collector? A Rio world champion?: Who follows Oliver Bierhoff at the DFB?

Oliver Bierhoff is leaving the DFB after 18 years, a successor must be found quickly with a view to the home European Championship in 18 months.

collector? A Rio world champion?: Who follows Oliver Bierhoff at the DFB?

Oliver Bierhoff is leaving the DFB after 18 years, a successor must be found quickly with a view to the home European Championship in 18 months. The first candidates are already being positioned.

Oliver Bierhoff is gone - but what will happen to Hansi Flick after the World Cup debacle? The future of the national coach is now the focus after DFB director Bierhoff and the German Football Association announced their separation on Monday evening. At the crisis summit planned for the middle of this week, Flick will probably have to explain the reasons for the failure alone - unless the analysis has already taken place unnoticed by the media.

Immediately after the embarrassing preliminary round in Qatar, DFB President Bernd Neuendorf announced a meeting with himself, Bierhoff, Flick and Hans-Joachim Watzke as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the German Football League (DFL). Only when "the analysis is complete," Neuendorf emphasized, would they go public "with a result."

The first result was already four days after the World Cup knockout. firmly: Bierhoff is no longer a director in the DFB. The 54-year-old is leaving the association after 18 years, and both parties have agreed to terminate the contract, which runs until 2024. Former world champion Per Mertesacker reacted with regret: "He has done a lot more than many people probably think." Borussia Mönchengladbach's Christoph Kramer hoped "that he could decide for himself what was right for him".

In his parting words, Bierhoff expressed pride in his work, but also self-criticism. In the past four years they "haven't managed to build on previous successes and give the fans reason to celebrate again". Some decisions turned out to be "not the right ones". "I take responsibility for that." He is now "clearing the way for setting new directions".

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.

It is unclear who will lead the way as the DFB director responsible for the national teams and the academy or whether there will be a restructuring of the tasks. The DFB committees will advise on the successor. According to a report by "Kicker", Fredi Bobic, currently managing director of Bundesliga club Hertha BSC, is being traded for the post.

If Flick stays in office, a sporting director could now be assigned to him. Bierhoff also filled the role of a kind of manager in his DFB early years. A world champion with public appeal would be conceivable - for example one like Sami Khedira?

Philipp Lahm, another world champion from Rio, gradually developed a sport-political profile after the end of his career and recently positioned himself with clear announcements on topics that were circulating around the association and the team. After the departure of DFB President Fritz Keller, Lahm was even traded as a candidate to succeed him at the head of the association. But the former national player probably doesn't have time: Lahm is busy with his job as organizer of the home European Championship in 2024. He recently told the editorial network Germany that the tournament had big plans: "There has to be a sense of unity again - in Germany, but also in Europe." Ambitions that would also match the big tasks of the Bierhoff successor to be named.

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, who used to work for the DFB as a sports director, is willing to help. However, he would no longer fill all offices himself, including that of sports director, said Borussia Dortmund's external consultant on MagentaTV.

For his part, Sammer suggested Matthew as a suitable candidate. He sees a permanent task in the association but skeptically. He was "too far away from the DFB" and due to other commitments "no time at all," said the 61-year-old. For Matthäus, however, it is clear that the realignment should not only be determined by the inner circle of the DFB, "where everything is 'peace, joy, pancakes'".