mail: jan@planetworldcup.com

Born: 13 Apr 1960
Caps: 90
Goals: 47
Beaten finalist
1986, 1990, 1994


Rudi Völler
(West Germany/Germany)

     West Germany’s number one striker in the 1980s, Rudi Völler, won his first cap against Northern Ireland in late 1982. Born in Hanau, he won the Player of the Year award the following year, as well as ending up as topscorer in the Bundesliga playing for Werder Bremen. Völler was a typical goalgetter kind of player. He rarely scored spectacular goals, but was great with the ball at his feet and could beat a man or two before scoring. He was also a master inside the penalty-area.

     Euro 1984 was Rudi’s first big tournament, but despite his two goals, West Germany were eliminated already in the first round. Two years later in the Mexico World Cup, the Germans once again progressed far, but Völler spent much time on the bench as coach Beckenbauer preferred Klaus Allofs to partner Rummenigge in attack. He came on as a substitute in the semifinal to score the second in the 2-0 win over France, and in the final he came from the bench to equalize, but Argentina scored a late winner and became champions.

     Having lost in the semifinal to Holland at Euro 1988, Völler and Germany met the Dutch again in the second round of the World Cup in Italy 1990. This time Rudi was involved in an incident with Dutchman Rijkaard which saw them both get sent off. Völler was back for the semifinal with England and in the final he was fouled inside the penalty area which lead to Andreas Brehme scoring the winning goal against Argentina five minutes from the end. Völler scored three goals in the tournament and could lift the World Cup trophy having played the final at the Olympic Stadium in Rome, his homeground, as he was playing for AS Roma at the time.

     Rudi later played for Olympique Marseille and won the Champions League before moving back to Germany in 1994 to play for Bayer Leverkusen. He played in his last World Cup in USA where he as a 34 year-old spent much time on the bench, but scored two goals as his team was knocked out against all odds by Bulgaria in the quarterfinal. That defeat marked the end of his 12 year international career. He retired in 1996 and is now caretaker manager for the German national team.


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