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1.12.2023Bayer 04

Birthday boy of the month: Jürgen Röber turns 70

Jürgen Röber was born on 25 December 1953 in Gernrode in former East Germany. He came to the west with his parents in 1956, living in Bertlich in the district of Recklinghausen and playing for SuS Bertlich up to U15 level. He then moved to FC Zons in the Lower Rhine region and spent his final youth years there. Werder Bremen became aware of the strong-running midfielder via Verbandsliga clubs Ford Niehl and TuS Lingen and brought him into the Bundesliga in 1974.

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Röber became a regular at Bremen, playing six years for the Green-Whites and scoring 57 goals in his 184 Bundesliga matches. During this time there, he also played three international B matches. Eventually, Röber's powerful style of play and his dangerous long-range shots also attracted the attention of Bayern Munich. However, he only played there for one season, wining the Bundesliga, in 1980/81. After that, he moved to Canada for six months with the Calgary Boomers before joining Nottingham Forest in the English Premier League. Bayer 04 coach Dettmar Cramer then brought him to Leverkusen in 1982. In his four years with the Werkself, Röber scored 18 goals. One of those, his overhead kick to put the team 2-1 ahead against Bayer 05 Uerdingen, was voted Goal of the Month by the viewers of Sportschau in March 1984.

An injury sustained in a Bundesliga match in Frankfurt put him out of action for six months, meaning he lost his regular place and moved to Bundesliga 2 North team Rot-Weiss Essen in 1986. As well as being a player there, he was also assistant under various coaches at the same time.

Following forced relegation from Bundesliga 2, Röber became head coach at Essen and led the club to the German Amateur Championship in 1992. Another year later, he and Rot-Weiss were promoted back to Bundesliga 2. Shortly afterwards, he was unable to resist an offer to take over at Bundesliga club VfB Stuttgart. Nevertheless, RWE fans voted him the club’s coach of the century in 2000.

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After two years in Stuttgart, Röber moved to the capital. His six years at Hertha Berlin were to be his most successful, guiding them back into the Bundesliga and subsequently to the only Champions League qualification in their history. He made it through the first group stage in the 1999/2000 season but missed out on a place in the quarter-finals in the second stage after matches against Barcelona, Porto and Slavia Prague.

Since his dismissal from Hertha in 2002, he has been on the touchline for Wolfsburg, Partizan Belgrade, Borussia Dortmund, Saturn Ramenskoje and Ankaraspor.

Röber retired from coaching in 2011. He swapped the dugout for an office chair and became sporting director at Osmanlispor, the successor club to Ankaraspor, for two years from 2015. From 2017 to 2020, he worked in the same position for Belgian first division club Royal Excel Mouscron. He has been in well-earned retirement since 2020.

Dear Jürgen, I wish you all the best for your 70th birthday! Celebrate with your loved ones and stay healthy!

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