By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Official: Völler named new German national team director

The German FA officially confirmed Rudi Völler as the German national team's new director late Thursday. 
Former World Cup winner and German Bundestrainer Rudi Völler's appointment as Oliver Bierhoff's successor was officially confirmed on Thursday. The German footballing legend will assume office as DFB program-manager on February 1st. Völler returns to the German FA for the first time since being sacked as the national team head-coach following a disappointing outing in Euro 2004. The 62-year-old just retired from his administrative role at Bayer 04 Leverkusen last spring.

"After many great years at Bayer 04 Leverkusen, I'm returning to where I already experienced wonderful times as team boss," Völler said in a statement accompanying his appointment, "I'm therefore approaching my new task with the national team with gratitude, passion and great motivation."

"I aim to lay the foundations for a successful European Championship at home in 2024 that enjoys support across Germany," Völler continued, We have the players for this. From this pool of top players, we now wish to reunify, a strong-willed and likeable national team with the clear objective of winning back the unwavering support of the fans. And above all, I want to give our national coach Hansi Flick and his coaching team a tailwind."

DFB President Bernd Neuendorf, in concluding the work of an "emergency task force" charged with finding the way forward after Bierhoff, also expressed optimism about the future course of the national program. BVB boss Hans-Joachim Watzke, a member of said force, released a statement in which he thanked Völler for accepting the federation's offer.

"I thank the members of the task force for their commitment and quality advice," Neuendorf said, "With Rudi Völler, we have together found the optimal line-up for the next 20 months. Rudi Völler is one of the greats in German football. I look forward to working with him and am optimistic about Euro 2024."

"I am very pleased that Rudi Völler is willing to take on this challenging task," DFB Vice President Watzke added, "Given his CV, his outstanding successes and his personality profile, he is the ideal solution for the German Football Association."

Current Bundestrainer Hansi Flick also welcomed his new boss.

"Rudi is a permanent fixture in German football," Flick is quoted as saying on the DFB website, "With his manner and his successes, he has inspired fans as a player, coach and manager. Particularly with his experience with the national team and his many years of work at Bayer Leverkusen, he is the right person for the tasks ahead. My coaching team and I are looking forward to working together on the road to next year's home European Championship."

In reporting upon the news, Germany's preeminent footballing footballing publication - Kicker Magazine - labelled Völler a "feel good manager". Kicker notes that the 1990 World Cup winner stepped into the breach to save the DFB before as a "placeholder". Völler brought the program back from the dark days of Bundestrainer Erich Ribbeck, serving as a temporary solution until the FA could bring in preferred candidate Christoph Daum to coach the team.

Völler led the German Nationalmannschaft to the 2002 World Cup Final. He remained on to coach the team in Euro 2004 after Daum's star fell due to a cocaine scandal. Völler moved to Leverkusen after a disappointing showing in Euro 2004 led to his dismissal. As pertains to his latest appointment, Völler is largely considered to be a "placeholder" for current Hertha BSC sporting CEO Fredi Bobic. Most German footballing journalists believe Bobic will take over after the 2024.

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