Oliver Bierhoff leaves the DFB after the World Cup disaster with the preliminary round, a successor must be found quickly. The tasks are big, the next tournament is already in sight. The DFB has apparently agreed on a preferred candidate.

Oliver Bierhoff is anticipating the major analysis of the recent debacle in the German national soccer team at the World Cup in Qatar, which was originally announced for Wednesday, and is leaving the German Soccer Association (DFB). This makes the former “Managing Director of the Academy and National Team” the first in the association to draw personal consequences from the second preliminary round at a World Cup in a row.

In view of the many sporting and atmospheric construction sites in Germany’s most important team, a successor to Bierhoff, who is equipped with great power, must be found quickly. Time is pressing, 18 months before the start of the home European Championship in June 2024. Apparently, they have already agreed on a preferred candidate at the association.

According to information from “Sportschau”, Matthias Sammer should return to the DFB at the request of the association’s leadership and reinstall the team, which recently disappointed in three major tournaments in a row, in the top of the world. Sammer worked as a sports director at the DFB between 2006 and 2012, after which he ripped FC Bayern Munich out of the lethargy of second place as sports director. In 2016, Sammer suffered a minor stroke, as a result, both parties mutually dissolved the contract. The 1996 European champion has been an external advisor to Borussia Dortmund since 2018.

Sammer is held in high esteem in the industry, and his name has been mentioned many times. Even before Bierhoff’s exit, record international Lothar Matthäus had advertised in his column for the pay-TV channel Sky that people like Matthias Sammer, who “with a different perspective and a clear opinion could bring a new spirit to the DFB”, to be included in the possible reform process of the DFB.

Sammer himself had recently been reassured several times when it came to a possible engagement with the DFB – “especially with a view to the EM 2024 and the bad mood around the national team”, as the “Sportschau” writes. However, this internal resistance is said to have crumbled in the meantime. Possibly also because Hans-Joachim Watzke, a close confidant of Sammers at the DFB, was given greater influence. The managing director of Borussia Dortmund and DFB vice president was recently expressly appointed by DFB President Bernd Neuendorf to be part of the announced crisis meeting on the state of the national team. Watzke and Sammer have been working together at Borussia Dortmund for years.

According to a report by the ARD “Sportschau”, a conversation in which Watzke also took part was about taking Bierhoff from the national team and only being responsible for the DFB academy in the future. But Bierhoff rejected this. National coach Hansi Flick said farewell to Bierhoff in the morning: “My coaching team and I have a hard time imagining how the gap created by Oliver’s departure can be closed professionally and personally. Our cooperation has always been characterized by loyalty, team spirit, trust and reliability. Cohesion was in the DNA of our team,” wrote Flick, who was assistant coach at Germany’s World Cup triumph in 2014 and later worked briefly as sports director at the DFB. “For me personally, Oliver was my first contact and friend within the team. We had the European Championship 2024 project in Germany as a common goal.”

It is not known which task Sammer should now take on at the DFB – the vacant position as managing director of DFB GmbH, responsible for the academy and national teams, or as sports director. If Flick remains in office, a sports director could also be assigned to him. Bierhoff also had a similar managerial role in his DFB early years.