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EuroStars: Rudi Völler (Germany)

EuroStars: Rudi Völler (Germany)

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Publish on 05/31 at 19:19 - G. BOXALL

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In our latest series focusing on the 2024 European Championships, we’ll focus on a player from each of the 24 countries participating (except for France). These legends have achieved success with their countries and in Ligue 1, and have helped to make the game in France what it is today: exciting, fast-paced and cosmopolitan.

In the latest edition of EuroStars, we'll be taking a look at Germany and Olympique de Marseille legend Rudi Völler. For OM fans, it doesn't get much better than recounting the heady days of Champions League triumph and domination in Ligue 1, and it goes without saying that the German international, lovingly named as Marseille's Fox in the Box, played his part… After spells at Offenbach, 1860 Munich, and Roma, Völler joined Les Olympiens in 1992.

Whilst he scored bags of goals in his previous teams, he'd only had an Italian Cup medal to show for his efforts. His fortunes with silverware would change immediately after joining OM, being led by manager Raymond Goethals and iconic club president Bernard Tapie.

Magical first season at Marseille

In his first season at the club, Völler took part in a side which clinched the Ligue 1 title as well as a historic UEFA Champions League. In his first Ligue 1 match, he scored the winning goal (from the penalty spot) against Toulouse (2-1). He finished a historic first season for Marseille with 18 goals in the league (33 games) and 2 in the Champions League (8 games).

"I won't ever forget my time with Marseille, especially the victory in the Champions League," Voller, who is currently a sporting director for the German football federation, said in an interview. "Of course, not everything was rosy in those days; there was also a lot of stress and trouble. But I don't regret having played there, especially the first season, which turned out to be something of a dream. We didn't know what defeat meant!"

Serial winner with Germany

Until Marseille's forced relegation to the second division in 1994, Völler played in an OM shirt on 58 occasions, scoring 24 goals during his time in the south of France. At the international level, Voller made his debut for West Germany in 1982. He went on to represent his national side at three FIFA World Cups and UEFA European Championships each, playing in two consecutive World Cup finals, winning the 1990 edition of the tournament.