Former Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummeingge is a part of a five-man DFB panel that was constructed earlier this month to help aide the governing body in the fallout of Germany’s World Cup exit at the group stages in Qatar. In addition to Rummenigge, the panel is comprised of Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn, Oliver Mintzlaff, Rudi Voller, and Matthias Sammer.
This formation also took place in the wake of Oliver Bierhoff being relieved of his duties as DFB ‘team manager.’ In addition to the current ‘crisis’ that the DFB finds themselves in, the panel is designed to help president Bernd Neuendorf and vice president Hans-Joachim Watzke make decisions with the Euros coming to Germany in 2024; that’s a tournament that Die Mannschaft simply cannot perform poorly at.
In what will come as slightly, or even substantially, controversial to both Bayern and Germany fans, Rummenigge recently suggested that he feels more emphasis should be placed on the national team than Bayern right now. “The most important team in the country is not Bayern Munich, but the national team,” he recently told Bild (via kicker).
For Germany fans, Rummenigge cant help but put his pride for his nation first, especially as someone who wore the jersey and badge during his playing days. The dire state of the national team, for him, trumps the importance of Bayern since it’s the pride of the entire country as opposed to just Bavaria and Bayern Munich fans. He recalled just how much it meant to him to be able to lineup for the national team and hear the anthem before kickoff in front of a packed stadium.
“I know the indescribable feeling of hearing the national anthem from my 95 international matches. But while the Argentinian fans in Qatar proudly wear their team’s jersey, the fans of our national team in Germany are currently rather dismissive and almost ashamed. That needs to change And that’s why it goes without saying for me to comply with Bernd Neuendorf’s and Aki Watzke’s request to help,” he explained.
By the time the 2024 European Championships roll around, it is Rummenigge’s hope, along with the rest of the DFB, that there will be a completely unified Germany full of hope for Die Mannschaft to go the distance on home soil. “We can only do that if everyone pulls together in football. We don’t need anyone who acts as a savior, we need a team that is loyal and harmonious works together. The measures taken by our body should not be characterized by quantity, but by quality,” he said.
When all is said and done, Rummenigge does think there could be a bit of a silver lining with the way World Cup 2022, Euro 2020, and World Cup 2018 went for Germany. In a sense, he feels that this great sense of humility and vulnerability can teach valuable lessons and help the team be better prepared for the Euros in 2024 without having to go through a qualifying campaign for it. “We went to the last three tournaments with the aim of winning the title. That went terribly wrong. Perhaps after these experiences we would have a little more humility and a concentrated focus on football look good. There have been too many secondary theaters of war at the DFB lately. This also means that politics should solve the political problems and that this is not passed on to sport,” he rationalized.