13.04.2021Bayer 04

News in brief: Hermann meets Funkel – Happy birthday, Rudi Völler.

A reunion at this weekend's derby, the best goals scored by birthday boy Rudi Völler on video and a duo return to the training ground – Tuesday's news in brief.

At the start of the week, FC Köln, the next opponents for the Werkself, opted to change coaches. Markus Gisdol had to go after 18 months in post and a 3-2 defeat against FSV Mainz 05. As the successor to Gisdol for the relegation battle during the season run-in, FC Köln presented the experienced Friedhelm Funkel. The 67-year-old will have his first game in the dugout on Saturday, 17 April (kick-off: 18.30 CEST) in the away fixture in Leverkusen – and there he will meet a familiar face: Peter Hermann.

The experienced coaching duo worked together from March 2016 to October 2017 at Fortuna Düsseldorf. Hermann was Funkel's assistant until he again answered the call from his long-standing companion Jupp Heynckes to join him at Bayern Munich.

Best of Rudi Völler

Sporting managing director Rudi Völler celebrates his 61st birthday today (Tuesday). Born in Hanau, he moved up to the board at Bayer 04 for the 2018/19 season. Before that he was the sporting director at Bayer 04 for 13 years, plus interim coach, assistant to Reiner Calmund and a player at Leverkusen. Now he can look back at 25 years under the Bayer Cross.



To celebrate his birthday we have produced a Best of Rudi Völler video – his best goals in a Bayer 04 shirt. Happy birthday, Rudi! Click HERE to watch the video.

Return to the pitch, Part I

Lars Bender was unable to hide a little smile on Tuesday. For the 31-year-old stalwart it was back to the pitch in the morning after several weeks on the sidelines following his knee operation. In front of the gates of the BayArena, he completed a couple of individual drills with the ball – always with his eyes on the the target of returning to Bundesliga action before the end of the season and making his contribution to qualification for Europe. And that for a very special reason.



The Rosenheim-born player has played for Bayer 04 since the summer of 2009. With his 255 games in the Bundesliga for the Black and Reds, Lars Bender is currently ninth in the ranking of Bayer 04 players with the most league appearances. Like his twin brother Sven, Lars is looking to hang his boots up in the summer.

Return to the pitch, Part II

Lars Bender was not the only player in action on Tuesday. Julian Baumgartlinger was also at the Werkself training ground. The midfielder suffered an injury to his cruciate at the end of January in the Bundesliga game against VfL Wolfsburg (0-1). There is no immediate prospect of a comeback but it was great to see him back in action.


#Morethanfootball Action Weeks end

This year’s #Morethanfootball Action Weeks are drawing to a close. Over the past three weeks, Bayer 04 have joined over 100 European clubs and football organisations from across Europe for different days of action. As part of this, attention was drawn to the special social role that football occupies, particularly regarding the issues of integration, inclusion, cohesion and cooperation.



To round off this year's #Morethanfootball Action Weeks a large number of the active clubs and associations are coming together for the 15th EFDN Conference, held virtually from 12 to 14 April, to exchange information and ideas on joint action and commitment. HERE is further information on the 15th EFDN Conference.

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