics

Völler in 2009


Club Season League Cup Europe Other[lower-alpha 1] Total
Division AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals
Kickers Offenbach1977–782. Bundesliga6161
1978–792. Bundesliga2911123013
1979–802. Bundesliga38752439
Total 7319647923
1860 Munich1980–81Bundesliga339213510
1981–822. Bundesliga3737223939
Total 7046437449
Werder Bremen1982–83Bundesliga3123128114036
Total 137971152617174119
Roma1987–88Serie A21372285
1988–89Serie A29107362104315
1989–90Serie A3214623816
1990–91Serie A301110412105225
1991–92Serie A307203010367
Total 14245321122122019868
Marseille1992–93Ligue 1331832824422
1993–94Ligue 125640296
Total 582472827328
Bayer Leverkusen1994–95Bundesliga301610303416
Total 62266230437531
Career total 5422576627593163673318
  1. Includes 1988-89 Serie A UEFA Cup qualification, 1991 Supercoppa Italiana, 1995 UEFA Intertoto Cup

National teams statistics


Germany national team

International goals

Scores and results table. Germany's goal tally first:
130 March 1983Qemal Stafa Stadium, Tirana, Albania Albania1–02–1UEFA Euro 1984 qualifying
27 September 1983Népstadion, Budapest, Hungary Hungary1–11–1Friendly
35 October 1983Parkstadion, Gelsenkirchen, Germany Austria2–03–0UEFA Euro 1984 qualifying
45 October 1983Parkstadion, Gelsenkirchen, Germany Austria3–03–0UEFA Euro 1984 qualifying
526 October 1983Olympic Stadium, Berlin, Germany Turkey1–05–1UEFA Euro 1984 qualifying
626 October 1983Olympic Stadium, Berlin, Germany Turkey3–05–1UEFA Euro 1984 qualifying
715 February 1984Spartak Stadium, Varna, Bulgaria Bulgaria2–03–2Friendly
829 February 1984Heysel Stadium, Brussels, Belgium Belgium1–01–0Friendly
928 March 1984Niedersachsenstadion, Hanover, Germany Soviet Union1–12–1Friendly
1017 June 1984Stade Félix-Bollaert, Lens, France Romania1–02–1UEFA Euro 1984
1117 June 1984Stade Félix-Bollaert, Lens, France Romania2–12–1UEFA Euro 1984
1224 February 1985Estádio da Luz, Lisbon, Portugal Portugal2–02–1FIFA World Cup 1986 qualifying
1317 April 1985Rosenaustadion, Augsburg, Germany Bulgaria1–04–1Friendly
1417 April 1985Rosenaustadion, Augsburg, Germany Bulgaria4–14–1Friendly
1525 September 1985Råsunda Stadium, Stockholm, Sweden Sweden1–02–2FIFA World Cup 1986 qualifying
1611 May 1986Ruhrstadion, Bochum, Germany Yugoslavia1–11–1Friendly
1714 May 1986Westfalenstadion, Dortmund, Germany Netherlands1–03–1Friendly
1814 May 1986Westfalenstadion, Dortmund, Germany Netherlands2–03–1Friendly
198 June 1986Estadio La Corregidora, Santiago de Querétaro, Mexico Scotland1–12–1FIFA World Cup 1986
2025 June 1986Estadio Jalisco, Guadalajara, Mexico France2–02–0FIFA World Cup 1986
2129 June 1986Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico Argentina2–22–3FIFA World Cup 1986
2229 October 1986Prater Stadium, Vienna, Austria Austria1–11–4Friendly
2312 August 1987Olympic Stadium, Berlin, Germany France1–02–1Friendly
2412 August 1987Olympic Stadium, Berlin, Germany France2–02–1Friendly
2523 September 1987Volksparkstadion, Hamburg, Germany Denmark1–01–0Friendly
2617 June 1988Olympic Stadium, Munich, Germany Spain1–02–0UEFA Euro 1988
2717 June 1988Olympic Stadium, Munich, Germany Spain2–02–0UEFA Euro 1988
2831 August 1988Olympic Stadium, Helsinki, Finland Finland1–04–0FIFA World Cup 1990 qualifying
2931 August 1988Olympic Stadium, Helsinki, Finland Finland2–04–0FIFA World Cup 1990 qualifying
3022 March 1989Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia, Bulgaria Bulgaria1–12–1Friendly
314 October 1989Westfalenstadion, Dortmund, Germany Finland4–06–1FIFA World Cup 1990 qualifying
3215 November 1989Müngersdorfer Stadion, Cologne, Germany Wales1–12–1FIFA World Cup 1990 qualifying
3325 April 1990Neckarstadion, Stuttgart, Germany Uruguay2–13–3Friendly
3430 May 1990Parkstadion, Gelsenkirchen, Germany Denmark1–01–0Friendly
3510 June 1990Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan, Italy Yugoslavia4–14–1FIFA World Cup 1990
3615 June 1990Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan, Italy United Arab Emirates1–05–1FIFA World Cup 1990
3715 June 1990Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan, Italy United Arab Emirates5–15–1FIFA World Cup 1990
3810 October 1990Råsunda Stadium, Stockholm, Sweden Sweden2–03–1Friendly
3931 October 1990Stade Josy Barthel, Luxembourg, Luxembourg Luxembourg3–03–2UEFA Euro 1992 qualifying
4019 December 1990Neckarstadion, Stuttgart, Germany  Switzerland1–04–0Friendly
4116 October 1991Frankenstadion, Nuremberg, Germany Wales2–04–1UEFA Euro 1992 qualifying
4220 November 1991King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels, Belgium Belgium1–01–0UEFA Euro 1992 qualifying
4330 May 1992Parkstadion, Gelsenkirchen, Germany Turkey1–01–0Friendly
4414 October 1992Rudolf-Harbig-Stadion, Dresden, Germany Mexico1–01–1Friendly
458 June 1994Varsity Stadium, Toronto, Canada Canada2–02–0Friendly
462 July 1994Soldier Field, Chicago, United States Belgium1–03–2FIFA World Cup 1994
472 July 1994Soldier Field, Chicago, United States Belgium3–13–2FIFA World Cup 1994

