Farewell to Rudi Völler: Waldemar Hartmann writes to Rudi

Dear Rudy,

When Sabrina, your wife, invited me as a surprise guest to celebrate your 50th birthday, I asked her which colleagues from the journalistic circle would be there. Her answer: none! And why me? “Because you’ve been part of the family since Iceland,” I got as an answer.

As a result, a family member is leaving the big football stage for me today. And my godfather too. Because since September 6, 2003, I’ve been the “Weissbier-Waldi” for the people. For me associated with a year-long, lucrative ambassador contract with a brewery, for you a popularity hype that you didn’t think was possible, but which you never really wanted.

Yes, when the fans intoned “There is only one Rudi Völler”, you were rather embarrassed. I know that you would like to erase this outburst from your life.

For your peace of mind, of course, your great sporting successes will be remembered first and foremost. As a player, coach and manager.

The fans in Marseille and Rome adore you, in Germany millions of football fans agree with me: a really big one is retiring from the regular team. A good friend for me. A shining light for the Bundesliga. There are fewer and fewer whose nickname alone became a monument. Three wheat beers won’t be enough tonight,

Your Waldi


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