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Bayer director of sport

Völler: We’ve not given up hope yet

It is perfectly reasonable to speak of the Rudi Völler era at Leverkusen, as the former Germany boss took over as Bayer 04 director of sport in January 2005. A lot has changed at the Rhineland club since his arrival, but one constant has remained: Bayer’s trips to face Bayern have been fruitless, as Leverkusen have not won in Munich for 23 years, an unparalleled and unwanted streak.

Interviewed by FCB club journal Bayern Magazin, Völler did his best to explain the phenomenon. And in the build-up to this season’s meeting in Bavaria (Sunday at 5.30 pm CET), the former striker discussed a number of topics including Bastian Schweinsteiger. reproduces highlights from the interview.

Bayern Magazin: You’ve seen everything there is to see in football. Can you explain the phenomenon whereby Bayer Leverkusen have failed to win in Munich for more than 23 years?
Rudi Völler: We’ve beaten Bayern a couple of times at home, but in Munich ...! Well, it’s partly because Bayern are always so strong at home. We’ve come close a couple of times, but just fallen a fraction short. But we’ve not given up hope yet and we’ll give it another try this Sunday.

You’ve experienced matches in Munich both as a player and an official. Could it be that, at least sub-consciously, the players sit in the dressing room and start thinking to themselves: well, we’re not going to win here anyway...?
No, I don’t believe that. And our current squad is completely different compared to six or seven years ago. Obviously, when you visit the Allianz Arena, you need the ultimate perfect day to come away with anything from Munich, and you need Bayern not to have the same kind of day.