Managing career statistics

Team From To Record
G W D L Win % Ref.
Germany 2 July 2000[6] 24 June 2004[8] 53 29 11 13 054.72 [12]
Bayer Leverkusen 21 October 2000[13] 11 November 2000[13] 7 5 2 0 071.43 [13]
Roma 31 August 2004[9] 27 September 2004[10] 6 1 1 4 016.67 [14]
Bayer Leverkusen 16 September 2005[13] 9 October 2005[13] 5 2 1 2 040.00 [13]
Total 71 37 15 19 052.11



Werder Bremen


  • Coppa Italia: 1990–91
  • UEFA Cup runner-up: 1990–91





  • UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship Golden Player: 1982
  • 2. Bundesliga Top Goalscorer: 1981–82
  • Bundesliga Top Goalscorer: 1982–83
  • kicker Bundesliga Team of the Season: 1982–83, 1983–84, 1984–85, 1994–95[15][16][17][18]
  • Footballer of the Year (Germany): 1983
  • UEFA Euro Team of the Tournament: 1984
  • UEFA Cup Top Goalscorer: 1990–91[19]
  • A.S. Roma Hall of Fame: 2014[20][21]




Völler's son Marco is a professional basketball player[22] currently with the Skyliners Frankfurt.


  1. A.S. Roma supporters sing 'tedesco, vola!'
  2. Glendenning, Barry (19 May 2018). "World Cup stunning moments: Frank Rijkaard and Rudi Völler | Barry Glendenning". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  3. "Planet World Cup - Legends - Rudi Völler". Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  4. "World Cup: 25 stunning moments … No19: Frank Rijkaard and Rudi Völler". Guardian. 22 May 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  5. "Cheeseheads vs Krauts": 30 Years of Enmity". Archived from the original on 16 January 2016.
  6. "Rudi Völler ab sofort Interims-Coach". kicker (in German). 2 July 2000. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  7. "Daum: I took cocaine". 12 January 2001. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  8. "Rudi Völler nimmt seinen Hut". kicker (in German). 22 July 2004. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  9. "Völler wird Teamchef der Roma". kicker (in German). 31 August 2004. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  10. "Wie das gewertet wird, das ist mir herzlich egal". kicker (in German). 27 September 2004. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  11. Mamrud, Roberto (2 November 2002). "Rudolf "Rudi" Völler – Goals in International Matches". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  12. "Nationaltrainer" (in German). DFB. Archived from the original on 3 January 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  13. "Bayer 04 Leverkusen" (in German). kicker. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  14. "AS Roma » Dates & results 2004/2005". World Football. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  15. "Bundesliga Historie 1982/83" (in German). kicker.
  16. "Bundesliga Historie 1983/84" (in German). kicker.
  17. "Bundesliga Historie 1984/85" (in German). kicker.
  18. "Bundesliga Historie 1994/95" (in German). kicker.
  19. "Fairs/UEFA Cup Topscorers". RSSSF. 5 January 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  20. "A.S. Roma Hall of Fame: 2013". A.S. Roma. 22 July 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  21. "Hall of Fame" (in Italian). A.S. Roma. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  22. Unterm Korb gibt es nur ein‘ Marco Völler, Berliner Morgenpost, 23 September 2016. Accessed 15 December 2019. (in German)
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