It’s always been one of the biggest arguments: Can you be successful in football without having played at a high level yourself? How important is so-called football competence really?
The ideal case is FC Bayern, which has won one title after the other for decades with the former world-class players Beckenbauer, Hoeneß, Rummenigge and today Kahn.
It is all the more surprising that RB Leipzig is on the way up without classic football skills. And the top game today at Borussia Dortmund (with a lot of football competence) will therefore also be a kind of directional battle.
At the moment, a trio is determining the sporting fortunes in Leipzig that has not played a single Bundesliga game.
Club boss Oliver Mintzlaff (46) was a top athlete (cross-country skiing), was then responsible for marketing at “Puma”, advised coach Ralf Rangnick and pop singer Andrea Berg before he came to Leipzig in 2014.
Florian Scholz (43), the commercial director of sports, became German hockey champion in Hamburg, was a sports journalist for BILD and SPORT BILD, has been with RB since 2015.
Christopher Vivell (35), technical director, did step in front of the ball, but only at the lower-class ASV Durlach (today the district league in Karlsruhe). After that he was a scout and video analyst in Hoffenheim and at RB Salzburg.
At BVB, on the other hand, boss Aki Watzke is framed in the stands by advisor Matthias Sammer, European champion, Champions League winner and master trainer. As well as technical director Edin Terzic, last season’s cup-winning coach. The team includes sports director Michael Zorc, BVB record player and Champions League winner. And his designated successor Sebastian Kehl, Vice World Champion and three-time champion with BVB.
After the Leipzig trio changed coaches in December (in 11th place) the club is now in first place in the second half of the table, ahead of Dortmund. And while BVB is again threatened with a season without a title after the cup failure in St. Pauli and the Euro-League-Aus against Glasgow Rangers, Leipzig are still in both competitions: in the cup in the semi-finals at home against Union Berlin . And in the Europa League in the quarterfinals against Atalanta Bergamo.
Allegedly, Leipzig wants to hire a new sports director for the new season. Big names are rumored. But who knows exactly – when things are going so well without classic football skills…
Perhaps many in the Bundesliga will then have to rethink this topic.