By Rune Gjerulff@runegjerulff

Rudi Völler happy for Leverkusen to shed "Vizekusen" tag: "It got on my nerves"

Rudi Völler is pleased that Bayer Leverkusen are about to shed their "Vizekusen" tag.

At the beginning of the century, Bayer Leverkusen repeatedly missed out on titles by the narrowest of margins, earning them the derisive nickname "Vizekusen".

 

But with ‘Die Werkself’ now in the final of the DFB-Pokal, on course for their first Bundesliga title, and in a good position to reach the semi-finals of the Europa League, there is much to suggest that this tag will be shed very soon.

"For the time being, no one will say Vizekusen anymore. That's extremely important," said Rudi Völler, who was part of Leverkusen's management in various roles between 2005 and 2023, at a Telekom event on Thursday.

"It's a term that got on my nerves in recent years and decades. But sometimes you just have to hang on, we just never made it," added Völler, who expects Leverkusen to continue to be a major competitor for Bayern in the Bundesliga next season.

"Regardless of the titles that will hopefully be won this season, a new era can begin. Xabi Alonso will stay as coach, most of the players will stay," he said.

“Bayern will be stronger next season, I am firmly convinced of that. It will remain exciting, that is important.”

In February 2023, Völler was appointed sporting director of the German men's national team. He recently extended his contract until 2026.

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