Benedikt Höwedes is coming back to the German National Team, just not as a player. The 2014 World Cup-winning defender has been appointed as team manager for the DFB, effective immediately according to Sport Bild as captured by the Waltroper Zeitung. His main responsibility is to act as the link between the team and management. Höwedes will be in this role at least through next year’s World Cup in Qatar. However, his appointment leaves room for speculation that he could be the heir-apparent to replace technical director, Oliver Bierhoff, whose contract is set to expire in 2024.
In addition to this new position with the DFB, Höwedes is also completing a two-year UEFA management seminar and will be one of the analysts for Amazon’s coverage of the Champions League. When asked about these three tasks, Höwedes said, “For me, three crazy, exciting tasks are beginning, all three of which I am equally excited for. I look at football with a very different perspective and I will keep it practical and academic. All three tasks will contribute to a complex, high-intensity professional development.”
Höwedes came up through the Schalke academy and played the majority of his club career in Gelsenkirchen. He had a brief loan stint at Juventus in 2017/2018 and then transferred to Lokamotiv Moscow, where he played until his retirement in 2020. He represented Germany at multiple youth levels before becoming a mainstay with the senior team, earning 44 caps from 2011 to 2017. After winning the World Cup as a player, Höwedes will now be tasked to help Hansi Flick Die Mannschaft win another.